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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2012
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    1,753

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    yes- I used a treeless saddle briefly- my horse was happier because the previous treed saddle was not fitting him.

    Personally I found the treeless saddle with practically no twist to be very uncomfortable for me. The saddle has to be comfortable for both horse and rider.

    It did inspire me to find a better fitting treed saddle which -hurray -fit us both

    The point being if your horse goes better in a treeless- it may just mean your other saddle did not fit.



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2004
    Location
    Sandgate, VT
    Posts
    942

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    Treeless can be a good solution, BUT you need to have a good fitter help you out. Too many people have the misconception that treeless saddles are a "one size fits all" solution, and that just ain't so. As Calamber pointed out, some will put pressure directly on the spinous process, and that's not good. I've seen horses whose backs were trashed by ill-fitting treeless saddles, same as I've seen backs trashed by ill-fitting treed saddles. If you want a treeless, I'd strongly recommend talking with Abby at www.saddlingsolutions.com.

    For the wide horses, hoop trees are often a good option; they offer more breadth across the pommel arch and "sit down" on the broad horses, rather than perching up on top. Black Country's Equinox or Celeste are both available on the hoop tree, and Lovatt and Ricketts has just come out with a monoflap trail saddle on their hoop tree. It's similar to the Equinox in fit and feel, but less expensive. You can find out more about it by contacting Nancy Okun at The Owl and the Rose Distance Tack at nancybokun@gmail.com.



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    3,571

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calamber View Post
    Treeless saddles put your weight directly, unless you pad it excessively, directly on the spine and are a waste of good money, unless you like paying your vet. It is the reason why there are trees, they lay on the muscle layers along the spine. Work on the ground, put the horse on a diet, but if you are interested in saving your horses' back, don't ride in a treeless. It's is a scam for susceptible people who do not understand anatomy very well.
    Wow insulting much?? I can assure you that I have a very good understanding of anatomy and that my horses' backs are much happier with a correctly padded treeless saddle.
    And please explain how riders like Karen Chaton made it to a the honored Decade Team riding in a Bob Marshall? Or how John Crandrell won Tevis in 2010 in a Freeform on Heraldic? Oh and the 2007, 2004, and 2009 Tevis winners were in a Freeform. And the 2009 AERC 100 Mile National Championship was in a Freeform and the 2011 was in a Sensation. But I guess all these people are clueless right and have no idea what they are doing?
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain


    4 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,029

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    I am poking my head back into the world of treeless saddles. I had three barefoots at one point, the Cheyenne, the London, and their western saddle (can't think of the name). On my large shouldered mare they simply did not work. Every single one of them got pushed back by her shoulders, even with use of a breast collar and no slip pad and girth. It was not a lot of fun for either of us. I also felt like I was sitting on a pillow and had no feel for her. I ended up going back to a treed saddle. However, now I am riding two very wide draft crosses and am trying to find a saddle that will fit them both without going custom. I have read really good things about the Sensation and am trying to do some research on the HM.
    Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
    The Blog



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,394

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    It depends a lot on the saddle, the pad and what kind of riding you do. I wouldn't say they are all bad just like all treed saddles are not good.

    Certainly, treeless saddles work very well for many endurance riders who are logging a lot of miles in them. So they can be very effective and it's worth looking to see what those riders are using. Some treeless saddles have more internal structure, some have gullets and some of the pads are very good.

    However, they are not a "one size fits all" deal and they are not all created equal. Many people don't know how to evaluate the fit of a treeless saddle and some horses just don't do well in them.

    I mostly ride in a treed saddle (I'm not sure how a treeless saddle could do a really good job of dissipating a rider's weight when landing from a jump) but I like the Freeform and use it when riding a horse that doesn't work with any of my saddles or when I'm hacking (more comfy than bareback). I do use a skito pad under it.

    I had the worst luck with the Heather Moffett Pheonix. That model has a gullet so you should not need to use a pad but it made my horse's back sore pretty quickly. I'm not a big fan of the early Ansur saddles because there was no spinal clearance (I think the newer models do have them). I wasn't a fan of the Barefoot because of the lack of twist and the set of the stirrup bars. I liked my Torsion on one horse, but not on the horse I have now.

    That said, I've seen so many people riding in treed saddles that don't fit! It drives me nuts to see horses with saddles with no clearance over their withers or where the saddle is perched on their backs like a party hat. The bottom line is you need to make an educated choice about the type of saddle that works for you and your horse.


    Quote Originally Posted by Calamber View Post
    Treeless saddles put your weight directly, unless you pad it excessively, directly on the spine and are a waste of good money, unless you like paying your vet. It is the reason why there are trees, they lay on the muscle layers along the spine. Work on the ground, put the horse on a diet, but if you are interested in saving your horses' back, don't ride in a treeless. It's is a scam for susceptible people who do not understand anatomy very well.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2007
    Location
    Rising Sun, MD
    Posts
    3,571

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogie View Post
    That said, I've seen so many people riding in treed saddles that don't fit! It drives me nuts to see horses with saddles with no clearance over their withers or where the saddle is perched on their backs like a party hat.
    That drives me crazy too. My treeless saddle is awesome but, by itself without the padding system, it would be awful for me and my horse.
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2014
    Posts
    1

    Default Barefoot Barrydale

    Does anyone have any experience and/or review of the Barefoot Barrydale? I have not been able to find one review on this saddle. It looks like a very comfortable saddle. I am looking to purchase a treeless saddle so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks



  8. #28
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2005
    Posts
    858

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    I rode in a BF London for 4 years, then switched to a Cheyenne. Before the London I rode in a Heather Moffett. Love them all, especially the Barefoots. Though fit for horse and rider is usually easier than a treed, making sure your saddle is stable can take more time-especially if you have a roly-poly horse!
    Take a little e-journey over to the yahoo treeless forum. You will find a few people there who deal in these saddles, and can talk you through what you need-even demo one if you want.

    For the person who said "treeless puts pressure directly on spine" or something like that, that is old news. The current saddles and pads thoroughly protect the spine.

    Going treeless is the best thing I ever did for my horse. His back is flat and muscled as can be at 23 years old, and the atrophy around his neck and shoulders from ill-fitting treed saddles of owners past has finally filled in-consequently, his gaits have changed, he has changed, and I we are both happy campers.



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    241

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    I don't do endurance rides, but the spokeswoman for the treeless saddle I use does do distance rides in competition.

    The EZ-Fit treeless saddle is remarkably stable, has a twist (though it is still wide on a wiiiide horse), and is made so that it never touches the spine or withers. Eli, the guy who makes them, uses a non-slip lining that works, I know because I got a foot caught during dismounting and I was literally hanging off one side of the saddle while my riding teacher got my foot out of the stirrup. The saddle did not move an inch (of course the horse was bracing himself, that helped too!) This saddle is also very adjustable for both horse and rider, and Eli makes a non-slip pad that can use foam inserts to fine tune the fit to the horse's back.

    If I was not so much into riding hunt seat I could well see switching to the EZ-Fit saddle for all my riding. This saddle is good for most horses, the ones it does not work for are knife-edged high TB type withers,



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