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ACTHA bans treeless saddles

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  • ACTHA bans treeless saddles

    I was just reading this on another forum

    Why in the world??

  • #2
    Due to tons of angry members, they are still allowing treeless saddles.

    Comment


    • #3
      What was their point for not allowing them?
      You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

      Comment


      • #4
        From this blog - http://www.actha.us/carriesbit/2011/...eless-saddles/


        Treeless Saddles

        Hi to all, I’m writing you today with my thoughts surrounding treeless saddles. We were adding a rule barring treeless saddles from ACTHA competition for this next season. However, we have decided to rescind this rule change. So, treeless saddles will be allowed at all ACTHA CTC’s. Many of you have written in asking why I would suggest such a rule, so here goes: First and foremost is safety — I have personally witnessed several “wrecks” involving treeless saddles. A treeless saddle seems to behave in the same manner as a bareback pad when mounting, in that it rolls on the horse’s back quite easily. The same is true when a rider becomes unbalanced; the treeless “saddle” becomes unstable quite easily. Furthermore, this type of equipment is not used in FEI, Rodeo, AQHA, Racing, Cutting, and/or Dressage. Please update me if someone in the Olympics or World Cup rides in a treeless saddle. The purpose of a tree in a saddle is to evenly distribute the weight of the rider. The spinal column of a horse is a far more delicate part of his anatomy, than the large muscles surrounding it. A treed saddle lifts the weight off the spine, and distributes it across the larger muscles. This makes sense to me. We must guard ourselves to clever marketing that makes something out to be what it is not. A Saddle to me means something that has a tree. Also, let’s talk about girthing. For a horse to breathe properly and effectively during performance, it is far better to not have him cinched too tightly. In order to have a treeless saddle stay in place, it must be cinched down very tightly. I personally use elastic girths, for the comfort and performance of my horse. Now, let’s talk about saddle fit. Sure, some horses are hard to fit. But, I have noticed that the saddle manufactures have risen to the occasion by using flex trees and interchangeable gullets. Also, the pad manufacturers, like Cavallo, have produced several magnificent pads to help alleviate saddle fitting problems. All this being said, ride in a treeless saddle if you really want to! Our overall goal at ACTHA is to help support horses in need and provide a fun venue for contestants, giving horse and rider an enjoyable goal. But remember this, we at ACTHA are also just as concerned for the welfare and safety of you and your horse at all times and wish you the very best. Carry on, Carrie

        Comment


        • #5
          I like this statement best:

          Furthermore, this type of equipment is not used in FEI, Rodeo, AQHA, Racing, Cutting, and/or Dressage. Please update me if someone in the Olympics or World Cup rides in a treeless saddle.
          Next thing you know they'll be requiring double bridles and spurs, and you have to ride in a shadbelly.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow, who is this Carrie person?

            A quick search revealed this article on upper-level Dressage in a Treeless:
            http://www.equisearch.com/tack_appar...eeless_091003/
            "Professionals now using the Ansur [treeless saddle] include British dressage Olympians Christopher and Jane Bartle and FEI eventer Ann Bondi, and California dressage trainer J. Ashton Moore."



            I have also seen several Freestyle reiners compete BAREBACK, so basically ger argument doesn't hold water.

            I also know there are countless Endurance riders that use treeless, for 50 or 100 mile rides, not ACTHA's 5 or 6 miles...

            (I don't own or ride in a treeles, but if it works for you and your horse that's great.)

            Consider yourself enlightened miss Carrie!
            "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

            Comment


            • #7
              Many FEI-level endurance riders use treeless saddles... So treeless saddles are used in FEI, though maybe the writer meant to limit the disciplines to one not similar to her own, to make the tree vs treeless thing more silly.
              Aelfleah Farm, Scurry, Texas
              BLUE STAR Arabians and
              Arabian-influenced Sportponies
              www.aelfleahfarm.com

              Comment


              • #8
                treeless

                I wish i could find the research but don't have time to hunt for it tonight, probably from The Horse or AEEP. What I remember from it is that treeless saddle had the worst results for protecting a horse back of all saddles tested. They do not distribute your weight,put pressure on the spine (device tested pressure ) and resulted in long term damage to horses back. Don't flame me that's the research. Treeless saddles are a fad, poorly conceived and damaging to your horse. Look it up. Read research not ads! Save a horse ride a real saddle.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't know who Carrie is - I just ran a google search and her blog was the 3rd option. It was the only thing I saw that indicated a reason.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bells View Post
                    I don't know who Carrie is - I just ran a google search and her blog was the 3rd option. It was the only thing I saw that indicated a reason.
                    It looks likes she's the person - or one of the people - who created ACTHA and who still runs it.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Good Grief....what a silly argument Carrie gave.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Actually Enlightened Equitation (Heather Moffett) tested their saddles and other treeless saddles for pressure points using some special electronic pad. The treeless saddles did better than many treed saddles in distributing weight so that is a myth. It depends entirely on the individual fit and the saddle...pretty much like anything else.

                        I've been riding treeless on my hard to fit Spanish Mustangs for years now and have never had the saddle slide underneath or had any wreck related to the saddle.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                          Actually Enlightened Equitation (Heather Moffett) tested their saddles and other treeless saddles for pressure points using some special electronic pad. The treeless saddles did better than many treed saddles in distributing weight so that is a myth. It depends entirely on the individual fit and the saddle...pretty much like anything else.

                          I've been riding treeless on my hard to fit Spanish Mustangs for years now and have never had the saddle slide underneath or had any wreck related to the saddle.
                          I call "banana oil" on this one.

                          I've seen the results of several studies done with pressure sensitive pads demonstrating beyond to a moral certainty that "treeless" saddles create massive pressure points and serious impair the ability of a horse's back to function correctly. The best was done by Ray Miller in WI several years ago. I would want to see the 5Ws on any "study" that claims otherwise.

                          Carrie's decision was a good one and based upon sound judgement. She was dissuaded by threats of the mob.

                          G.
                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't know about the wrecks, but I always thought the lack of protection to the spine is why we had to use these special (expensive!) pads for treeless saddles.
                            Only dead fish go with the flow.

                            http://tommybluefoot.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              With many endurance riders doing 50's and 100's (including Tevis) successfully and winning in treeless saddles I'll take that as a positive endorsement for treeless saddles. Endurance is one of the only equestrian sports that I know of where the animals are subject to vet checks along the way. I ride in a treeless saddle and will continue to do so. My horse is far more comfortable in his treeless saddle than he's ever been in his treed saddle. My saddle is secure and stable on my horse and I feel even more secure in the my treeless saddle than I ever did in my treed saddles. They have come a long way in the last 10 years or so with the advances in technology and designs. Yes, the pad should be considered a part of the whole package but once you get it right for a particular horse/rider combo it works. Like any saddle quality is important, going with an E-Bay cheapie might be detrimental to either your or your horses' health. Treeless saddles may not be suitable for every horse/rider combo and just like a treed saddle proper fit is important. I think this Carrie person attempting to define what a "real" saddle is or isn't just shows how narrow minded she and her association is. Follow the money...she has Tucker Saddle as a sponsor. They had previously banned folks from riding in rope halters until she visited and filmed a program or something at the Parelli ranch and suddenly rope halters are ok...as long as someone is promoting them...hmmm....something stinks and I won't be joining.
                              "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                You can't say treeless saddles create massive pressure any more than you can say treed do.

                                There are so many different brands, different pads, different riders and different horse shapes that it depends on either end.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                  I call "banana oil" on this one.

                                  I've seen the results of several studies done with pressure sensitive pads demonstrating beyond to a moral certainty that "treeless" saddles create massive pressure points and serious impair the ability of a horse's back to function correctly. The best was done by Ray Miller in WI several years ago. I would want to see the 5Ws on any "study" that claims otherwise.

                                  Carrie's decision was a good one and based upon sound judgement. She was dissuaded by threats of the mob.

                                  G.
                                  Yeah, the threats she recieved was a lot of folks who ride treeless taking their money elsewhere I guess she didn't realize just how many members are riding successfully in treeless saddles with NO problems.
                                  "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Actually, I've never been interested in trying the treeless saddles, myself. Precisely because of lack of weight distribution and protection for the horse.

                                    But of course an improperly fitting treed saddle is a bad thing, too.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                      Actually, I've never been interested in trying the treeless saddles, myself. Precisely because of lack of weight distribution and protection for the horse.

                                      But of course an improperly fitting treed saddle is a bad thing, too.
                                      But that's the thing! A properly fitted, quality, treeless saddle DOES distribute the weight properly. But treeless or treed is a lot like the barefoot/shoes debate, it comes down to individuals doing what they think is best for them and their horses. Neither system is perfect and both can cause problems, as long as your saddle fits your horse and your horse agrees then all is well.
                                      "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Very interesting and informative. From reading all posts above it appears that this is a debate that has gone on for years. I think I'll side with Carrie and although other may use treeless saddles if there is any question about the use then I'll wait for more research before putting one on my horse. However, I do agree that the fit of the saddle is most important and that you just need to find the right saddle for you, treeless or not! Thanks for all the posts.

                                        Comment

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