opinions on treeless saddles? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-30-2009, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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opinions on treeless saddles?

I am looking into getting a dressage saddle and one that I am looking into is a treeless saddle and I was just wondering what everyones' opinions on treeless saddles would be??

Thank you all in advance
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-30-2009, 06:43 PM
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I cannot stress the importance enough of getting a QUALITY one.

Most people are like Slinkies; they serve no real purpose, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-01-2010, 02:02 PM
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I agree, quality is very important. Good brands with Dressage models include Ansur, Sensation, Barefoot, Startrekk, Freeform, and Heather Moffet's Vogue and Fheonix saddles. Stay AWAY from Hilason, Maya, Sydney Saddleworks, Freemax, and anything else that retails or eBay's new for less than $700. These "copy cat" saddles copy the look of quality saddles, but they are often poorly made with internal structures that are not suitable for use.

You also need to get a good saddle pad. Most manufacturer's will have recommendations. Skito pads, Equipedic, Haf, and Granduer (Grandeur?) are the most popular for use with treeless saddles. I have a Bob Marshall treeless endurance and I use a Skito pad.

There is a great group on Yahoo for treeless saddle information. Just go to groups.yahoo.com and search for treeless saddles. There's also a group just for Ansur brand saddles.

Good luck!
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-01-2010, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-01-2010, 06:06 PM
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i do not like treeless saddles. i had a friend try one and she said it was a waste of her money.that the saddle didnt fit her horse at all.

its horse show time in tennessee!!!!!!!
what im not paranoid!!! ....whos asking???
proud to be a southerner!!!
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-01-2010, 06:11 PM
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My saddle fitter hates these. She says that she has gone out to places because the horse's treeless isn't fitting properly and that in the horse's back there are a$$ prints in their muscles.

There is a saddle made for every horse! You just have to keep looking. If you are stuck on the treeless thing, then the only saddle I have seen that is worth even looking at that is treeless is the one by Flair. It will take a healthy chink out of your wallet though as I am fairly sure they are over $5000.
Your best bet is to buy a real saddle.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-02-2010, 01:03 AM
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Bad experiences with treeless saddles are usually due to either a poor quality saddle, a saddle not suited to the horse's conformation, an inadequate saddle pad for the horse and/or rider, or a combination of the three.

Both my husband and I are well over 200 lbs and we have no problem riding our horses in my treeless saddles, for 45 minute arena rides (moderate to heavy flat-work/Dressage training) to 4-5 hour trail rides, up and down hills at varrying speeds. My horses have healthy backs and a good work ethic. My chiro, who is also a liscensed vet and does accupuncture, is thrilled with my horses' condition, even though she has also seen train wrecks with other treeless saddles. My horses have helped convince her that treeless is not necessarily bad, just not a "one-size-fits-all" solution like many saddle makers try to convince you of.

And with treeless saddles, your pad is just as important as your saddle. Some treeless saddles can be ridden without a special pad, but only by a lightweight riders who are also light in the saddle (steady, not bouncy). MOST riders using treeless saddles need to use a quality, shock absorbing pad with spinal clearance. Since I am a heavy rider, I used a custom Skito pad with a ThinLine pad underneath. This pad combo set me back around $310, just for the pads.

Going treeless "right" is not cheap, nor is it always easy. However, once you find the perfect saddle and pad combination for you and your horse, it's heaven...

I would recommend to anyone interested in treeless saddles to join the group I mentioned, post your stats (height/weight/saddle & preferences), your horse's stats, pictures of your horse, and the type of riding you do on your horse. Members with similar horses or body types can give you their experiences, and help you narrow down your choices. Once you have one or more you want to try, contact a reputable dealer and have a demo saddle and pad sent to you, or see if any of the group members live near you and will let you try out their saddles (I have had a few people come out and try mine).
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-02-2010, 12:48 PM
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Not huge fan of treeless. However, if you do go treeless go for a QUALITY one which I believe those run several grand +.... Don't forget the right pad for it as welll...
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-05-2010, 02:00 AM
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I ride in a Sensation - but Luvs2ride said it well, its not a cheap way out or a quick fix, while they do fit MOST horses, treeless is not for everyone or every horse.
I have a Sensation Dressage as well as an Eng Trail, which is like an all purpose, and I use my saddles for eventing - LOVE the way my horses go in them. Waiting to get my hands on the new Jump model to try out.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-05-2010, 04:20 AM
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Luvs2ride has the right idea

ANY saddle is only going to be any good if it is of a quality manufacture and is a suitable fit for you and your horse

Treeless or treed saddles makes little difference if the saddle fits.

Most people who have a bad experiance with treeless saddles due so because they either have a poor quality saddle or they don't use the correct pads that go with it. You cannot just put a treeless saddle on a horse as lots of people think - and one saddle doesn't fit all.

My advice would be to not specifically ask for a treeless saddle but to try different saddles and find out which you like and which fits your horse - in most cases this will involve a professional saddle fitter.
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