Some questions about treeless saddles

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Some questions about treeless saddles

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    11-06-2013, 10:08 PM
Some questions about treeless saddles

I'm sorry if this was posted in the wrong category, mods can move it if they want.

We are looking to buy a treeless saddle for my sister's 15hh gelding Syd, and I have some questions. First of all, though, I'll give you some info on the horse and why we are wanting a different saddle for him.

Syd is 16 years old and has very wonky legs (see my earlier thread in Horse Talk, "could a very over at the knee, 16 year old gelding manage a one-day trek?" for photos and more info.) His saddle is just too hard, heavy and very uncomfortable to ride in (even though it fits). A treeless saddle would help Syd and my sister, because it's lightweight and comfy. Syd is a much better ride without that saddle, he is a dream to ride with a bareback pad.

Anyway, here are the questions:

1. I've heard that there are special requirements for saddle pads when using treeless saddles. Is this true?

2. If it is true, what kind of saddle pad would be suitable. Syd's pad is just a simple one, medium thick, no pockets, not too thin, though.

3. Do you have to fit it just like a regular saddle? Someone told me that you don't need to fit treeless saddles because it's just the tree that needs to be fitted anyway...but I'm not too sure about that...

4. Have you ever used one or know someone who uses one? If you do, we're the experiences with it good or bad?

5. Do you think an 18 inch treeless saddle could fit a 15hh horse, or is it just the seat size and doesn't matter that much except for the rider?

Sorry if these are a bit stupid, but I'd really like to know.

Thanks in advance! :)
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    11-06-2013, 10:36 PM
Yes, you need a special pad to lift pressure from the horses spine. I reccomend a skitto. I don't think they need fitted, but ONLY but from a well recognized brand, like barefoot treeless. Yes, it should fit fine. I personally don't reccomend a treeless for longer rides, but every horse is different. Also, have a good seat and strong balance is very important in a treeless. Have you thought about getting a wintec English? Lightweight, long lasting, comfy on horse and rider, minimal care, whats not to love?
    11-06-2013, 10:49 PM
Why treeless?


A worthy treeless & pad system will cost as much (or more) than a good quality (used) western saddle.

... When it comes to logging serious miles on any horse, I prefer a sturdy western. I rode happily for several years in a dressage beater, on all types of terrain, and other than the thing sliding around on steep hills, things went well. Until they didn't. Totally unforeseen & unpredictable occurrence landed me on a frozen surface with a broken rib, among other injuries.

There's simply nothing to hang onto when things get REAL. Toss the dice so many times, and your number is going to come up. Jmo.
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    11-06-2013, 10:53 PM
I have sat some epic bucks/spooks/bolts in my cc saddle, same in my barrel.
    11-07-2013, 12:46 AM
I have a torsion treeless saddle which I love (although it took me a little while to adjust to as it tipped me forward at the start) and a HAF saddlepad.
They are great for some horses but they don't necessary fit all horses and some horses don't seem to like them.
Do you know someone that has a decent brand that you could borrow so you could try one out? I think some brands have a trial situation that could be handy but I can't remember which brands do this.
The good ones are quite expensive and there is a lot of cheap rubbish out there that would be a waste of your money and could do some damage to your horses back. I had to buy a second hand one because I couldn't afford the cost of a new one and it still cost me $1200 (NZ).
    11-07-2013, 01:51 AM
You will find that things feel a lot different in a treeless saddle. I spent some time in an Ansur dressage treeless. It takes getting used to, and it gave me a good workout! ( I mean posting was harder in a treeless)
    11-07-2013, 02:20 AM
Thanks for the replies, all of you. :)

The treeless saddle if from a brand I find quite good (status), the same brand as the saddle for my gelding. It's used and they're offering $160 (NZ) for it. In the stores it costs about $400. It's made of synthetic materials and they're letting us have it for a trial so we can fit it on Syd and try it out.

We'll get a thicker pad for Syd, too.
    11-07-2013, 04:56 AM
I would probably be a little wary of buying a treeless saddle from the Status brand. Its pretty much one of the cheapest brands you can get in NZ, if not the cheapest. I had a status saddle brand new and the stitching started coming undone after about 5 rides. I would definitely look at getting a saddle pad specifically designed for treeless saddles as they are made to prevent any pressure down the spine. Mounting from the ground in a treeless can be tricky as a lot of them tend to slip sideways so using a block is a good idea.
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    11-07-2013, 09:16 AM
Yeah, you MUST have a pad specially made for a treeless.
    11-07-2013, 09:33 AM
No matter which treeless you ride with you must use a long stirrup, very long. Otherwise the narrow band that holds the stirrups, just below the withers will make the horse sore from the weight of the legs. Also, same with the cinch, it can't be as tight as a regular saddle. Unless your sister is well balanced when riding bareback a treeless can slip around on the horse. Some have found the use of a breast collar and crupper reduces the incidence of this. Some people prefer the grippy textured neoprene of some pads. Skito may be one of them and are often sole with treeless.

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