I am waiting for my new Wintec 2000 AP to be delivered tomorrow! It looks like I will get to experience the trails in my new saddle this weekend.
I am changing over from Western to a Wintec for the adjustable gullet. I couldn't find a western saddle that I could lift with a wide enough gullet for my horse. And, I prefer the closeness of bareback over my western saddle, so I am expecting to love the English saddle for its closeness and the fact that it has a little more formality to keep me on the horse.
As to the issue with tie-ons; our trail rides are pretty demanding with the steep hills and loose footing. After 3 hours, the horses and the riders are pretty pooped. I don't tend to carry anything attached to my saddle other than a GPS.
I've been looking at trail saddle pads
. They have pockets on the lower rear half of the pad. I may purchase one of these to use for those trail trips when I do want to carry light items, like a snack. Otherwise, I am going with a standard pad for every day / trail use.
There is another thread posted in HF; I think in trail riding that discusses ways to carry items on trails using an English saddle. One poster has a thin pad that goes betwen the saddle and the riding pad and has d-rings. The d-rings stick out from underneath the saddle.