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sublimequine
Jan. 14, 2008, 08:08 PM
I hear so many varying opinions on these saddles. I admit, some of the ones on ebay look really pretty (ie, the western 'show' one with silver and tooling, etc). I like that they're treeless, but have a more traditional look to them.

But then you seem to hear only two things about these saddles; that they're HORRIBLE and don't fit ANY horse and are crooked, stiff, fall apart, dangerous, etc. OR, you hear they are AMAZING, fit nearly ANYTHING, are comfortable, well-made, high-quality, etc.

So, what are some personal experiences with Hilasons out there? Perhaps we can come to a general consensus about these saddles. :)

pintopiaffe
Jan. 14, 2008, 09:25 PM
I can't even come to consensus on the two I tried! :no: :lol:

I did Ebay, for one of the lower/wider pommel endurance models.

#1 arrived, was very good. Quite decent leather (and I'm a leather snob) fit the horse lovely. Stitching was all good and solid. The only problem was it was too small for me. So I asked for an exchange. NO PROBLEM. Prompt replies to email, easy. Good.

Second one arrives. Loooooooong time after sending first. Several emails and finally a phone call before it arrives. Leather isn't nearly as nice. And the whole freaking thing was crooked. Pommel set on like TWO INCHES crooked of cantle... neither are centered to center seam of seat etc. etc. It also had a staple sticking through the bottom fleece. Bottom fleece was very uneven in quality... LOTS of issues.

This time my emails weren't answered so promptly, but finally they agree to a return--per their 'satisfaction guaranteed' policy (which I dunno if that is still on there?) So I mail it back.

And wait. And wait. And email with no answer. And wait. And leave messages. Finally I emailed, including the reply saying I could return it no issues, and make threats about BBB etc. and invoke my job (police officer) Suddenly, *~poof~* there is my money back in my Paypal account. :uhoh:

SO--had the first one fit ME, I would be one of the very happy customers. Second one was a piezocrap and getting my $$ back was a huge hassle. Thumbs up and thumbs down.

How's THAT for varied experiences/feedback? :lol:

sublimequine
Jan. 14, 2008, 09:28 PM
I can't even come to consensus on the two I tried! :no: :lol:

I did Ebay, for one of the lower/wider pommel endurance models.

#1 arrived, was very good. Quite decent leather (and I'm a leather snob) fit the horse lovely. Stitching was all good and solid. The only problem was it was too small for me. So I asked for an exchange. NO PROBLEM. Prompt replies to email, easy. Good.

Second one arrives. Loooooooong time after sending first. Several emails and finally a phone call before it arrives. Leather isn't nearly as nice. And the whole freaking thing was crooked. Pommel set on like TWO INCHES crooked of cantle... neither are centered to center seam of seat etc. etc. It also had a staple sticking through the bottom fleece. Bottom fleece was very uneven in quality... LOTS of issues.

This time my emails weren't answered so promptly, but finally they agree to a return--per their 'satisfaction guaranteed' policy (which I dunno if that is still on there?) So I mail it back.

And wait. And wait. And email with no answer. And wait. And leave messages. Finally I emailed, including the reply saying I could return it no issues, and make threats about BBB etc. and invoke my job (police officer) Suddenly, *~poof~* there is my money back in my Paypal account. :uhoh:

SO--had the first one fit ME, I would be one of the very happy customers. Second one was a piezocrap and getting my $$ back was a huge hassle. Thumbs up and thumbs down.

How's THAT for varied experiences/feedback? :lol:

WELL THAT'S NO HELP AT ALL! :lol::lol::lol:

I wonder why the two were so different? :eek:

saratoga
Jan. 14, 2008, 10:21 PM
My friend has one, an older one that looks like a Bob Marshall. She likes it OK, good for the price. I think if you have the money, you are better off with something like a Barefoot, which is less expensive than some of the other brand names, but if you don't have the money, try a cheapo.

pandorasboxx
Jan. 14, 2008, 10:51 PM
With all the varying reports on them, it stands to reason that the workmanship is hit or miss. If one is lucky then you get a good one and are one of the happy ones.

I've also the heard the customer service is as spotty as pintopiaffe illustrated which would be another reason to avoid them.

I'd spend my money on a good used treeless made by a reputable company rather than rolling the dice. ymmv...

CowGirlSoap
Jan. 15, 2008, 12:02 AM
I had one- a western model, rough-out leather, with horn. I liked it. It did take some break in time, but it was secure and very comfy. When I sold it I let 2 people demo it... the first didn't even end up trying it on her horse. She didn't like that the treeless saddles have a cantle that is stiched on and she hadn't really thought that part through prior to borrowing it. (She had never seen a treeless saddle before). The 2nd knew the moment she tried it on her hard to fit horse and sat her bum in the saddle that she wanted it.

It wasn't perfect- there were a few cosmetic flaws that were basically finishing touches that could have looked nicer. I would buy one again... but I think if you could find the model you want as a used saddle you may get to use or at least see it before buying it and also it may already be broken in.

Oh- and the stirrups were the most comfortable I've ever used!

Jenni

equi-librium
Jan. 15, 2008, 01:53 AM
if theres that much difference in teh two saddles the above poster recieved.. that should be answer enough.. ;)

i do saddle fittings for a living.. as well as eq. massage.. and i will tell ya that i havent seen one yet that fit.

Auventera Two
Jan. 15, 2008, 03:25 PM
I called the company to ask about what kind of pad I would need if I bought their Bob Marshall styled saddle. I got a gentlemen who could barely speak English, and his answer was pretty much "Don't need a pad. Saddle fit horse. But if pad you need, we have you buy."

:uhoh:

Alrighty then. Bye bye.

Bogie
Jan. 15, 2008, 03:47 PM
I bought one as my first try at treeless. The leather was stiff as a board and while I rode in at half a dozen times, it never really conformed to my horse and the pommel area rubbed me (maybe it was too small). I donated it to a therapeutic riding center. It was probably $300 and it was a total waste of money.

Next I bought a used Barefoot Cheyenne. I think it cost me $500. I liked it a lot more and used it for a season. It was soft & comfortable but I never really liked the nubuck and I didn't like where the stirrup attachments were positioned. I'm very tall and it put me in a chair seat. I sold it for a bit more than I paid for it.

Next, I bought a Torsion EL. I bought it as a used saddle but it was essentially new. I paid $700 for it. I love this saddle. It's very light weight, extremely close contact and it's comfortable. The stirrup position is good for my leg. The saddle is quite secure, even when my TB is jumping up and down and spooking. I have it in buffalo and find the quality is very good.

I also bought a freeform classic. I wanted a saddle that looked more traditional, had more of a twist and I wanted one with an interchangeable seat. My daughter wanted to ride and I didn't want to buy a smaller saddle. This configuration allowed me to buy just a seat. I like this saddle a lot too. It doesn't give the super close contact feel, but it's light weight and comfortable. You can adjust the placement of the stirrups which is another very good feature.

I use both my treeless saddles on two horses with very different backs. I have different padding solutions for each horse.

In retrospect, I wish that I'd skipped buying the Hilason and just bought a better quality saddle used. I frequently see used Barefoots and Torsions for sale at good prices.

katarine
Jan. 15, 2008, 06:04 PM
you thought Stagecoach West sucked but you'll gamble on a Hilason?

Braver woman than me :)

paintedtrails
Jan. 17, 2008, 11:07 AM
On the note of cheaper treeless...Sydney Saddleworks are in mass on eBay right now... Any feedback on those?

sublimequine
Jan. 17, 2008, 11:15 AM
you thought Stagecoach West sucked but you'll gamble on a Hilason?

Braver woman than me :)

Where did I say I'm getting a Hilason, or even thinking about it? ;)

painted; I have an aussie saddle from Sydney Saddleworks. It's a lovely saddle, well built, and the leather is of a much nicer quality than I expected. :)

CowGirlSoap
Jan. 18, 2008, 12:53 AM
I have a blue sydney saddleworks- love it. I wish that it was more adjustable, but it's suede so it's nice and grippy, I removed the fiber glass cantle and stuffed it so it's ultra comfy.

It fits both my round arab mare and my perch gelding, but with different pads.

Well made for the price and I love that it's blue! Between the saddle and a draft horse, we get a lot of interested folks on the trails :~)

I find it more fomfortable and secure than a barefoot that I borrowed. And I have a friend that has 2 barefoots and she rode my horse in it the other day on the trail for about half an hour (we switched horses). She also thought it was more comfy and secure than her saddles. A word of caution though- if you remove the firm cantle and stuff it, the saddle size decreases... not a problem, but it's now a snug fit, lol.

I wouldn't mind having a black one... Worth every penny as long as you don't skimp on the pad! I like it better than the hilason I had.

Jenni

paintedtrails
Jan. 18, 2008, 11:11 AM
What kind of pad do you recommend for the Sydney? Thanks:)
I am still sort of up in the air on how much I want to spend...I have recently looked into CTR, so if I go that route I'm not sure the cheaper saddle would last...I also really like the adjustability of the Bandos, but it is still a bit of money comparitively!