I think people are not leaving the right feedback and a lot of people are deprived of the right information. Of all the messages I see only one person has tried the Hilason Treeless Saddles and that two in early 2005. Their saddle has changed significantly and I can testify for Hilason saddles as my entire training school is using it (Over 46 horses). I had 6 Bob Marshall's and bought about 17 of Hilason for a better and more comfortable ride. Their products have features that I have not found in three other treeless saddles. I will deny and oppose any negative of their new saddles and I think people can buy thier saddles with confidence. Please contact me if you need more information.
Oh dear, I wonder which Hilason employee this chick is! LOL
"To be an equestrian in the classical sense is not just to be a rider.
It is a position in life." --Charles de Kunffy
I tried one and was very disappointed with the stiffness of the leather and the rider comfort of the saddle. I don't know how my horse felt about it as I didn't use it that much.
I eventually donated it to a therapeutic riding school where they did find it helpful.
I then tried a Barefoot Cheyenne, which I liked alright. I thought it was reasonably comfortable for both horse and rider, but more of a glorified bareback pad than a saddle. I know a lot of people here seem to like them. I had bought mine used and sold it at a profit .
Treeless saddles still intrigued me and I ended up with two: a Torsion Extra Light and a FreeForm. I like both of them quite a bit. The Torsion gives a very close contact feel, is beautifully made and feels very secure. The Freeform is more like a treed saddle than the others. It is not such a close contact ride, but more so than a treed saddle. What I really like about them is that you can buy interchangeable seats for the base. That means that my daughter can use the same saddle. It's an excellent feature. The Freeform also has a feature that allows you to adjust where you place the stirrups. This is helpful to me as I have very long legs and found that with a fixed stirrup position, some saddles (like the cheyenne) put me in a chair seat.
Both of these saddles seem to offer the horses more support in that the saddle provides some gullet relief because of the structure of the front fork (not the gullet that's seen in some of the newer Treeless saddles). I also use a therapeutic pad underneath -- either a Skito or a Saddleright. I have two horses -- a Trakehner and a TB. Neither has particularly pronounced withers so are good candidates for treeless.
If you want a Treeless saddle, best bet is to buy one of the "better" brands used. As I recall, I paid $550 for the Cheyenne and sold it for about $625. I paid $700 each for the Torsion and the Freeform. The Torsion I bought on ebay. It was essentially brand new and came in the buffalo leather (which I vastly prefer to nubuck). The Freeform I bought from someone on the treeless saddle forum on yahoo. Yes, that's more than the Hilalson saddles cost, but definitely worth waiting and saving up for. My experience is that if you buy the saddles for a fair price you can resell them for that (or more!) if you find they don't work for you.
When I was last looking for a treeless saddle, I spoke several times to the Torsion dealer whom I found to be extremely helpful. Their website is www.gotreeless.com.
Good luck! I really like my treeless saddles and it was worth sifting through the brands.
My sister is in the hunt for a treeless saddle right now. I would be too if I had the funds. So, I tell her no Hilsason. (that is rather hard, because Hilason is just about all you see on Ebay). She's rather put off by the price on the brand name saddles. She's found one that she thinks would work, but i have never heard of the brand. Maya, I believe. Has any one else ever heard of this?
I have ridden in both the Bob Marshall Endurance and the Hilason Endurance and I can safely say that the main differences are name and price tag.
More specifically, the only real difference between the two is in the toplines. Otherwise these two treeless endurance saddles are almost identical.
The topline of the Bob Marshall is contoured with a dip in the profile behind the horse's withers. The topline of the Hilason is straight. It can conform to your own horse's topline with wear. Once this happens there is nothing different at all except the price tag. Oh some people's egos trick them into thinking there are more differences than there actually are.
I read somewhere that was done when the original company could not keep up with production for the demand. I don't know if that's true. .
I live about 30 miles from Bob Marshall. His factory is at his horse farm and it is not very big. So I'd say what you said is right.
The people who were there were really nice to talk to. When I can come up with the money, I'm going to go there and have them make me one.
I picked one up on eBay- my big gelding had a brief sore back problem, he is very wide but has narrow withers, my Stubben fits him fine, but i was looking for a knocking around trail type saddle.
I paid $198 for a smooth brown leather,saddle. It was described as English, does have long English billets, but has western fenders and stirrups.
I ditched their stirrups, used my western endurance ones and took it out a number of times.
My horse loves it, ( Gold Star there, he's my boy!)
It was pretty comfortable, I did everything in it, hills, galloped, jumped seems like a pleasant, fun, saddle.
A couple of my friends rode it- one hated it,( she has back issues and we had a terrible time finding her saddle, that she is happy with...),
my other friend wants one now- she loved it. She also hunts in a Stubben but wants a play saddle.
The leather is decent- not world class- but I feel the saddle was pretty cheap, so I can live with it.
(I also take excellent care of all of my tack, clean it every time I use it, etc..)
Hi - I have a Hilason Treeless (western style) endurance saddle. I have ridden well over 1,000 miles in it. I am currently using it for 50 mile endurance rides. I really like mine. It was a little stiff at first, but it is great now! I have ridden in a Bob Marshall, too. I really like both. I guess it is up to the individual and your budget. I hope this helps.
I have a treeless western barrel saddle. I love it. One thing I have found is when buying a treeless is size on or two sizes bigger than what you would size a treed saddle. My saddle is a hilason that I bought second hand when I had a brain fart and got back into horses and no equipment. Here is what I found on the saddle. I have since bought a barrel treed saddle.
very soft sueded leather.
Nice chair effect like sitting in a childs swing very safe feeling.
Formed to my horse and changed form as I got weight on him.
I felt like I was rideing bareback with more safety.
Did not leave saddle sores on my horses back.
GREAT for teaching a new rider or rusty rider balance.
Getting on it was like a adventure in seeing how fast I could get up there with out slipping the saddle under the horse. They say there is a special way to get on them. Great for a short horse or tall rider I am neither.
D rings kept slipping and crunching the leather on the fenders. I found they had either placed them wrong or they had slipped around.
Saddle has a seriouse case of ugly. It is red and teal blue. Try finding tack that matches.
The fenders feel funny and can rub your legs
You MUST have balance to keep it from slideing.
Girth sits farther back so must be placed farther up the withers of the horse or you may end up seeing how far you can fly as your horse crow hops around the ring. Believe me I can fly about 10 feet in the air.
If you want extensive feedback on the Hilason and, smaller part, Maya saddles, go to the yahoo treeless saddle group. There you have to post with your name and detail your experiences. Lots of great feedback and critical analysis.
FWIW, I ride in a Freeform. Never would risk going the cheapie saddle route but understandable when budget constraints rule. But, while there are a person or two on the yahoo group satisfied with their Hilason saddles, there are many more that are critical of the quality and value for their money.
Hi my name is april and I have one of each. The difference in the hilason is that the pommel drops straight down where your leg hits on the inside of your thigh. The bob marshall and the circle Y both are concave at that point so that your leg fits into that groove and doesn't feel like you have a hard bar pressing against your inner thigh. Than the fact that we can NOT get the Hilason so conture to the horse is frustrating as all get out and my husband has tied the saddle in place several times. The bob marshall saddle is actually contured under the pommel a little, unlike the Hilason that is flat when it comes out of the box and remains basically the same. Also the keepers on the Hilason are right on the edge of the pommel right where your leg goes, so my husband had to remove them.
I decided to have one custom made for me and measured the exact space I wanted between the pommel and cantle which never came out just right with the keepers placed on the skirt vs the side of the pommel and extra D's on it with all black leather. And believe me I talked and talked to these people on just how picky I was as I realized you can get a treeless saddle crooked if they didnt have the same measurements on both sides between the pommel and cantle the same. I couldnt handle riding my custom saddle because my legs hurt against the straight pommel. A friend of mine who has smaller legs bought it off me.
My husbands saddle makes do but we do plan on getting another bob marshal saddle. Those small differences are probably why hilason is not being put out of business. They are not the same saddles where it counts the most and if you have any more questions you may contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope this helps. Fork up the $ and buy a bob marshall but I would still be careful to make sure the measurements between the pommel and cantle on both sides are the same distances. And remember they do run smaller than a western by about a size. Good luck,
I currently own three different Bob Marshall treeless saddles. LOFF them. Great quality, great fit, great ride. I've done mounted search and rescue on my BM's -- I'm not switching.
You buy cheap -- you get cheap. It's the same with cars, furniture or saddles. So don't expect a lot from a cheap saddle. Damn, if that weren't the case, I'd have bought a brand new truck and offered old-used truck dollars. Think about it!!!!!!
If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....
-"silver" is actually very sharp-edged stainless steel
-Pommel digs into your thigh unless you sit far back
-Stirrup flaps curl up and refuse to stay down...the whole saddle digs into your inner thighs. I tried storing it curled down in a bungee cord, it was STILL flat as a board.
-Cantle is really upright
-Skirts are very large/long. This saddle did not fit my standard-size stock horse. It dug into his kidney and restricted his hip. The only horse it actually fit was my Clydesdale. And she was too high-withered for it (it gaped along her topline)
-Leather is cheap, stiff and doesn't do well with a lot of use (wear)
-Tough to store, as it won't sit on a saddle rack
-Wasn't cheap...I could have bought a nice used saddle for around the same price.
-My trainer hated it...she is extremely thin, and the thigh digging REALLY got to her and negatively impacted her position. I have monster thighs and could sort of keep the curling up to a minimum.
-When new, it looked good from far away
-I liked the sueded seat
-comfortable on my rear...if the thigh-digging action hadn't been there
I will not purchase another item from Hilason. The quality is extremely low, the prices too high for what you get, and the customer service is appalling. Just try returning something, you'll see.
Hillason Saddles is owned by the Rooh family (Rooh International) who import a wide variety of leather and fabric goods, including rugs, from India and the Mid-East. They are listed on nearly every free business website.
Hilason is located in Sugarland Tx (1 888-HILASON) and has a website.
The quality of thier products varies greatly as they are manufactured in a variety of tiny shops in India by people who have no background in the equine industry. Because the goods are made with no supervision and shipped before they can be inspected by the Rooh Int. whatever arrives in the US is what the customer gets stuck with and of course there is no repair or warranty service available.
The Rooh people, including Mohd Fahad, are notorious for evading outraged customers as well as posting glowing accounts of Hillason saddles under assumed names across the internet. These false posts are easily spotted as neither the Roohs or Fahad are adept at writing in the english language, strange word choice and wierd syntax is a dead give away esepcialy when they are hiding behind an anglo 'nome de plume' such as 'Jim Murry'. No doubt Mohd will see this post as he searches the web for 'Hilason' on a daily basis looking for oppertunities to insert another covert endorsement.
If a user is satisfied with a Hillason product they should concider themselves extremely fortunate as this is a very rare occurance.
Last edited by kenno; Sep. 30, 2008 at 01:45 PM.
Reason: additional info
I recently purchased a Hilason tree less barrel saddle in 1/09 I do agree that it is a very comfortable saddle, but that is about all. Its rigging is horrible the little tiny rings they have on these saddles makes it very difficult to cinch up. It is also very hard to get tight it never feels tight. It does not fit all horses like it claims out of the 6 horses I own it will only fit on two of them. My horses are not thin or under weight either. Just small built and the saddle will not stay in place on one of them. This saddle is definitely not for barrel racing. It is put together so poorly that when going in to turns you can feel this saddle coming apart under you. I am too afraid to use it any more; I feel that if I continue to use this saddle for barrel racing one of the stirrups will come off when I set in to my next turn. Don’t buy one it’s too dangerous and it is definitely not a quality built saddle. I am now afraid to buy a Bob Marshall because it is double the money and I fear I might be in the same situation .
I have a Circle Y Bob Marshall and love it. I too looked at the Hilasons, but decided not to risk it. On another forum this has come up several times and the results are the same. Most were disappointed with the Hilasons. I have also heard a few other people say that the first one shipped was actually decent, but when returned for other reasons (usually fit--treeless run NOTORIOUSLY small) the replacement saddles were awful.
I have only seen one Hilason--at a flea market. It was nowhere near as nice as my Bob Marshall.
I had posted on my daughter's experience with Hillason, the saddle came here, it was terrible . . . I also bought a Maya saddle last year, I wanted a second Bob Marshall & thought I could not afford it . . . the Maya went back the same day too, not as bad as the Hillason, at least the leather was soft but the workmanship was terrible . . . if you compare Hillason and Maya to bob Marshall in the leather and overall quality, there just is no comparison . . . I was totally honest with the Maya people & I did not expect a bob Marshall BUT that Maya saddle had stitching already coming loose, the whole saddle was going to fall apart . . .
I ordered my Bob Marshall barrel racer in 2007, the year I turned 50, I also ordered a Skito pad with the heavy weight rider foam inserts and EZ ride stirrups . . . the total was almost $1700 but when I think back to all the saddles I have gone through, even custom fit, the BMSS will pay for itself 10 times over. After the Maya I found a used BMSS hornless trail saddle and a used Skito pad, only saved about $200 under new but they were worth it . . . my credit cards hurt a little after both . . . LOL
The saddle I have is of Hilason Treeless and its fanstastic. I guess its more got to with taste of the rider and not the saddle. My Tennesse walker loves its. His muscles are free and moves more swifly than before. The quality of the leather was also wonderful.Workmanship, just like any saddle in the market. I know this becuase, I have been riding horses since many of present days riders were not even born. And their prices are way less than bm. I cant speak for others, but would certainly recommened the Hilason Treeless Saddle to my daughter, whome I dearly love. They have just added a new model of Treeless Saddles. You might want to check them out. http://hilason.com/