Well, if you plan on barrel racing in a treeless saddle, be prepared for the possibility of spending some time in Emergency. The shape of the tree helps anchor the saddle from side to side movement. A horse with decent withers will better control roll than a mutton-withered horse. These are glorified bareback pads that falsely make the rider feel more secure. It's foolish to use the stirrups on a bareback pad for the same reasons.