View Full Version : Treeless Saddle Folks - Need Opinions

Feb. 23, 2011, 05:02 PM

I don't know anything about treeless saddles, but wanted some opinions on this saddle:


Am I imagining it or would this dressage saddle put you in a chairseat position?

Thoughts? Thanks!

Feb. 23, 2011, 07:41 PM
I didn't like the way the leather (?) covering on the seat appears to fit very loosely.

Feb. 24, 2011, 09:07 AM
I would do more research on other treeless saddles. Maybe ones that are made with real leather?

Feb. 24, 2011, 12:19 PM
I havent tried that one but heard it was comfortable. However, i think the Freeform dressage is a similar concept with a better overall look to it.

And to the above poster, Sensation saddles ARE real leather... ? Just a softer leather than what is used on most dressage saddles, think more calfskin on your breeches soft/thin, vs THICK.

Feb. 24, 2011, 06:19 PM
I think those take might take the cake for ugliest saddles ever.

I've never ridden in one, but a few ladies at my old barn had Ansurs and they look so much more like a traditional saddle. When they were mounted you could hardly tell at all that they were in a nontraditional saddle.

Although, both of the women I knew did eventually go back to traditional treed saddles. They said it just wasn't working for their position and they couldn't sit the way their trainers wanted them to.

Feb. 24, 2011, 06:38 PM
The Sensations have a moveable stirrup attachment, so you can position it such that it gets your leg under you.

I took one on trial after an insane amount of time spent digging through the Yahoo treeless saddles group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/treelesssaddles). It didn't work for my situation (was trying to find something while rehabbing from an injury), but as treeless go I think they're pretty good. Much less ugly in all black. :)

I dealt with Melissa at http://www.freedomtreeless.com and she was very helpful and didn't charge any goofy fees to try a demo. Someone had the demo saddle already and sent it to me, so all I had to do pay for was shipping it to the next person.

Feb. 24, 2011, 07:43 PM

Feb. 24, 2011, 09:25 PM
Nice post Fuzzy.pony, i much preferred the comments to the article. What i want to know is what saddles were tried? The cheapest on the market? Just like treed saddles, they are NOT all created equally...

Feb. 25, 2011, 06:09 AM
I guess I just thought it might be benefital to have some science in the conversation, from experts, instead of anectodal evidence from a handful of riders. I have always found it interesting and relevant that no upper level riders compete in treeless saddles. They are pretty clearly not designed for performence.

Feb. 25, 2011, 09:17 AM
I cant say for any in the US because i dont know... But taken from an AU website:

"Some VIP riders you may know who ride in and/or endorse the Freeform Elite HW saddle are: Carlos Tabernaberri, Manolo Mendez, Liz Tollarzo and Jane Myers. Liz recently won an FEI Dressage event in W.A. in her Freeform Elite. Carlos has been using the saddle for breaking in and training youngsters and schooling and doing all the wonderful things he does."


I dont agree that there arent any treeless saddles in the upper levels. The only saddles we really hear about in the upper levels are what the pros are riding in, and they are riding in them because they are sponsored by those companies 9 times out of 10. And let's face it, COTH really does not have an abundance of upper level riders here to share what they are riding in, and then, they are probably riding in that because their trainer does and the fitter that comes to the barn sells them. It's convenient. No problem with that whatsoever, i'm not anti treed saddles. But when you are faced with a saddle fit issue you cant afford to go custom to fix, treeless "MIGHT" be the answer.

Several treeless saddles have been tried with those compression pads and when using the appropriate pad, show no more pressure than a treed saddle. Are these "scientific" tests, no, they would be tests individuals who were curious about the fit rented a compression pad to find out what was really going on.

If the article wanted to be scientific, they would give the models used and try them on multiple horses/rider combos. Not just one horse, one rider (and then substitute a heavier rider which from the article rode lighter so i'm assuming, though it's not really said, that with the heavier rider the saddle applied completely different pressure on the horse?) It's a poorly written article from a scientific point of view, and in my opinion (which isnt worth much, i know) a poorly done experiment in the first place since as i mentioned above, treeless saddles are NOT created equally, many do not even share the same design concepts, you have the ones with flat bottoms that require some expensive padding, and those that have gullet channels and do not touch the spine at all. Which did this experiment use? And what padding? I know it mentions they used the recommended padding by the manufacturer, but most of them recommend a variety of pads depending on the horse shape and use, and even then say they may need tweaked...

For the supposed money put into this experiment, it sure seems very flawed from this article, even if it were testing treed saddles, i would call it flawed...

Feb. 25, 2011, 10:00 AM
I'm partial to Heather Moffett's http://www.enlightenedequitation.com

Feb. 25, 2011, 12:01 PM
Scroll down to the Noble model. It looks like a typical dressage saddle.