• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Sensation Saddles and Solution Saddles (Dressage)

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Sensation Saddles and Solution Saddles (Dressage)

    So, it has been discussed between my equine entourage and myself that my horse might suit a treeless saddle better than a treed saddle.
    I have been looking around and have been suggested the "Sensation Formal Dressage Saddle (G4)" (http://www.nickerssaddlery.com/index...ormal-dressage).

    For just under 1300$ CAN it is entirely customizable, which appeals to me because I will be able to finally have saddle flaps that don't overwhelm my petite 5' figure. Additionally, since these saddles are made and sold in Canada (where I live) I won't have to deal with expensive shipping charges and currency conversion charges.

    Then again, I want what's best for my horse and won't let something as silly as shipping charges take away from his comfort.
    Which is why I began looking at "fancier"/"professionally endorsed" treeless saddles.

    Solution Saddles are made in the UK and have a fair more "traditional" look in regards to their dressage saddles when you compare them to the Sensation saddles.
    Their "Original Smart Dressage" saddle goes for around 4000$ CAN (£2500), and their "Smart Sport Dressage" saddles is aprox. 3600$ CAN (£2250). Of course there is shipping, duty and taxes to add onto those prices.

    I have the opportunity to try the Sensation saddle, but not the Solution saddles which is why I am looking for riders that have use/have tried either or both saddles to weigh in. Ansur saddles don't particularly appeal to me, but feel free to express yourself!
    (Other opinions are welcome, although I am NOT looking to start a treeless vs. treed debate)

    Thanks! : )

  • #2
    Tree-less saddles are definitely not for everyone, even when it fits your horse well, so I'd definitely try to ride in a demo saddle for at least a couple of weeks before committing to one (whether the Canadian or the UK version) - I suspect that liking the Sensation will not necessarily prepare you (or your horse) for the feel/ride of the Solution

    I do know some people who have had Sensations custom made for their horse & the horse has refused to have anything to do with the saddle (as in sudden violent opposition) - unfortunately, saddles were final sale as fit was not the issue ...

    (obviously I also know people that are very happy with their Sensations as well )


    • #3
      Whether or not a treeless saddle will work for your horse depends a lot on his conformation. I looked long and hard at the Sensation saddle and decided that it wouldn't work so well on my horse, who has pronounced withers. I believe it would work better with a rounder shape. It's difficult to find a treeless saddle that really fits a horse with prominent withers.

      I have had several treeless saddles over the years -- Barefoot, Torsion, Freeform, Heather Moffett. The only one I've kept is the Freeform. I find it's the most comfortable for both me and my horse. It also has a fairly traditional appearance.

      That said, I don't ride treeless all the time. In fact, I think my horse goes better in his Roosli than in any treeless (of all the ones I've had my horses disliked the Fhoenix the most).

      I currently have a TB but also rode my Trakehner treeless some of the time. He had a better shape for treeless.

      I would definitely ride in whichever treeless saddle you think you want to buy before making a commitment. Or buy used as you can generally resell and get your money out if it doesn't work for you.
      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


      • #4
        I have had my Sensation Formal Dressage saddle for 4 years and I absolutely love it. It is the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden in and everyone that has sat in it have said the same thing. My two horses have also loved it and one was extremely picky. My horses have been two different shapes (one medium withered, very wide shouldered, flat backed warmblood and one high withered, typically A-frame TB with atrophied muscles behind her shoulders) and neither have shown any sign of back trouble (and they are regularly checked by an excellent massage therapist). Once I am mounted, you cannot tell I am not riding in a "normal" treed saddle.

        Sensation saddles are prominent and endorsed in the endurance community, which is where they "originate". The owner and designer (who I spoke with when I ordered my saddle!) is very helpful and their customer service is excellent.
        Last edited by leheath; Jan. 10, 2013, 02:18 AM. Reason: Add info


        • Original Poster

          Alto and Bogie, thanks for your input : )
          I know that treeless saddles aren't for every horse due to their conformation, which is why I will try to ride in a demo saddle or borrow one for a week or two. I will also be getting my saddle-fitter out one last time to see if we can't find a treed saddle that would suit my horse (and my budget)

          leheath: thank you so much for posting! I was hoping that someone with their own personal experience with the Sensation would post!
          One of my biggest concerns with the treeless saddle is spinal clearance, can you give me some input on that? From the commercial pictures of the saddle, the spinal clearance seems to be rather narrow, how is it once on your horse?
          And what kind of saddle pad do you use with your Sensation?
          Many thanks!


          • #6
            I find the spinal clearance to be more than adequate and my current horse has quite a prominent spine (much better now, but she was underweight and undermuscled when I got her). My horse had significantly atrophied muscles behind her shoulders, so I am currently using a corrector, shimmed half pad under my dressage saddle. Once that is no longer needed, I will just use a regular saddle pad under it. Under my jumping saddle, I just use an Equipedic pad as I want a bit more shock absorption when we jump.


            • #7
              Like Bogie I have tried and ridden in many treeless saddles over the years. I disliked the Sensation the most because it appeared cheaply made. The Vogue was too squishy. I liked the Freeform the most both for comfort and traditional appearance. Once my horse more fully developed and I began sitting the trot more I needed a saddle that helped my position a bit more than a treeless saddle could. I now ride in a Custom saddle.


              • #8
                I have had my Sensation saddles for several years and I have found they have held up well and have never seemed cheaply made to me. I had the opposite problem with the Vogue - rock solid in our cold winters! Probably not a problem in Arizona!


                • #9
                  Years ago I had a Fhoenix that my ottb mare (not particularly boney, that one) loved, and I loved on her. We were not doing any strenuous work, but the work we did do she seemed quite comfortable...I could trust her to tell me when something was NQR - she was very, uhm, expressive.

                  Didn't have much luck with fhoenix much on other horses though- I had a downhill paint and it just slid on him. I tried it on a quarterpony and again, didn't like it on her either. My appy/arab mare was ticked off by it.

                  So at that point I tried a friend's Sensation, and voila- MUCH better. I really liked riding in that saddle. It was comfortable, felt stable once you were on it, the twist wasn't a killer, and it wasn't a brick in the winter. The only downside was the stability for mounting, if I recall. Additionally, I wanted my stirrups to be able to swing traditionally rather than be attached low, and I had a few problems with that too. But- this was years ago and maybe the structure has changed?

                  I also tried a Torsion - and omg you could not get me out of that thing fast enough. well, it pulled my legs apart so wide I actually needed help getting out of it. LOL

                  Last year one of the local tack stores had a freeform - so i sat in it out of curiosity. I didn't find it particularly comfortable, but I also wouldnt discount it. But on first sit, I could tell you that immediately I thought the Sensation was better.
                  My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


                  • #10
                    You can either the low attachment or the free swing (traditional) stirrup attachment on the current Sensation saddles. I ride in both mine with the stirrups in the normal, free swinging position. I also have no trouble mounting from the ground (on my previous horse...my current horse is 17.1hh so mounting from the ground just isn't going to happen!), but my horses both have withers.


                    • #11
                      leheath - how did your stirrups attach for the free swing option? If i remember correctly, on the sensation i was using, the stirrups were attached to a velcro patch that was secured under the seat - thus making it a bit difficult to use as a mount up. Has this changed?
                      My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


                      • #12
                        The e-bars that I attach my stirrup leathers to are attached to a velcro patch that passes under the seat of the saddle. I'm not quite sure what you mean about that making it difficult to use as a mount up? I have no problems mounting with the stirrups in this setup...


                        • #13
                          I'll admit, I don't remember exactly the set up, this was a few years back. But, i do remember the velcro piece not being sticky enough and if attempting to mount up, the pieces would pull apart. So I just used a mounting block, but couldn't go on trails with it for that reason.
                          My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


                          • #14
                            LOL, mine is so sticky it takes everything I've got to detach it! Definitely no problem mounting from the ground...if only I hadn't just purchased a 17.1hh horse that I will never be able to mount from the ground even if I wanted to (previous horse was only 16hh and I mounted from the ground on several occassions)!


                            • #15
                              good to know! I have been tossing around the idea of getting one for my standardbred gelding for trail riding...but at 16.1 hh, need something i can depend on for mounting. I may have to revisit these after all!
                              My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


                              • #16
                                Treeless can be a great option for some horses and riders. Just keep in mind that you need to have the treeless saddle fitted just as you would a treed saddle. My go-to for help with treeless is Abby at www.saddlingsolutions.com. She's an excellent fitter and could probably answer your questions. You can find out a bit more on treeless vs. treed at http://saddlefitter.blogspot.com/sea...less+vs.+treed.
                                Kitt Hazelton
                                Saddle Fitter


                                • #17
                                  While I agree that not all treeless saddles are suitable for very horse or every ride, I have not found that they require an expert saddle fitter (especially not on site as I have previously required for my trees saddles). I have never needed a saddle fitter to assist me with any of my treeless saddles, although I have consulted with the maker (Nickers Saddlery for my Sensation saddles) regarding appropriate saddle pads and/or saddle modifications for my particular uses. That said, the Saddling Solutions website looks full of useful information and a good resource. If you want more information specifically about the Sensations, the actually creator/designer is often available for consultation (and very helpful) by phone.


                                  • #18
                                    I went down the treeless path years ago & the best I've tried is the barefoot saddles
                                    Between my friend & I we have the Cheyenne, the Cherokee & the Arizona Nut (western). When I was competing I would use the Cheyenne all the time for schooling, lessons etc then would put a 'normal' dressage saddle on for comps.
                                    I also have a Fhoenix which is SO AWESOME but only when you're on an uphill horse. There are pads you can mess around with but I haven't bothered since I went back to the Cheyenne when I found a second hand one.
                                    Good luck!!
                                    Edited to add: the next on my list to try is the barefoot London & Lexington. They look more traditional than the others but I imagine they would ride the same as the others.
                                    Last edited by RillRill; Feb. 7, 2013, 03:00 AM. Reason: More info :)