• 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.

Announcement

Collapse

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

Thinking about treeless

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Thinking about treeless

    Thinking about Treeless saddles as my horse is just about impossible to fit. Shortbacked, big shoulder, and a little bit of a dip behind the withers as he is out of shape right now. I sold my old saddle last fall, which then he promptly injured himself and we are just now starting to ride in a borrowed saddle.
    Borrowed saddle fits OK, so I am waiting to make sure he stays sound before purchasing a saddle, but a saddle that fits better would be nice.
    A friend told me about the Sensation saddles. Any experience? They seem interesting, and a decent price.
    I am also willing to bet I am nowhere near a dealer in any treeless saddles. I am in the armpit of horsey VA- in other words, anything cool is far away...
    Horse is lower level dressage horse, trail, too. I am ridiculously out of shape and struggling with where to put my leg in this silly close contact with no knee blocks that I borrowed. Would love to be back in a nice dressage saddle!!! I also like to ride with a shorter stirrup, need a more forward flap.
    Help!

  • #2
    Just my opinion.

    I don't like treeless saddle. They aren't meant for dressage and to have seen, touched and tried some, i was far from impressed.
    You can't get a close feel of the horse as the sides are usually pretty thick. Never saw a rider in a good dressage position in those and even if it's supposed to be easy to fit any horses with, you still have to be carefull with all the pads and shims and position everything at the right place.
    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

    Originally posted by LauraKY
    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
    HORSING mobile training app

    Comment


    • #3
      Ansur has a new treeless dressage saddle. I have used the older Ansur Classic on two 17.2 hand warmbloods both of whom liked it, as I did. No problem with maintaining correct dressage position. And you can really feel your horse's movements with the saddle.

      Bottom line, find a saddle that works for your horse, whether it's treeless or with tree.
      "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a Fhoenix dressage mode and LOVE the saddle. It does not needs shims or pads...just uses a regular pad, and it has a nice gullet so no pressure on the spine. Looks much like a treed saddle but lacks the piece of wood between you and the horse's back. It fits my hard to fit horses well and they are comfortable and happy in it. The next best thing is that I am comfortable and happy in it also.

        I've been using treeless for 6 years now and have not hurt any horses with the treeless saddles. I've used this saddle on a number of horses now and they are happy in it. I've ridden in several other models also.

        I agree that whatever works for a horse is what you should go with. For some that is a tree and for some it is treeless. Everyone has their own preference.

        Where in VA are you? If you are close to me, I have an Ansur KK (jumping model), a Fhoenix (dressage) and a Barefoot Cheyenne (trail/endurance) models here and you are welcome to haul in and try them.

        Also most folks selling treeless saddles do have demo models that they send out to let folks try them.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
          Just my opinion.

          I don't like treeless saddle. They aren't meant for dressage and to have seen, touched and tried some, i was far from impressed.
          You can't get a close feel of the horse as the sides are usually pretty thick. Never saw a rider in a good dressage position in those and even if it's supposed to be easy to fit any horses with, you still have to be carefull with all the pads and shims and position everything at the right place.
          I completely disagree with this. I have the Ansur Carleton, and if anything, when I ride in a treed saddle, I am frustrated at how little I can feel the horse's back. I used to have to buy a new saddle every 2 years or so, as dressage changed my horse's body, and now I have a saddle that works fabulously for my OTTB, but I have also ridden a TB/WB cross, a Dutch WB, an Andalusian cross, and Andalusian/Perch cross...all in the treeless.I use no pads or shims except for a regular saddle pad.

          Because a treeless pad doesn't put you in a position, you are obligated to learn how to balance yourself. I don't think I could ever go back to a treed saddle.
          www.specialhorses.org
          a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

          Comment


          • #6
            I have a Sensation G4 Formal Dressage and I feel the horse much better than any treed saddle I've ever used. I also can sit the trot much better. It is less structured and secure than a treed saddle, so should only be used by riders who are well balanced....Pony moves much much better in it as well.

            Comment


            • #7
              Check out Heather Moffett's Vogue Mark II. It will absolutely put you in a correct dressage position.
              Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                I am definitely interested in the sensation saddles. Hobbs- what led you to choose the G4? What is the difference between that and the G3? I know I can get a demo, and my horse will probably let me know the difference, but I am worried I won't know how the thing is supposed to look and feel... I will call the rep and speak to them but not sure where to start when a demo arrives!!!
                I have no problem sitting his trot, although I do expect a treeless to take some getting used to.

                Thanks for all your input! Many things to consider. Again, Murphy is really hard to fit. Just looking at this as an option that I wouldn't have to sell....again... when he changes shape.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a FreeForm Elite Dressage and absolutely love it. It is designed especially for dressage. In fact, I know a lady who rode up to 4th level in one and never wants to go "treed" again because she finally found something that works for her hard to fit Morgan! I had considered other treeless saddles, and she steered me in the direction of this one.

                  I also disagree about not being able to get a close feel of the horse in a treeless saddle. I find that you get a very close feel and can actually feel the horse's muscles moving below you, which is a pretty phenomenal feeling.

                  My horse is difficult to fit, and the FreeForm fits her beautifully. The Elite Dressage model has a little bit of a cutback in the pommel, which is lovely because many people's concern about treeless is that they might put pressure on the wither.

                  I don't use any shims, just a HAF pad that's meant for treeless saddles.

                  Somebody who was riding my horse for me while I was on vacation for a couple of weeks had a brand new Schleese that she was thrilled to have bought, but ended up using my FreeForm most of the time. That said, another person in the barn tried it out and wasn't comfortable in it, so I'd suggest a trial first; most dealers offer one and will send the saddle to you, so it doesn't matter where you are.
                  Last edited by esdressage; Jul. 8, 2010, 01:29 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think treeless in interesting, but not enough evidence for me to know it is good for the horse.

                    We have evidence bareback is bad for the horse, and that even the archaic treed saddles of ancient times were easier on the spine than bareback, so I guess I would want to see necropsies done on horses ridden consistently in a treeless to see if the same spinal issues are found as were/are found in horses ridden consistently bareback.

                    I do think treeless saddles should be reserved for light weight riders.

                    I also have a big shouldered and very short backed horse, and had to go custom to accomodate his needs. (Frank Baines).
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I too have a Freeform Elite cut back model and love it. The gals at actionridertack.com were so helpful. My Arab was difficult to fit due to high withers, and a set back shoulder. There was a definite improvement in my horses movement which was reflected in better dressage scores. After a class a judge asked me what type of saddle I was using and when I told him it was treeless he looked impressed. I am not a treeless fanatic and know that for certain horse and rider combo's they may not be appropriate.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CHT View Post
                        I think treeless in interesting, but not enough evidence for me to know it is good for the horse.

                        We have evidence bareback is bad for the horse, and that even the archaic treed saddles of ancient times were easier on the spine than bareback, so I guess I would want to see necropsies done on horses ridden consistently in a treeless to see if the same spinal issues are found as were/are found in horses ridden consistently bareback.

                        I do think treeless saddles should be reserved for light weight riders.

                        I also have a big shouldered and very short backed horse, and had to go custom to accomodate his needs. (Frank Baines).
                        All I can say is it is obvious how much better and freer and my horse moves in a treeless as compared with a treed saddle. That is not to say every treed saddle - many would fit. They just wouldn't fit as well as his body changes. Buying a treeless and having it for years beats buying a new dressage saddle and angsting over fit every two years.
                        www.specialhorses.org
                        a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CHT View Post

                          We have evidence bareback is bad for the horse, and that even the archaic treed saddles of ancient times were easier on the spine than bareback,


                          Could you provide some sources for the evidence on bareback being bad, and also for information on studies done on archaic saddles?

                          My bareback and/or treeless days are for the most part over, but I'm still interested in this topic!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There are a number of dealers who offer demos. For more info you could join the yahoo treeless saddle forum. Tons of great discussion. Up to date discussion at that. The design of treeless saddles are changing so fast. Any assumptions based on past designs need to be refreshed with the current technology in mind.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Anyone have experience with these saddles causing back pain in the horse? That is one complaint I've heard regarding treeless - thought to be from focal rider pressure. The one that I've seen draped across the withers - any concerns with wither pressure (soreness, white hairs)?
                              MW

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Medicine Wheel (Ogilvie) View Post
                                Anyone have experience with these saddles causing back pain in the horse? That is one complaint I've heard regarding treeless - thought to be from focal rider pressure. The one that I've seen draped across the withers - any concerns with wither pressure (soreness, white hairs)?
                                MW
                                No, none of my treeless saddles have ever made a horse sore...but...treeless saddles come in many styles and types. Some are little more than shaped bareback pads and they do put pressure on withers and spine. The newer generation of saddles like the Fhoenix and other models are a lot more substantial than any bareback pad and have a clear gullet and wither's clearance.

                                Testing was done on the Fhoenix in particular and it did better for weight distribution and lack of pressure points than the treed saddles tested.

                                http://www.enlightenedequitation.com/faq.htm

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The person I know who rode 4th in her FreeForm has a saddle fitting company and has done computer assisted saddle scans using both treed and treeless saddles to compare how they put pressure on the horse's back while riding. If somebody is seriously interested, they could ask her about it. Her site is Dynamic Equine Saddle Fitting. It's pretty cool, because her scans show what's going on with the horse in motion while being ridden, so you know where there's more and less pressure as the horse and rider move together, not just the horse standing still.

                                  I know she's happy to talk about how treed and treeless saddles compared in her scans (she's told me several times to send dressage riders her way who are considering treeless because she has a lot of experience with it) and she also spends a lot of time helping people make sure their treed saddles fit well (she knows treeless isn't for everybody).

                                  Interesting stuff, but she didn't enter herself into this conversation, so please don't inundate her with questions, but maybe the OP would want to send her and email or call her. There aren't the treed vs. treeless scans right there on her site because it's about her saddle fitting business (not this tree-treeless question), but she could tell you about it. She is really knowledgeable.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Medicine Wheel (Ogilvie) View Post
                                    Anyone have experience with these saddles causing back pain in the horse? That is one complaint I've heard regarding treeless - thought to be from focal rider pressure. The one that I've seen draped across the withers - any concerns with wither pressure (soreness, white hairs)?
                                    MW
                                    I have never had any back pain issues with my horse since switching to a treeless. Finding a treed saddle that didn't cause pain or pinching was the problem! I am guessing soreness could happen if a proper pad isn't being used, if the rider is heavier or unbalanced, or stands in the stirrups for long periods of time (endurance riders).

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Could you provide some sources for the evidence on bareback being bad, and also for information on studies done on archaic saddles
                                      Sure: Levin et al., 2000. Study done by Levin, Jeffcott and Whitwell.

                                      Issues found with long term bareback riding: Overriding or impinging dorsal spinal processes, horizontal fissures through the epiphysis, and periarticular osteophytes.

                                      These issues pretty much went away with the "invention" of the very basic frame saddle.

                                      I sure hope references are not required for all posts.
                                      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I went on a saddle fitting nightmare from hell with my cob mare and after trying several treed/treeless saddles, i settled on the treeless Startrekk Icelandic (which looks like a dressage saddle, but has a flatter seat and a front point billet to keep the saddle in place). I tried the actual Startrekk Dressage model, but it slid into her ears and dumped me on her forehead.

                                        I never found a treed saddle that my mare would even move in, as in take 2 steps in, after she turned 5. I had a baretek bareback pad i used to trail ride her with, but since her movement is so huge, i couldnt do much more than a slow trot with that, even with the big knee rolls on it, i just felt like i was everywhere.

                                        Her canter was so wacko when we started cantering that i could not stay in my dressage saddle, so i tried a few western saddles on her. Same issue, she would not move in a treed saddle. I bought her a Bob Marshall treeless western saddle, viola, i had walk/trot and crazy canter that i could stay on. When working on canter, we'll stay in the bob marshall a while longer until i get it better balanced, then i'll swap back to my dressage saddle.

                                        I am not a "light" rider, i am 5'3 and 180lbs. I have no issues with my treeless saddles slipping. Even after coming back after having a baby and being out of shape without balance... Heck, even falling off my saddles dont slide... LOL

                                        I do put a thinline pad underneath, but i've done that with treed saddles and bareback pads too ever since thinline came out. Both my treeless saddles have lots of wither clearance, and since my dressage saddle has wool stuffed panels, it also has a gullet channel and can be custom stuffed. I've never had white hairs or back pain, and my princess and the pee mare would let me know if she wasnt happy, we wouldnt be leaving the mounting block.

                                        However, the Startrekk treeless saddles i would not recommend if you like a slightly forward leg, it will put your leg under you and has a slightly curved back flap/knee roll. Though unlike most treeless dressage saddles, it does have a twist. It also has "ribs" that make it feel a little stiffer like a treed saddle, or you can remove them. I've removed mine. I feel EVERYTHING. Whoever posted above about treeless dressage saddles not placing you in the correct position, not being able to feel the horse, or having very thick panels, hasnt tried the good ones on the market.

                                        I will agree that even the good ones will not work for every horse and rider. And yes, most of the dealers offer very good trial periods if you have them shipped to you to try. It might add to the cost of saddle shopping, but to help you try before you buy can save you thousands of dollars. I speak from experience...
                                        Your Horse's Home On The Road!
                                        www.KaydanFarmsEquineTransport.com

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X