• 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

What is the most comfortable trail saddle on the planet?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What is the most comfortable trail saddle on the planet?

    Interested in trail riding some & don't want to use my dressage saddle. I think that horses need to be in different tack at times so as to change the pressure points on their backs. I want a saddle that's soft like a pillow for both horse & me. Western or english, doesn't matter. Just total, lush, feather soft comfort !
    Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!

  • #2
    The one that fits the horse's back and your butt the best.

    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    • Original Poster

      Well I have several of those but want a saddle that is padded like a sofa so I can sit in total comfort as I plug down the roads.
      Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!


      • #4
        A Lady Godiva sheepskin saddle cover is not a sofa but close! I use that over my passier dressage saddle and am very happy.

        More about them:



        • #5
          My mom just bought a Syd Hill synthetic aussie saddle. It's very soft and cushy like a sofa! It's too small for me, but she says for her it's heaven.


          It's also super light.


          • #6
            Tucker or Bob Marshall treeless
            Windwalker Ridge: Gaited horses, lessons, training, sales


            • #7
              By far the softest and cushiest are treeless. My flavor of choice is the Freeform Classic though I've heard the Sensation's are quite cushy as well.

              I had to ride in a treed dressage saddle recently after a year in my Freeform. It was like I was sitting on a board! My FF had completely spoiled me. I have an extra one and two ladies at my barn have given them a try. They declare it the most comfortable saddle ever. Of course they ride in these rock hard tiny hunt seat saddles.
              Last edited by pandorasboxx; Jun. 20, 2008, 02:53 AM.


              • #8
                I've owned 4 different brands of treeless saddles and tired a couple more. I have to say that my Sensation English Trail (treeless by Nickers Saddlery, Canada) is truly the most comfortable saddle I've ever been in. http://www.ridetreeless.com/ You just sink into the saddle. I've just ordered a new seat for mine with a more traditional look. Here is some better photos of the current models. http://www.foresthorse.com/index.php...iewDoc&docId=9

                I'm getting the G4 seat to go on my saddle for a more traditional look. the cool thing about buying these saddle is you can order a completely custome saddle with combinations of different pommels, cantles, leather, short/longer flaps, etc. Made in British Columbia, CA. Demo saddles available to actually ride and try before buying.

                Oh, here are more photos and more brands of treeless from a vendor that is local to the NE and Mid-Atlantic area. http://www.gotreeless.com/Gotreeless.com/home.html. Jeanne is good to deal with.




                • #9
                  Treeless. Once you switch to treeless you just can NOT believe how hard and unforgiving a tree is on your butt.


                  • #10
                    The OP is describing a Western trail saddle or maybe an Iberian "sela."

                    No English saddle is going to give you that level of comfort and support.

                    Be VERY wary of the so-called "treeless" saddles. I've yet to see one that would effectively distribute weight. Ultimately it will sore the horse's back if you do any real riding.

                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                    • #11
                      After riding trail in my dressage saddles for years and years (I also had a Circle Y Park and Trail to ride in, but preferred my dressage saddles), I launched a search for a trail saddle for my new TWH, wanting the same thing you want -- comfort for me and good fit for my horse. I tried all sorts of western saddles, aussies, etc. (sorry -- no treeless. I'm just too crooked for treeless), but I fell in love with Tucker saddles, and decided on the plantation model. Very comfy, gel seat, familiar feel, no horn -- optional western or english rigging. I love it more with every ride.
                      "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                      <>< I.I.


                      • #12
                        Broken record!!!!!!! More endurance miles done in BMSS saddles in the US than any other brand of saddle, by heavyweight riders too.



                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Guilherme View Post

                          Be VERY wary of the so-called "treeless" saddles. I've yet to see one that would effectively distribute weight. Ultimately it will sore the horse's back if you do any real riding.

                          This is why endurance riders have been riding thousands of miles in them for a couple of decades now, right? A lot of endurance riders have switched to treeless because they, and their horses are more comfortable.

                          A Freeform treeless won the Tevis Cup in '07 - Jeremy Reynolds. April Battles rides exclusively in treeless. Surely people like Mr. Reynolds, and Ms. Battles, both with around 5,000 competition miles have a clue about long distance riding and sore backs. I see a lot of treeless saddles at endurance rides. One of my mentors has been riding distance since I was born and all she rides in are treeless saddles. She has a Sensation and a Barefoot.

                          Part of the vet exam at every hold is a check of the back for soreness. Wouldn't you think if all these treeless saddles were laming up backs that endurance riders would get a clue and quit using them? My mare has gotten all As on her back health at every vet check. Sure, we're only doing 25s at this time, but I guarantee even 25 miles in a bad saddle is enough to sore a horse.

                          It seems that people who bad mouth treeless either don't know anything about them, or they try to use them without the proper weight distribiting pads. The pads and the saddles are a SYSTEM. You don't use one without the other unless the saddle has built in panels to distribute weight, and some of them do.

                          According to my riding log, I've ridden approximately 500 miles in my treeless saddle - that's just on one horse. I don't log miles on the other horse but it's probably around a 100. My horse hasn't shown a minute's worth of back soreness. http://www.hphoofcare.com/PADRONA3.jpg To the contrary, she is much more forward and willing than she was last year.

                          There's nothing wrong with treed saddles at all, but there's nothing wrong with treeless either. Both types have to fit the horse and the purpose to be successfully.


                          • #14
                            I have experience in the world of cycling and it is a couple opinion that 'cushy' seats (also called saddles) are in the end less comfortable that a harder seat where you are riding on your sit bones, rather than the soft tissue. Does this have any bearing on equine saddle comfort?


                            • #15
                              I tried a treeless (BF Cheyenne and the Grandeur pad). I HATED it. Too puffy, too fluffy, too much cush between me and them...I feel much closer and more stable in my Tucker or my hard seat Rocking R. I rode two laps and said nay. JMO. I DID try, and I did send it back


                              • #16
                                Everyone has their own preferences. I was okay in a treed, hard seat while riding shorter distances but after doing 40 miles last year in a treed saddle, I was in so much pain I knew there had to be a better solution. Probably a narrower twist treed saddle would have worked too but I switched to treeless and once I got the slipping issue worked out (with the right pad ) I've been very happy. I love the treeless because you can feel every muscle move in their back along their spine. I can feel what the horse is going to do so much quicker now. It feels like all the fuzz has been taken out of the telephone line. Mounting from the ground is impossible, but that was almost impossible for me anyway, even in a treed saddle.

                                I've heard that people who don't like the Barefoot style saddles usually like the Bob Marshall styles instead. There is no puff or fluff - just a hard layer of leather to sit on. I didn't like that feel. So you might like the BM saddles better. There are lots of different styles in treeless - just like in treed. I would definitely try other styles if you still can't find a treed saddle to fit your walker.


                                • #17
                                  IMO, a treeless with a good pad like an Equipedic is the softest and most comfortable for just regular trail rides. It is like sitting in a comfy, cushy chair. But for longer rides, like endurance rides, I feel I am more sore with a treeless than I would be with my treed DeSoto, I think mostly because my legs are held wider apart and there is less "structure".


                                  • #18
                                    The most comfy saddle I ever had was a Bob Marshall treeless. After a few months of rough mountain trils my horse begain the get white spots right where my seat bones were, so I had to go back to treed. right now I have a deep seated old style western saddle with a Supracore pad and a wool pad. I like this set up, but for many it would be way too much 'stuff'.



                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                      Treeless. Once you switch to treeless you just can NOT believe how hard and unforgiving a tree is on your butt.
                                      Being an engineer and teaching engineering I understand loads and psi. Nothing speaks performance like a good solid foundation and treeless doesn't have either.
                                      I also don't like reefing a cincle and I ride with it quite loose so the horse is comfortable and can breath.
                                      Girls try doing your bra's up a couple of knotches tighter and see how you like it.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                        According to my riding log, I've ridden approximately 500 miles in my treeless saddle - that's just on one horse. .

                                        Try 30,000 and then get back to me. And that is only one horse.