The Horse Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,661 Posts
I do not know a lot about Treeless, except for the few people I know that ride Treeless and other Forum Info, everyone will say a Good Treeless Saddle will cost over 1,000.00.

I am not sure why the cost so much, but I am sure it has to do with Rider Comfort and Horse Comfort.

I always compare the cheap Ebay Saddles to Shoes, if a Good Saddle is 1,000.00 and a Cheap Saddle is 100.00 that is like comparing a 100.00 pair of shoes to a 10.00 Pair, who wants a 10.00 pair of shoes?

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well to try out, I ma not really looking to make a huge investment on something I might hate altogether... and I would try a good one but there are no places near me that sell em, so it is either try a cheapo and decide or just never know...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
I had a used Ansur Classic dressage saddle that I LOVED. Used on a 14.2hh Arab mare. She liked it, I liked it, it fit great - and the leather was super awesome.

No longer have that horse, and the treeless didn't work for horse I was leasing (Welsh CobxPerch/Thoroughbred) nor the horse I ended up buying a Thoroughbred built Appy. It just didn't sit right on them, too much pressure on the withers for the Appy and tipping me forward on the Cob (I could have shimmed that one if I wanted). I sold the saddle with much regret (to buy one that fits).

Totally depends on the horse build, the kind of saddle you buy, etc. Riding in one feels much like riding bareback but with security.

I bought the Ansur used several years ago for $1900. They are near $3k new, I believe. You could 'try' one out for the $200 on Ebay but the fit of those and the fit of a better made, attention to fit details may be drastically different and you really won't get the feel for it.

I'd keep checking local paper/craigslist/tack trader AND/OR online places that allow for trial rides, some do for only the cost of shipping. Plus do what you're doing now and talk with people about treeless and which brands they like and why.

I have owned both an Ansur classic dressage and a Torsion endurance. Both were fantastic - and both used on the Arab mare I mentioned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,624 Posts
I think it depends on how much you weigh and if you are a good rider.
If your overweight, your not spreading your weight over enough area as a saddle would. Your weight is going to be where your butt bones are and thats it. The use of stirrups can be very dangerous with a bareback pad and some treeless.
SO if your skinny and a good rider, I see nothing wrong with them :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Treeless saddles can be good or bad. All saddles can. Personally I like them more. I do, however, only like the ones than put you farther back in on the horse and allow more freedom for the rider. I like the first saddle the most, because I like treeless saddles to have a deepish seat.

My favorite saddles are vaquero saddles. Especially because I have two Spanish horses!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,138 Posts
I use a treeless saddle and LOVE it, but you get what you pay for... I use a Bob Marshall endurance type saddle and a Black Forest English type saddle.

Most treeless saddles require a good pad as well. I use a treeless Skito and a ThinLine pad. My whole pad set me back, used saddle and new pads, around $1,300. Other good pads for treeless saddles include equipedic, supracor, saddleright, toklat ultracell, etc. You want a good shock absorbing pad that provides some spinal clearance.

For saddles, stick with quality name brands like ansur, bob marshall, barefoot, torsion, freeform, treefree, black forest, bandos (an okay saddle), mackinder, heather moffett, sensation, etc.

Stay AWAY from hilason, sydney saddleworks, maya, freemax, or any other "no name" type brand. If it sells for a "too good to be true" price on ebay or off, just say no ;-).

If you just want a saddle to play around on, then go with a Cashel Softsaddle. You can get them new for around $275, and you shouldn't need any special saddle pad. The only horses they don't work for are those with REALLY high withers or a protruding spine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,138 Posts
Well to try out, I ma not really looking to make a huge investment on something I might hate altogether... and I would try a good one but there are no places near me that sell em, so it is either try a cheapo and decide or just never know...
You are very likely to hate it if you get a cheapo saddle. They're not well made, slipe around, and even break while you're on. Most good saddle dealers will have a demo program for you to try out quality saddles before you buy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,138 Posts
Some people can't afford $1000 saddles.
Then you buy used. Though quality treeless saddles hold their value well. I paid $1,000 for my used Bob Marshall (would have cost me $1,400 new). You can usually find older treeless saddles or less expensive brands for $350-700 used. My used Black Forest was $400 (it was barely used). You just have to keep your eye open for a good deal. I need a larger seat (17" western), so saddles for me are harder to come by. I snatched both of mine up as soon as I found them ;-).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,138 Posts
I think it depends on how much you weigh and if you are a good rider.
If your overweight, your not spreading your weight over enough area as a saddle would. Your weight is going to be where your butt bones are and thats it. The use of stirrups can be very dangerous with a bareback pad and some treeless.
SO if your skinny and a good rider, I see nothing wrong with them :)
That is very NOT true. I am 250+ lbs and so is my husband. We both ride my treeless saddles with good success, from 30 minutes in the arena to 4 hours on the trail. I have also helped more than a few other larger riders go treeless (175 lbs or more). As long as you are balanced good rider (I agree with you there), your horse is conditioned to carry your weight, your horse has good topline muscle, and you buy the right pad(s), then it really doesn't matter what you weigh.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,110 Posts
Besides the fact that a saddle that cheap is bound to be cheap on quality, what also worries me is the item descriptions.

They are basically telling you this saddle WILL roll. Don't mount from the ground, use a breast collar to keep it in place, for experience riders only, etc. Just sounds very unstable based on the seller's own item descriptions.

I have never owned a treeless, but I did sit in a Bob Marshal once and thought it was oh-so comfy! If I were going treeless, that is what I would pick for myself. :D

One other thing on the stability issue. I rode in a bareback pad with stirrups once, and found it to be very dangerous. When you ride with stirrups, you sort of think you can use them, and with the bareback pad with stirrups I felt like if the horse spooked I would slide right off. I actually think it is much safer to ride bareback without stirrups. I can't help but picture a cheaper treeless saddle doing the same thing- rolling right under the horse if you got off balance in the least.

Just my thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,624 Posts
That is very NOT true. I am 250+ lbs and so is my husband. We both ride my treeless saddles with good success, from 30 minutes in the arena to 4 hours on the trail. I have also helped more than a few other larger riders go treeless (175 lbs or more). As long as you are balanced good rider (I agree with you there), your horse is conditioned to carry your weight, your horse has good topline muscle, and you buy the right pad(s), then it really doesn't matter what you weigh.
I think its not a black and white answer. It depends on the saddle, treed and treeless. Some treed on some horses, if the tree doesn't fit exactly, the weight will never get distributed evenly. Same can be said of a treeless saddle. If the material isn't solid enough, if the stirrups are used to balance off of and the rider is lacking, then the only place the weight is being placed is at the front of the saddle.
I do agree there are some great treeless saddles out there and that it is much easier to deal with saddle fit if there is no tree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks every one, I rethought about the cheapos and will just wait til I can afford a nicer brand.

I really like the concept of a treeless saddle and they make a lot of sense to me(so be it if that looses me cool points and gains me some hippie points lol), since I don't rope or anything, am not heavy, and IMO am a good rider with great balance. I like that they allow free movement of the muscles and bones in a horses back and have done a lot of research on them to make sure they are not a gimmick which as far as I have found they are not.

Tomahawk has round withers that are low ans a relatively narrow round back, so A) he is nearly impossible to fit properly in a treed saddle, and B) I worry about his back anyway, It is not one of his conformational strong points.

Thanks for all opinions, I really appreciate it. If you have any more or any studies on treeless vs. treed saddles please send them my way!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,138 Posts
For his type of back, I'd recommend Sensation, Freeform, and Rebecca Softrider saddles. All do very well on round horses.

The Rebecca saddles are even decently affordable, but they are "interesting" looking and there is a 6-8 month wait on them.
http://www.rebeccatreelesssaddles.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/pb288099.jpg

Sensation has a bew "basic" saddle now, the Harmony Element, that is more affordable than their other models. It's $700 Canadian, which right now is $690 US.
Harmony Element
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
That is very NOT true. I am 250+ lbs and so is my husband. We both ride my treeless saddles with good success, from 30 minutes in the arena to 4 hours on the trail. I have also helped more than a few other larger riders go treeless (175 lbs or more). As long as you are balanced good rider (I agree with you there), your horse is conditioned to carry your weight, your horse has good topline muscle, and you buy the right pad(s), then it really doesn't matter what you weigh.
How do you guys mount?? The treeless give even 160 pounders problems mounting?? You are always using a mounting block or trying to find something in the bush??

Also if you get shifted to one side as in a spook the treeless is liable to slip.
Saddles are to spread weight. A normal western saddle has only an honest 60 square inches of area to support weight, the ortho flex I had had 300 square inches to support weight. You should not exceed 1 psi or pound per square inch for a horses back. You are sitting on your butt bones treeless so I feel sorry for the horse and the pressure points.
You couldn't give me a treeless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As usual I respect your opinion Rio, but I have to disagree.

See,
I have learned that a lot of people think a treeless saddle is the same as a bareback pad, that they have no support whatsoever. That is incorrect. Most of the nicer ones have a more rigid design and support panels that distribute a riders weight just as evenly as a regular saddle, without the added stiffens. Plus they have a solid pommel to prevent slipping. With saddle stability it really is not all or nothing, slip or wont slip. There is hard rigid inflexible regular saddles and less rigid, flexible treeless saddles that do not slip but allow the horse to twist and turn and arch its back productively without having to deal with a rigid piece of wood or fiberglass strapped to its back. As has been said, you cannot place a solid inflexible thing between two flexing things and expect there to be no problems...

Just my take on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,138 Posts
How do you guys mount?? The treeless give even 160 pounders problems mounting?? You are always using a mounting block or trying to find something in the bush??

Also if you get shifted to one side as in a spook the treeless is liable to slip.
Saddles are to spread weight. A normal western saddle has only an honest 60 square inches of area to support weight, the ortho flex I had had 300 square inches to support weight. You should not exceed 1 psi or pound per square inch for a horses back. You are sitting on your butt bones treeless so I feel sorry for the horse and the pressure points.
You couldn't give me a treeless.
I usually mount from a block or stump, no matter what kind of saddle I ride, treed or treeless, english or western. IMO, even light riders should not mount from the ground on a regular basis. It's bad for the horse's back over time, and you can stretch out the stirrup leathers.

I can mount from the ground if necessary. If no one is around to hold my off stirrup for me, then I use a lead rope to aid in mounting. I snap the lead rope to the rigging d-ring on the right side, run the rope down the cinch and between the horse's front legs, then up over the shoulder. Back on the left/mounting side, I hold the lead rope snug along with a big handful of mane in my left hand. The lead rope and mane help stabilize the off side of the saddle while I hop-hop-hop until I can get my butt up there, lol.

I use a horse chiropractor who is also a liscensed vet (she's no hack). She was very anti-treeless before meeting me. Once she saw how good my horses' back condition was, even with all of the miles we put on them, she was very impressed. I use specialized saddle pads and GOOD treeless saddles. I am also a "light" rider. I do not bounce at the sitting trot or canter. My horses backs are never sore after a ride, or the next day after a ride, and I do check religiously. My horses eagerly meet me at the gate, are happy/perky on their rides, and do not rush to get back to the barn.

You should not assume things.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top