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View Full Version : Found a treeless saddle - Opinions?



sublimequine
Oct. 22, 2007, 07:48 PM
So, I found a treeless saddle I REALLY like on eBay. It is not synthetic, is brand new, has two stirrup positions, a removeable seat, a hand-stitched design on the seat, is in my size, and comes in two colors, brown or black. And most importantly.. it's a complete bargain, and totally in my price range at $285.

The ONLY thing I can find fault with it is that it is Indian leather. Granted they call it "high quality soft cow leather" and "top grain", but I don't know.. Indian leather is so iffy. :(

From the pictures, it looks like a really, really nice saddle. Good even stitching, attention to detail, etc. I looked around the saddle maker's website, and the EXACT SAME saddle is being sold on the maker's website for $599, ON CLEARANCE. :eek:

Here's a photo:

http://img520.imageshack.us/img520/2455/tackyj0.jpg

What would you guys do? Keep in mind, I don't have a very big budget, I don't show, and my trail rides are rarely over an hour long. I'd like to think I am pretty easy on my saddles.

Shermy
Oct. 22, 2007, 08:12 PM
I think the saying "you get what you pay for" is a good one. I have heard of the cheap saddles actually falling apart when people ride.

$285 is really cheap for a saddle. I would recommend waiting for a used Barefoot Cheyenne. I would be careful w/Ebay though. According to the people on Treeless Saddle group on Yahoo, there was a few fake Barefoot saddles on sale there last week.

I ride in a Barefoot Cheyenne saddle. It is soooo comfortable. I could ride all day long, and be fine.

I mostly ride trails and have been starting to do a few endurance rides. I am doing my first 25 mile this weekend.

I would not skimp on the saddle. Barefoot Cheyenne saddles are not very expensive considering that they are very well made.

Just my opinion. I would just be very careful if you decide to go cheap. The Treelesssaddle group on yahoo is full of lots in information.

sublimequine
Oct. 22, 2007, 08:14 PM
I think the saying "you get what you pay for" is a good one. I have heard of the cheap saddles actually falling apart when people ride.

$285 is really cheap for a saddle. I would recommend waiting for a used Barefoot Cheyenne. I would be careful w/Ebay though. According to the people on Treeless Saddle group on Yahoo, there was a few fake Barefoot saddles on sale there last week.

I ride in a Barefoot Cheyenne saddle. It is soooo comfortable. I could ride all day long, and be fine.

I mostly ride trails and have been starting to do a few endurance rides. I am doing my first 25 mile this weekend.

I would not skimp on the saddle. Barefoot Cheyenne saddles are not very expensive considering that they are very well made.

Just my opinion. I would just be very careful if you decide to go cheap. The Treelesssaddle group on yahoo is full of lots in information.

I'm a part of the yahoo group and actually found it quite disappointing, I was expecting something amazing on how folks rave about it. It's okay, but not THAT much info. Still had a lot of questions. :uhoh:

Bogie
Oct. 23, 2007, 12:06 PM
It's so hard to tell quality from a photo.

I will just share with you my own experience. When I first decided to try treeless, I bought a hilason saddle. Same deal, I figured it looked fine, very inexpensive.

Definitely a case of getting what I paid for :no:. Leather on that saddle was stiff as a board and terribly uncomfortable. I finally donated it to a therapeutic riding program, waited until I found a better brand of treeless saddle, and moved on. Basically, I flushed $250 or $300.

If this is really your budget, I suggest looking at the Little Joe Bareback Saddles. They get fabulous reviews from users and are $200 from the manufacturer.

I don't remember the web site, but if you do a search they are easy to find.

pandorasboxx
Oct. 23, 2007, 12:32 PM
What I like about the treeless saddle group is there are many on there w/experience testing multiple brands under varying conditions. The saddle pad info is very extensive as well.

I've been on the group for approx. a year with only a few posts on my experience however, I do think that the archives are a better source of info as I don't see some of the posters that were prolific in the past. There is almost so much you can say about the saddle you chose before the cycle of familiar questions starts over again and newer members chime in.

Years ago, I once bought a really cheap Indian knockoff of an treed English saddle. Purchased it at auction cuz it was inexpensive and I was tight with the cash, rode it a couple of times and it was soon apparent to all that it was a piece o'crap in craftsmanship and design. There went $200 down the drain as I couldn't get shite for it in resale.

If you like the saddle I would go for it. I'm assuming there is no trial period? However, its not much less than the more known brands such as Barefoot. Be aware was mentioned earlier that there is mixed success w/the really cheap knockoffs and imitations including falling apart while riding. I'm not saying this saddle won't be fab for your purposes but many have reported that they wish they had saved for a reputable saddle and felt they flushed good money after bad. That said you will never know till you try. If it works, then you just saved yourself a bundle.

sublimequine
Oct. 23, 2007, 12:56 PM
What I like about the treeless saddle group is there are many on there w/experience testing multiple brands under varying conditions. The saddle pad info is very extensive as well.

I've been on the group for approx. a year with only a few posts on my experience however, I do think that the archives are a better source of info as I don't see some of the posters that were prolific in the past. There is almost so much you can say about the saddle you chose before the cycle of familiar questions starts over again and newer members chime in.

Years ago, I once bought a really cheap Indian knockoff of an treed English saddle. Purchased it at auction cuz it was inexpensive and I was tight with the cash, rode it a couple of times and it was soon apparent to all that it was a piece o'crap in craftsmanship and design. There went $200 down the drain as I couldn't get shite for it in resale.

If you like the saddle I would go for it. I'm assuming there is no trial period? However, its not much less than the more known brands such as Barefoot. Be aware was mentioned earlier that there is mixed success w/the really cheap knockoffs and imitations including falling apart while riding. I'm not saying this saddle won't be fab for your purposes but many have reported that they wish they had saved for a reputable saddle and felt they flushed good money after bad. That said you will never know till you try. If it works, then you just saved yourself a bundle.

Thanks for the input, I've had experiences with really bad stuff before, so I know how frustrating it can be. We'll see what happens, I'm gonna think about it some more.

Bogie; Took a look at what you referred to, that's a bit out of my price range for basically a really fancy bareback pad. Thanks though. :uhoh:

Huntertwo
Oct. 23, 2007, 01:33 PM
I'm in the camp, you get what you pay for.

Years ago I bought a cheap western saddle from Chick's saddlery. The brand was "Blue Ridge", I think.

Every horse I put it on - the horse would buckle to his knees or pull back on the cross ties. Again, money down the drain.

I'd rather save for something of better quality.

Just a observation on the Indian Leather. I thought cows were sacred in India? :)

saratoga
Oct. 23, 2007, 02:07 PM
I would give it a try. Sometimes ya just can't afford to buy the best saddle out there.

I have a friend who has a Hilason and she likes it fine, especially for what she paid for it. I also once bought a new $150 english saddle from ebay- it was the cheapest leather ever, butt ugly- but believe it or not it actually put me in a good position and fit my horse great, so you never know. I actually did a few 50s in it and my horse's back was great.

sublimequine
Oct. 23, 2007, 02:15 PM
I would give it a try. Sometimes ya just can't afford to buy the best saddle out there.

I have a friend who has a Hilason and she likes it fine, especially for what she paid for it. I also once bought a new $150 english saddle from ebay- it was the cheapest leather ever, butt ugly- but believe it or not it actually put me in a good position and fit my horse great, so you never know. I actually did a few 50s in it and my horse's back was great.

Yeah, I really don't care about looks or even really texture of the saddle. As long as it basically fits me and it definitely fits my mare, I'm content. I'm just at my wit's end with saddle fit, I'm like 0 for 9 right now on saddles to fit my dang horse. :eek:

Bogie
Oct. 23, 2007, 04:56 PM
Bogie; Took a look at what you referred to, that's a bit out of my price range for basically a really fancy bareback pad. Thanks though. :uhoh:

What makes you think the treeless saddle that you posted a photo of will be any better? At least with the Little Joe people have posted very positive reviews.

If you're set on having a treeless "saddle" personally I'd wait until I could find a Barefoot Cheyenne or similar used. Yes, it's more expensive, but used, they are not that much more. If you spend the money on this one and it doesn't work, you'll have problems reselling it. If you wait and buy a Barefoot, you can always sell it if you don't like it. I actually sold my Barefoot Cheyenne for more than I paid for it.

However, my impression is that you have decided to buy it and weren't looking for opinions. I have owned four treeless saddles, which was why I offered my advice. I hope it works out well for you. Certainly, you should be able to buy a rideable saddle for $285.

pandorasboxx
Oct. 23, 2007, 05:27 PM
A really good resource is the classifieds at www.endurance.net Endurance riders are notorious for trying all the latest in the great saddle hunt and you can find excellent deals on a wide range of treed and treeless. I've sold and bought numerous saddles on there will no problems whatsoever.

Right now they list several name brand treeless such as Barefoot, Freeform and Bob Marshall ranging in price from $800-1200 and then one Hilason for $350. And some pretty nice treed ones including OF's and a Duett.

Another good place to look for saddles especially endurance or trail saddles is the bay equestrian website. I've purchased tack off there as well. Here is their latest offering of treeless saddles. http://www.tiny.cc/bayequest

Huntertwo
Oct. 23, 2007, 07:44 PM
What makes you think the treeless saddle that you posted a photo of will be any better? At least with the Little Joe people have posted very positive reviews.

If you're set on having a treeless "saddle" personally I'd wait until I could find a Barefoot Cheyenne or similar used. Yes, it's more expensive, but used, they are not that much more. If you spend the money on this one and it doesn't work, you'll have problems reselling it. If you wait and buy a Barefoot, you can always sell it if you don't like it. I actually sold my Barefoot Cheyenne for more than I paid for it.

However, my impression is that you have decided to buy it and weren't looking for opinions. I have owned four treeless saddles, which was why I offered my advice. I hope it works out well for you. Certainly, you should be able to buy a rideable saddle for $285.

Bogie,
That is a very good idea to keep in mind when buying a saddle - resale.
I just ordered a new Abetta last week and was thinking, only thinking - (this is not an advertisement) of selling my BM on Ebay.

I do notice those really hold their prices very well.

katarine
Oct. 23, 2007, 09:15 PM
What Bogie said.

sublimequine
Oct. 23, 2007, 09:35 PM
What makes you think the treeless saddle that you posted a photo of will be any better? At least with the Little Joe people have posted very positive reviews.

If you're set on having a treeless "saddle" personally I'd wait until I could find a Barefoot Cheyenne or similar used. Yes, it's more expensive, but used, they are not that much more. If you spend the money on this one and it doesn't work, you'll have problems reselling it. If you wait and buy a Barefoot, you can always sell it if you don't like it. I actually sold my Barefoot Cheyenne for more than I paid for it.

However, my impression is that you have decided to buy it and weren't looking for opinions. I have owned four treeless saddles, which was why I offered my advice. I hope it works out well for you. Certainly, you should be able to buy a rideable saddle for $285.

Yeesh, am I misreading or are you getting defensive? :eek:

I haven't decided on much of anything yet. I won't be able to tell if I can even afford any saddle at all until the vet visit scheduled for Thursday. :o

And I don't want the bareback pad, because there's no pommel, no cantle, nothing that constitutes an actual saddle. I have a bareback pad, I don't need another one of those. :D

Huntertwo
Oct. 23, 2007, 09:57 PM
Here is another used tack site worth checking www.tacktrader.com (http://www.tacktrader.com)

sublimequine
Oct. 23, 2007, 10:03 PM
Here is another used tack site worth checking www.tacktrader.com (http://www.tacktrader.com)

Yeah, I'm a regular on tacktrader. Never bought anything yet, but I check it out all the time. :lol:

Romantic Rider
Oct. 23, 2007, 10:40 PM
If I'm not mistaken, that is the same brand my sister has. She paid over 500 for it too. But she really likes the saddle. I have ridden in it a few times on my tubby little Arabian mare. Now it's the only treeless saddle I've ever ridden in. I find it hard to get used to how wide you sit on the horse. But, then I have a very wide horse. It is very, very comfortable for just easy hacking around. I ride endurance, and found it didn't give me enough stability, or a good enough position to ride fast. But it seems to be nice quality, and like I said, my sister is very happy with it.

sublimequine
Oct. 23, 2007, 10:59 PM
If I'm not mistaken, that is the same brand my sister has. She paid over 500 for it too. But she really likes the saddle. I have ridden in it a few times on my tubby little Arabian mare. Now it's the only treeless saddle I've ever ridden in. I find it hard to get used to how wide you sit on the horse. But, then I have a very wide horse. It is very, very comfortable for just easy hacking around. I ride endurance, and found it didn't give me enough stability, or a good enough position to ride fast. But it seems to be nice quality, and like I said, my sister is very happy with it.

Wow, really? What did you think of the quality of the leather?

Shermy
Oct. 24, 2007, 02:41 PM
OMG, I completely didnt even think of that. I have a Little Joe saddle. I bought it almost 4 yrs. I used it as my main saddle for over 3 years.

I can still remember how different my horse felt. I had been using a Wintec that did fit him great. W/the LJ his stride was much larger. It was riding in the LJ that sold me on Treeless Saddles. My horse really seemed to be happier w/this saddle.

A little over a year ago, I got a Barefoot Cheyenne. It is probably more comfortable, but it is also more expensive. The LJ is a great saddle to have though. It is great to have a very lightweight saddle to just be able to throw on any horse.

I usually ride my LJ a lot in the winter. It acts like a big heating pad. It really helps to keep ya warm on those freezing winter days. On the other side, I never did notice it getting warm in the summer.

I highly recommend a LJ for your budget. I think any actual saddle in that price range may not be built very well.

The LJ is really more than just a bareback pad. It is much more secure. I can mount from the ground, and it will not move. It really is like a treeless saddle.

Here is their website:
http://www.better-horsetack.com/lj/index.cfm?page=bbsdl

Here is a review I found on google:
http://www.nchorsenews.com/pdf/april-2007.pdf

sublimequine
Oct. 24, 2007, 03:08 PM
OMG, I completely didnt even think of that. I have a Little Joe saddle. I bought it almost 4 yrs. I used it as my main saddle for over 3 years.

I can still remember how different my horse felt. I had been using a Wintec that did fit him great. W/the LJ his stride was much larger. It was riding in the LJ that sold me on Treeless Saddles. My horse really seemed to be happier w/this saddle.

A little over a year ago, I got a Barefoot Cheyenne. It is probably more comfortable, but it is also more expensive. The LJ is a great saddle to have though. It is great to have a very lightweight saddle to just be able to throw on any horse.

I usually ride my LJ a lot in the winter. It acts like a big heating pad. It really helps to keep ya warm on those freezing winter days. On the other side, I never did notice it getting warm in the summer.

I highly recommend a LJ for your budget. I think any actual saddle in that price range may not be built very well.

The LJ is really more than just a bareback pad. It is much more secure. I can mount from the ground, and it will not move. It really is like a treeless saddle.

Here is their website:
http://www.better-horsetack.com/lj/index.cfm?page=bbsdl

Here is a review I found on google:
http://www.nchorsenews.com/pdf/april-2007.pdf

Yeah, I really wouldn't be comfortable in that, though. There's no pommel, no cantle, nothing really holding you in. I need some sort of support for those.. 'unexpected moments' while riding. :lol:

Shermy
Oct. 24, 2007, 03:47 PM
I understand what you are saying. I had just bought my FIRST horse when I was 32 yrs. old. I did use a very nice Wintec 2000AP for my first year. I probably had not been on a horse for a decade.

I was not a confident rider when I first bought my horse. Over time, I got more confident.

I post a lot on a certain horse board that some of the people had just gotten a LJ saddle. Of course, they were all raving about it.

The BO where I boarded started to let me ride a few of her horses. These horses were completely a different build that my round QH type of horse. My saddle fit ok, but not great.

So, I decided to get a LJ. I LOVED it!! Like I posted earlier, my horse just seemed to open up his stride. I could use it on any horse, and they seemed to like it a lot too.

It really helped me become a good rider. It is extremely secure. There is a little strap to grab, but to be honest, I grab mane out of habit.

I have gone thru huge teleports and leaps on my LJ, and it never budged. I do ride w/stirrups. You can do either, but I prefer the stirrups.

Whatever you decide, good luck!! I think the description of a BAREBACK PAD is a little misleading. It really is different than your average pad.

Like I said, it sold me on treeless saddles. Lately, I have been riding more in my Cheyenne, but during the winter, the LJ is my saddle of choice. It really keeps me sooooo toasty. I live in Central Illinois, so it gets COLD!!

sublimequine
Oct. 24, 2007, 07:31 PM
I understand what you are saying. I had just bought my FIRST horse when I was 32 yrs. old. I did use a very nice Wintec 2000AP for my first year. I probably had not been on a horse for a decade.

I was not a confident rider when I first bought my horse. Over time, I got more confident.

I post a lot on a certain horse board that some of the people had just gotten a LJ saddle. Of course, they were all raving about it.

The BO where I boarded started to let me ride a few of her horses. These horses were completely a different build that my round QH type of horse. My saddle fit ok, but not great.

So, I decided to get a LJ. I LOVED it!! Like I posted earlier, my horse just seemed to open up his stride. I could use it on any horse, and they seemed to like it a lot too.

It really helped me become a good rider. It is extremely secure. There is a little strap to grab, but to be honest, I grab mane out of habit.

I have gone thru huge teleports and leaps on my LJ, and it never budged. I do ride w/stirrups. You can do either, but I prefer the stirrups.

Whatever you decide, good luck!! I think the description of a BAREBACK PAD is a little misleading. It really is different than your average pad.

Like I said, it sold me on treeless saddles. Lately, I have been riding more in my Cheyenne, but during the winter, the LJ is my saddle of choice. It really keeps me sooooo toasty. I live in Central Illinois, so it gets COLD!!

Small world! I'm in central Illinois too! :D

A little update; Someone beat me to it, the saddle was sold! I'm going to keep looking. :)

Romantic Rider
Oct. 24, 2007, 10:26 PM
Uh, the leather seemed fine to me. Now, I only ride synthetic saddles. In fact, this is the only leather saddle we have, so I'm not a good person to ask. But it didn't seem stiff or rough at all. For 289$ I think it would have been a good buy.

Bogie
Oct. 26, 2007, 01:41 PM
FYI, there is an interesting post on the treeless saddle forum (yahoo) about the inexpensive treeless saddles on the market. Here's one of the posts:

In light of recent discussions about the lack of safety with cheap treeless saddles and the queries about unrecognised "makes" of treeless I thought I would post this link so everyone can see who and where
these saddles are being made:

http://www.alibaba.com/trade/search/11i1p5tyf0chms/treeless_saddles.html

You will notice not only the cheap copies of recognised names but also copies of photos of genuine saddles that are used to convince the buyer of reliable quality and maybe even fooling them into thinking they are
the "real" manufacturers. All the emails we get from these companies offer their saddles at around £50.00/$100.00 each trade!