I am new here as I spend most of my time lurking... but I have been seriously contemplating purchasing a Sensation Treeless saddle. I don't want to start a thread on Treeless saddles, but wanted to know if anyone out there has used/is using/or knows someone that uses one of these saddles. If so, what is the general consensus??? Love 'em or hate 'em, I am looking for feedback!!
I appreciate and will respect any and all input!!!
I have a Sensation western and love it.. I have all gaited horses and it fits my Icelandics and also my Foxtrotter that is 15 hands. My Rocky Mtn my 1/2 Rocky 1/2 Paso, and my narrow withered Paso that is 13 hands. I use different pads from a Skito to a 5 Star and also a air ride. Even just a fleece with a Thinline on top. Very comfortable and stays in place. So extremely light you can lift it with one hand.
I have been curious as to what kind of pads people have been using with this saddle!! I see a lot of people using big fluffy barrel pads with treeless saddles but I just assumed that there was another pad hidden in there somewhere!!
I own a Thinline pad that I intend on using, if I am able to purchase one of these saddles. Still undecided on the Skito or not. Which horse do you use your Skito on and why?? Just curious..
I use a Barefoot for Endurance with my hunt/endurance pony (14.1h Welsh/Arab), but I plan on continue using the dressage model with the other pony (14h Section B Welsh) when I start him in Endurance next year.
So gothedistance, you don't use a Skito or other pad with inserts either? Now I am really intrigued!!
Most people that I have talked with have advised me that it would be best to use one of those special pads with a treeless but I see more and more, that people are not! This is good news since those pads with inserts are so darn expensive!
Thanks for the photo as well! Your pony looks eager and happy!
Do you prefer your sensation over the Barefoot or do you like them both?
No, the only pad I use is a nice thick fleecy English pad designed for a standard treed saddle. Don't need anything else. I am a featherweight (130 lbs) and since the Sensation has exceptional "panels" underneath that hold it off the backbone just as good as any treed saddle, this helps disperse the weight over the entire saddle itself.
Others may have a different view, but I think using treeless (excellent, high quality, well designed saddles with panels underneath) without the "special pads" is fine as long as the saddle has enough clearance to stay off the spine. It works for me. I actually have my Grandeur pad up for sale -- I got it with my Barefoot and used it maybe twice. It is gathering dust in the tack room, so it is time to move it along to someone who will use it!
The company has just come out with a jumping model with a much more forward flap - similar to a close contact treed. May have to demo one to see whether I like it or not.
I prefer the Barefoot for Endurance because it wraps around my pony's frame and dilutes his "too springy" trot so that I'm not being thrown out of the saddle every stride for 50 miles. With the Barefoot I use two fleecy pads or the Cloud Nine pads (with the light foam inserts) since it is the old style without the panels.
I've been using a Sensation English Trail for a couple of years, but not exclusively. I did sore my horses back when doing some mountain trails and using the stirrups attached in the "hard use" manner. I'm heavier than GTD by 25 lbs. I found that the Free Swing and Hard Use stirrup attachment concentrates my "stirrup" weight over too small of an area in the center of my horses back, particularly when trotting downhills. Since that day I've switched to the "endurance attachment where the stirrups literally attach to the bottom of the saddles flaps and the entire saddle distributes my stirrup weight. Much better for endurance. I do use either Skito or Toklat pads with inserts, just to be safe. It's not just to keep the weight off the spine but to spread the rider's weight a bit better.
The Sensation is very comfy for me but the original seat had horrendously slippery leather. With my spooky young horse I was sliding like crazy. I bought a second seat with "tacky" sort of leather. The saddle does turn easier than my BMSS does, the stuffed pommel is probably the reason. Oh, I also had the flaps mad 2" shorter for me. If you are a shorter person you will need shorter flaps to use the "endurance" stirrup attachment.
Do demo one first. I use my BMSS for endurance as I feel it's better for my horse. I use the Sensation for less strenuous riding.
I have decided to demo the dressage trail model Sensation. Good to hear feedback on the sturrups, too. I was leaning towards the "hard use" ones as well, since I thought that the endurance stirrup choice was geared more for taller people, which I am, unfortunately, not.
I'm also glad that you mentioned the seat material. I currently own a Freeform EnduroX and the seat is VERY slippery. My horse can throw some "tricky" spooks, so I will be looking for something with a little grip.
Thanks again for the feedback! I appreciate everyone's opinion since we all KNOW how much of an investment the saddle is!!!!!
Just wondering, are you an endurance rider? If so the pad may be more important for you. I would definately ask the sales rep what they would recommend . I only ride for about 2 hours or so and am also a light rider. I also use a thinline girth which is supposed to help with the saddle rolling.
it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
GTD, I was trying to remember who had hunted in one, and almost posted for you in the Hunting forum.
You've answered one of my questions with the new jumping model (flap being forward enough)
It's really secure enough for hunting, galloping, jumping etc.?
Do you consider yourself a really well balanced rider? I'm asking because some riders are just sooooo much more athletic and talented, and don't realize they compensate for less stable saddles... I'm thinking slippage laterally... ???
I'm really considering one of these as a Jumping/hacking etc. saddle come Spring (i.e. tax returns The other one I'm looking at is the Freemax, which has a slightly more traditional look...
PS: those are some LOVELY photos. I love the ones YOU took while out... Wow.
I absolutely love my G4 Sensation dressage saddle. I use an Equipedic pad under it, but my horse is very picky and pitches me in the dirt if she isn't 100% comfortable in her saddle so I err on the side of extra padding! It is very comfortable for me (and everyone else who has ever sat in it!), I love how lightweight it is, and I have never had any stability issues with it. I can mount from the ground without problems (but don't as it really isn't good for the horse!). I use free swing stirrups because I don't want to feel restricted in any way if my horse starts getting naughty (she can buck like the best rodeo bronc!). I also bought the Sensation girth and it is very good for stability and comfort for the horse. The maker of the Sensation saddles said that a self-centering girth, with elastic on both ends, is important for stability and even weight distribution. I like that the felt backing is washable.
I am an endurance rider and I am heavier than a lighweight so I will talk to the rep about pads and what she has heard from people in my weight class. My horse is very sensitive and touchy so I have no doubt that he'll let me know if he is unhappy with any part of the set up!!!
So far, I have talked to TONS of people about the sensation saddles and I have definately heard more positive than negative, which is why I am going to demo the dressage trail saddle, hopefully this week!!
I will let you all know how "we" like it!! In the meantime, I hope everyone has GREAT Holiday!!!!
Something that many of the vendors won't tell you is that you can have a saddle built with parts from the different models. I demoed the dressage model and the trail model. I like the pommel from the dressage saddle (smaller) but the cantle and flaps of the trail model. No problem! They can put the various pieces together for you and it didn't cost extra. I did find that the flaps were too long on the dressage model for me. As I said, I wanted to be able to use the stirrups at the bottom if I wanted to and the long flaps would have prevented that.
Actually, I just amazed at some of the saddles being made. For instance, the Barefoot Londaon has the most bizarrely long flaps and billets that I've ever seen!
I have a Sensation G3 Hybrid and LOVE it! I love the security, the quality of the leather and workmanship and the customization options. The Sensation line of saddles has almost limitless options for customizing your saddle for you. Most saddles come in two colors - brown or black. Not the Sensations. You can get them in almost any color imaginable. The leathers are soft and luxurious too. You can customize the flaps to make them longer/shorter or more forward. You can customize the placement of the stirrup attachment at the bottom of the flap, the size of the knee rolls, there are movable/removable knee blocks, you can make the seat shorter/longer or add/remove d rings and any number of other things.
But, besides all the fun stuff this saddle is comfortable and secure. I can mount from the ground, it doesn't slide a round on my horse and my horses love it. It is sooooo comfortable for me that even after 12 or 15 miles I have literally NO pain. I used to have painful hips/knees and seat bones in my treed saddle and it was causing my horse pain too. Not in my Sensation. We are pain free. I weigh about 175 and I use a Skito pad with 3/4 " laminated inserts. My skito pad has poly/wool blend fleece under the seat of the saddle but only wool felt under the flaps giving a very close contact with the horse. speak of which, I can literally feel my horses muscles flexing under my seat and legs, what a cool feeling. He gives me his back and just feels so much more relaxed. I can't imagine ever changing saddles again unless it is a new Sensation after I get all the goody out of this one years down the road.
The only thing I would change about my Sensation is that I wish it had western rigging. English Billets are a major PITA
I am going through Melissa as well!! She is just wonderful, as far as I'm concerned!!
I'm so glad to hear that I can shorten the flaps if I need to. Standing a whole 5'3", I'm sure that I will have to take advantage of that option!!! It seems to, and this is just my opinion, that the flaps to most newer dressage saddles, are SOOOOOO long!!! There must be an abundance of REALLY tall dressage riders that I have just not met!!!
Customizing these saddles is going to be a huge benefit for me. I can't wait to start working on my VERY OWN Sensation!!!