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treeless saddles?

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  • treeless saddles?

    I have a welsh cob and am having a hard time finding something available that fits him so I was considering a treeless. Does anyone have experience with them?

  • #2
    I have an Ortho-flex. It is a great saddle because I ride a lot of horses and back a lot of youngsters and it fits everything. I would not want one for a permanent saddle for my own horse. The reason is that the saddle really follows the horse's back and there is a lot more movement in the saddle which is very stressful for the rider's back over the long term.

    For a wide pony, I would look at the Duett Encore. When it was time for one of the last babies that I backed to get his own saddle, he got one of these and I was very happy with it.

    http://www.duettsaddles.com/
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm on my second Ansur Classic. Between my first Ansur and my second Ansur, I used a Duett (another possibility you might consider) because I needed a more supportive dressage saddle that would educate me about a dressage seat (turned to dressage after years of riding hunt seat). However, chronic back problems (degenerative disc disease) have made it impossible for me to ride in a treed saddle anymore, so I'm back to the Ansur which is exceptionally comfortable for me. When I went back to the Ansur, I noticed a huge difference in my horse. Not that he was obviously unhappy in the Duett--it fit him well and worked fine...but he is moving more freely, he will stretch his nose all the way to the ground, etc., just more comfortable.

      Also, personally, I have always felt much more secure in the Ansur than in any other saddle. I know that is not the case for all people, but it is very true for me. For some reason, spooks are much easier to ride, and I can influence my horse much easier in the Ansur.

      I don't know if they work for every horse, but I will always try to ride in the Ansur with any horse I have if there's any way possible.
      "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        saddles

        The Duett saddles look so bulky to me but I've only seen photos. I am very petite and hoping for something pretty close contact. I am a hunter person switching to dressage and used to the close contact feeling. Also a saddler suggested for his body type the closer the contact the better. What are Duett's like to sit in?

        Comment


        • #5
          I would say the Duett is a great deal less bulky than the Wintec Isabell I had. I know some people like the monoflap saddles to eliminate bulk. If you're used to a really close contact saddle, you'd probably be very comfortable in the Ansur.
          "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jillya View Post
            The Duett saddles look so bulky to me but I've only seen photos. I am very petite and hoping for something pretty close contact. I am a hunter person switching to dressage and used to the close contact feeling. Also a saddler suggested for his body type the closer the contact the better. What are Duett's like to sit in?
            I am 4' 11" so I guess you would say I am petite as well. Duett has a few dressage models, and I liked the Encore, because it was the least deep. I know what you mean, some dressage saddles have so much padding and lift you so high off the horse you feel like you are riding a camel. (I had a Prestige, for example, which makes me feel stuffed in.) I really liked the Encore and would buy one myself.
            "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

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            • #7
              I have ridden in the Ansur classic and own a Carleton for my high withered TB. Which has also fit (and fit well) a Dutch warmblood, a TB/WB cross, and others have borrowed it at the barn for Andalusians, and a Connemara.
              www.specialhorses.org
              a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a very round mare for whom I decided to try treeless as I thought changing shape may be an issue in the future. In my searches I found two brands that looked promising, Freeform and Barefoot. I decided on Barefoot since there was a brand new one for sale with a skito for "used" price. I LOVE the barefoot, it's very comfortable, like riding on a nice couch.
                Phyxius Photos.com - Equine Photographer in Maryland

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                • #9
                  Demo ride in some if you can. Your horse will tell you what works best. I am not too impressed with the Ansurs because they tend to put a rider more into a chair seat, but perhaps it depends on the rider's built too. The Fhoenix is a better quality design for a more affordable price, but also this saddle does not work for every horse or rider.

                  Check out the treeless group for more info: http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group.../messages/6701

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BornToRide View Post
                    I am not too impressed with the Ansurs because they tend to put a rider more into a chair seat, but perhaps it depends on the rider's built too.
                    It very much depends on the rider's build. Actually, any saddle can put one in a chair seat--it's different for every rider/saddle combination. My Ansur is one of the few saddles that does not put me in a chair seat and allows me to get almost perfect heel-hip-shoulder alignment. My position is much better in the Ansur than other treed dressage saddles I've ridden in (Duett, Isabell, Albion, Collegiate, Passier).
                    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with seabreeze big time.

                      I'm on my first Ansur, having moved from a Duett and my trainer's OrthoFlex.

                      I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                      I really cannot see how anyone can get a chair seat from using one, so I'm kinda confused there. I don't think I could push my legs forward if I wanted to, really.

                      My posture has improved 100% in the few months I've had this saddle. I feel my horse more and she can feel me, too. I love the close contact feeling. She's a Lipizzan, and I've never had a problem with sliding or anything like that.

                      My feet are in wonderful alignment with my shoulders. I can ride any of her spooky shinanegans *better* in the Ansur than I can in a treed saddle. It's given me a lot more confidence in my seat and my ability to handle any situation. Love it.

                      I like my Duett and won't sell it, but it does not fit *me*. Threw me forward. I really liked my trainer's OrthoFlex, but I felt like I was fighting gravity trying to get my seatbones under me.

                      In the Ansur my seatbones are already in the right place, I just have to keep them there with my abs.

                      Eileen
                      Mad Mare™ Studio
                      Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
                      http://MadMare.com

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                      • #12
                        I am one of those who really does not like the Ansurs (draft cross would not lift through the withers - even though he hardly had any - and canter), but really like my Fhoenix. I have a Paint and nothing really fits him except for the Fhoenix, which is quite comfy and secure and made of the loveliest leather. However, I also have a Trak gelding and I don't like the Fhoenix on him - he's very thoroughbred-y in build and because he's so darn uphill, the Fhoenix tends to sit me right on the cantle on him. I use an Isabell on him. The Fhoenix, I feel, is more secure than the Ansur - better to sit a big mover, or big spooks.
                        "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                        So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

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                        • #13
                          I have had both an Ansur Classic and a Carlton but sold both after getting a Fhoenix. The Fhoenix is way beyond Ansur in rider support and I have not had to use any shims or pads. The fit is uber comfortable for my horse too! I ride all my babies in it also...it is very secure.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have a Heather Moffett SBS and it has not only changed my horse's musculature but given me a riding lesson every time I sit in it! For more info about treeless check out the yahoo treeless forum. Tons of info, data, pics, experience...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have a Friesian mare who is impossible to fit in a treed dressage saddle. I have ridden her in my Ansur Chic for a while now, and we both couldn't be happier with it!!! I very much recommend the Ansur.

                              I've had two, a Classic and now the Chic. The were both VERY different. The Classic was a little big for me, had no extra supporting blocks and was slippery! My Chic has the deluxe support system (can't live without!) and the suede seat and knee rolls for just enough stick.

                              I use a 1" thick neoprene pad cut to contour to the saddle and a "U" shape notched out of the front to give room for wither clearance. This setup has worked out wonderfully for us.
                              http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                              http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have a Freeform that I really like. I use it on a Trakehner and a TB and it works fine with both horses.

                                I'm nearly 6' tall and stirrup bar position is really important to me, otherwise I end up in a chair seat. I really like the fact that you can change the placement of the stirrups with the Freeform. In addition, the seats are modular so you can change them out depending on the size of the rider. I originally bought mine because my daughter wanted to ride a pony that took an extra wide tree and I didn't want a buy a saddle just for that purpose. I've had it several years and it's holding up well.

                                I also have a Torsion EL which I like but it does not have a traditional look to it. I had a Barefoot Cheyenne a few years ago but it didn't put me in the right position (chair seat).

                                The Freeforms are relatively inexpensive compared to the Ansur/Phoenix, etc. I bought mine used for about $700. I find that it's quite stable on my horses and I feel secure in it. Unlike many of the treeless options the construction gives the feel of a twist so is easier on the hips when riding a wide horse.
                                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  treeless saddles?

                                  I have two Duetts — the Encore dressage and a Foxhunter jumping/AP. I really love both and find them only to be slightly wide through the twist (I am not petite but my friend who is and stands 5'1" has tried both without issue)... but they are also build to fit wide horses unlike many brands. I've also tried the Largo, the Rondo, and the Allegro. I would have bought the Allegro but Nancy did not have the tree width I needed for the model in stock. I'd recommend contacting Nancy at Duett to arrange trials so you can see if you like them — if don't, you are only out shipping. But better than buying saddles to try and then having to resell.

                                  I also bought a Barefoot Cheyenne and like it — paired it with a all wool Torison pad with wool inserts and that seems to work too. I bought mine privately but I believe that you could find a Barefoot dealer to let you take one out on trial. I have not personally tried one but you may like their London model.

                                  For my western saddle, I went with a wade tree.

                                  Good luck.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Look at the Sensation saddles, they're very comfortable and have a good reputation of fitting a variety of horses.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have tried Ansur, Barefoot London, Star Trekk Dressage, Trekker Dressage, SBS Flexion, and Fhoenix.

                                      The Fhoenix was by far the best. The Star Trekk and Trekker were both much more traditional looking, but the Trekker's stirrup bar position was wrong for me, and the seat was too small (even in an 18!). I ADORED the Star Trekk, but had to sell it when my Mum came up with lung cancer. Time out of work and 'commuting' to Beantown on my days off... something had to go, it's what I had that was saleable.

                                      Ansur was horrible the first time. I think that one was too big. Even though it was a "small." On one horse I *adored* it, but every fourth or fifth stride felt like I got 'left behind' or was riding saddleseat. On my other horse, I could barely walk in the darn thing. In the saddle's defense, I couldn't ride him bareback at the time either. A couple years later, and after a full winter of schooling him mostly bareback, a friend brought up her Petite, and it felt great. I *might* go back, but my teacher is HUGELY opposed. I agree with his reasons why... not to do with horse issues but rider issues. So I don't go there.

                                      The Flexion, then the Fhoenix were amazing. We advanced further in 2 years than we had in the previous five. But then we both started having issues. I was in fairly dramatic pain daily. Horse lost his canter. He'd gained more than 200lbs or so, mostly in topline as we were working in 2nd/ gaining on 3rd. He simply became wider than my hips could deal with. Would I recommend it? In a HEARTBEAT. Do I wish I could've kept it for *other* horses and still been able to afford something for HIM? Absolutely. Alas, like vehicles, I have to sell the current to invest in a new one. Actually, my saddles have generally cost equal to or slightly more than my vehicles.

                                      I'm interested in trying a Freeform. I suspect my teacher would still object. He wasn't fond of my Fhoenix. Though in the beginning before HE rode in it, had nary a comment about MY equitation. However... Claims I've improved dramatically since I found an Ancient Passier that fits both of us and causes neither of us fuss. He (teacher) is very old school, Old World (literally, not from the US,) strongly opinionated, and brilliant. There are some things I go home and do a little different than he does... and others that are not a hill worth dying on.

                                      I am struggling at the moment to find something for the stallion's kids. They somehow manage to be WIDER than he is, but still diferently shaped enough that the Ancient Passier doesn't quite work. I've no idea where I'll end up.

                                      I don't have a saddler, other than long distance. Fit is up to me, and I'm fairly educated. You are responsible for 110 +/- horses throughout the seasons for almost 4 years, you lear a LOT about fit. So treeliess fills a void of restuffing and fitting different seasons/changes in development, as well as the 'impossible' to fit. Cu$tom is the other way to go--but not an option for me. If I even had that kind of $$$$, I could not justify spending it on a saddle. I use horses with children of families in the Homeless Shelter System. Justifying as much as I do seems simply absurd at times. But I know a horse cannot perform if they are not comfortable. I cannot sell horses if they do not peform. If I do not sell, I'm out of buisiness--and out of volunteering for the special students. So I do my best and plug along and always secretly hope for the MIRACLE that is the affordable saddle that fits AND helps the rider.
                                      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Hey PintoPiaffe,

                                        What did you think about the SBS?
                                        s


                                        Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
                                        I have tried Ansur, Barefoot London, Star Trekk Dressage, Trekker Dressage, SBS Flexion, and Fhoenix.

                                        The Fhoenix was by far the best. The Star Trekk and Trekker were both much more traditional looking, but the Trekker's stirrup bar position was wrong for me, and the seat was too small (even in an 18!). I ADORED the Star Trekk, but had to sell it when my Mum came up with lung cancer. Time out of work and 'commuting' to Beantown on my days off... something had to go, it's what I had that was saleable.

                                        Ansur was horrible the first time. I think that one was too big. Even though it was a "small." On one horse I *adored* it, but every fourth or fifth stride felt like I got 'left behind' or was riding saddleseat. On my other horse, I could barely walk in the darn thing. In the saddle's defense, I couldn't ride him bareback at the time either. A couple years later, and after a full winter of schooling him mostly bareback, a friend brought up her Petite, and it felt great. I *might* go back, but my teacher is HUGELY opposed. I agree with his reasons why... not to do with horse issues but rider issues. So I don't go there.

                                        The Flexion, then the Fhoenix were amazing. We advanced further in 2 years than we had in the previous five. But then we both started having issues. I was in fairly dramatic pain daily. Horse lost his canter. He'd gained more than 200lbs or so, mostly in topline as we were working in 2nd/ gaining on 3rd. He simply became wider than my hips could deal with. Would I recommend it? In a HEARTBEAT. Do I wish I could've kept it for *other* horses and still been able to afford something for HIM? Absolutely. Alas, like vehicles, I have to sell the current to invest in a new one. Actually, my saddles have generally cost equal to or slightly more than my vehicles.

                                        I'm interested in trying a Freeform. I suspect my teacher would still object. He wasn't fond of my Fhoenix. Though in the beginning before HE rode in it, had nary a comment about MY equitation. However... Claims I've improved dramatically since I found an Ancient Passier that fits both of us and causes neither of us fuss. He (teacher) is very old school, Old World (literally, not from the US,) strongly opinionated, and brilliant. There are some things I go home and do a little different than he does... and others that are not a hill worth dying on.

                                        I am struggling at the moment to find something for the stallion's kids. They somehow manage to be WIDER than he is, but still diferently shaped enough that the Ancient Passier doesn't quite work. I've no idea where I'll end up.

                                        I don't have a saddler, other than long distance. Fit is up to me, and I'm fairly educated. You are responsible for 110 +/- horses throughout the seasons for almost 4 years, you lear a LOT about fit. So treeliess fills a void of restuffing and fitting different seasons/changes in development, as well as the 'impossible' to fit. Cu$tom is the other way to go--but not an option for me. If I even had that kind of $$$$, I could not justify spending it on a saddle. I use horses with children of families in the Homeless Shelter System. Justifying as much as I do seems simply absurd at times. But I know a horse cannot perform if they are not comfortable. I cannot sell horses if they do not peform. If I do not sell, I'm out of buisiness--and out of volunteering for the special students. So I do my best and plug along and always secretly hope for the MIRACLE that is the affordable saddle that fits AND helps the rider.

                                        Comment

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