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[Treeless saddle] Pressure points from two-pointing

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  • [Treeless saddle] Pressure points from two-pointing

    My gelding has a hard-to-fit back with laid-back shoulders, forward girth grove, and well-sprung ribcage so most saddles slide forward and lay on the shoulders. Crupper is not an option for me (I just plain hate them with a passion ).

    I have Barefoot Cheyenne (no VPS) and I've tried it a couple of times. My boy moves so much better with it and the saddle seems to keep in place better. The only problem is that we train in trot most of the time and I'm usually two-pointing which creates clear pressurepoints (dry spots) under the stirrups although I have a grandeur pad and a thick standard english pad.

    Have you had similar problems? How did you solve it?

    I've been thinking about getting a BF hevy-duty pad (for heavy riders) or a haf pad or other similar firm pad with foam/rubber inserts and hope it'll clear out the problem...
    -- A green endurance rider with a barefoot arabian gelding (born 2005)
    -- In training since 2011

  • #2
    I had a similar problem which I fixed through a suggestion from someone on here. Is your grandeur pad one that has inserts? If so, I would go to home depot and get a sheet of lexan and cut two pieces to match the inserts in the pad. Then insert the lexan pieces in the pad with the inserts (I put mine in so that the pad part is the part next to the horse's back and the lexan is "closer" to me so that if there were any sharp edges it wouldn't touch the horse). The lexan does a great deal for weight distribution and is a really inexpensive solution
    The other thing I did with my second horse and treeless saddle was to add a supracor endurance pad under the grandeur pad. This also has worked well for me.
    With either method (supracor or lexan inserts) I now have completely even sweat patterns.
    "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
    So you might as well have a good time"


    • #3
      I'm a heavier rider and am always concerned about whether or not I'm getting good weight distribution and clearance under my treeless saddle. I added some poron foam inserts inside my Skito pad on top of my foam inserts. I made my own from foam I purchased here: http://store.acor.com/products/PORON...ne-Sheets.html
      "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."


      • #4
        I use the lexan inserts too - got them from Chris Martin when I got my saddle. I am also a heavier rider, so I thought that was crucial for treeless to work for me.

        My mare had a nice long visit from the horsey massage lady yesterday, and she didn't even see reason for a return visit, so I guess things must be working okay. We've also gotten the all clear from two equine chiropractors (the most recent of which is a treeless saddle user as well) and my vet. My horse is the most important reviewer of our treeless experience, but those extra opinions are a good bonus.


        • Original Poster

          Thank you so much! I'm definitely gonna try lexan. Maybe both because the foam could be useful on padding the sharp edges.

          I really have to sort this out, because I'm useless with posting so it's gonna be two-point for us indefinitely I'm afraid.
          -- A green endurance rider with a barefoot arabian gelding (born 2005)
          -- In training since 2011


          • #6
            I rode in a Bob Marshall (western rider) for years. I was a novice rider when I started and by the time I became a more confident rider (really moved out), I started to notice white hairs on top of the middle of his back. Pressure point from posting. I also started noticing some issues when I saddle and girthed him. Moved to a treed saddle that fits him and we haven't had any issues (or white hairs) since. No longer a fan of treeless saddles.
            If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....


            • #7
              If you are truly serious in riding endurance, I would think the least you could do is learn to post. Switching diagonals when posting is equally important. I know several endurance riders who rarely 2 pt. simply because you can't do that for 50-100miles over and over and not risk causing pressure points...
              Last edited by Kyzteke; Nov. 2, 2012, 12:29 AM. Reason: spelling


              • #8
                Originally posted by CanterQueen View Post
                I rode in a Bob Marshall (western rider) for years. I was a novice rider when I started and by the time I became a more confident rider (really moved out), I started to notice white hairs on top of the middle of his back. Pressure point from posting. I also started noticing some issues when I saddle and girthed him. Moved to a treed saddle that fits him and we haven't had any issues (or white hairs) since. No longer a fan of treeless saddles.
                Good advice, this.

                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                • #9
                  Thank you G!
                  If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....


                  • #10
                    I would think the least you could do is learn to post. Switching diagonals when posting is equally important.
                    um, yeah. You shouldn't really two-point at the trot at all, only in the canter. It's important for you and the horse to switch position and gait frequently to avoid fatigue. Posting is really a very basic thing to learn.
                    If you don't even know how to post, I wonder if you're even actually two-pointing properly? I bet you're just standing in the stirrups, thus causing the pressure points. If you're standing in the stirrups all of your weight is, obviously, in your feet/stirrups. If you're in a proper two-point position your weight is distributed down your thighs and knees and calves, and not just in your feet- you should be able to do a two-point without stirrups at all if you're doing it properly.


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by wendy View Post
                      um, yeah. You shouldn't really two-point at the trot at all, only in the canter. Posting is really a very basic thing to learn.
                      If you don't even know how to post, I wonder if you're even actually two-pointing properly?
                      Thank you for your concern. As I said I'm hopeless in posting, but that is because I have been working on my two-point for a year now. A professional endurance riding trainer has been helping me so I dare to say that I have put a decent effort in it. If you have actually tried to stay on two-point only by standing up on stirrups in a really fast trot, you would know that it is very uncomfortable if impossible for both you and your horse. I agree that the bulk of the weight shoud be on your thighs and calves. Stirrups also should be much longer than in jumping etc. because it's very tiresome for the rider to two-point for a long time with such a short stirrups. Your pelvis should also move with the horses back or otherwise your bum will bumb the cantle on everystep causing uncomfort for your horse and bruises on your bum. On the other hand, if you prefer to ride the trot posting, then you better be very good at it, since unbalanced and shaky posting also causes fatigue.

                      Anyways, back to my original question. I'm trying to find a well fitting treed saddle now for my horse and to keep it in place with a crupper, because I think whether you are two-pointing or posting, it will eventually cause pressure points unless you have a good solid tree to spread the weight efficiently enough. Thank you CanterQueen for your helpfull experience.
                      -- A green endurance rider with a barefoot arabian gelding (born 2005)
                      -- In training since 2011


                      • #12
                        If you're looking for a tree'd saddle I'd suggest you stay with the Names (Stubben, Passier, Crosby, etc.). These companies have been around for a long time indicating that they produce a quality product that has a long-term customer base. You'll pay more for these Names, but you'll get more as well.

                        My wife and I both ride Stubbens (I've got a Scout and she's got a Siegfried VSD/DL; we had Stubben put 10 d-rings on the Siegfried for trail riding ). Shop around and you can find good ones, used, at fair prices.

                        Going cheap on a saddle, or buying the vendor/fad-of-the-month, does not do any favors for any horse's back. Find a saddle and pad combination that fits and meets the needs of your discipline. Your horse's back will thank you!!!

                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                        • #13
                          I think if you feel you'll be 2-pointing (correctly even) you may want an endurance saddle that will spread out the pressure more than the typical English or dressage style. I love my Arabian Saddle Company Solstice, but I think if I was 2-pointing I'd get pressure points after 50 miles!

                          People really like the Specialized saddles, they have a larger base with adjustable shims. They were not comfortable for me, but YMMV. I had a saddle fitter come out and I tired many types, it was very helpful.

                          On the 2-pointing, I do it rarely, but I did it more when I was just learning my horse a couple years ago. His trot seemed SO fast and big, I thought I'd never be able to post it. As we rode together the last few years I've figured it out, as he also has a more rateable trot now. We just did our second endurance ride successfully, so you'll get there in time. Good luck!
                          "Do your best, and leave the rest, twill all come right, some day or night" -Black Beauty



                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks for the tips irish_horse! And I'm definitely gonna read your entire blog and learn from it.

                            Now I'm really confused about 2-pointing, because most of our endurance riding trainers actually go on and on about, how people should be doing more 2-pointing and how it gives horse's back more freedom and thus reduces fatigue. I dunno nothing, since we haven't really even started yet properly and I don't have any experience so I don't really get an opinion just yet.

                            Well, I suppose I will figure out posting-issue as well eventually and then we'll go with which ever the horse prefers...
                            -- A green endurance rider with a barefoot arabian gelding (born 2005)
                            -- In training since 2011


                            • #15
                              Regarding 2-point: There are a lot of variables here affecting the extent to whether that might be a real advantage. On the one end of the extreme are all day every day distance riders who's horses do a 6mph shuffle trot while the rider basically, yeah, stands up in the stirrups. And then they go and do that for 15,000miles. No joke. So it works for them. You can look up the Hall of Fame horses and read about the choices their riders made. On the other end are people who, while post the trot, make no other special effort to lighten their seats at the canter, up and down hills, ever. Often to no apprarent ill effect.

                              My personal feeling is that there is usually a benefit to lightening the seat. If it's not possible to do that b/c of the chair seat of the saddle messes up the balance, or the saddle ridden in that position creates other weird pressure points, don't do it, but maybe also move on to another saddle. I don't do a lot of 2-point on the trail, but do use a half-seat or soft seat (think Brianne Goutal. Here's an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL6IAhtA03k). I think the advantage of this has less to do with weight distribution and everything to do with concussion. Let your legs work as shock absorbers and you benefit both your back and your horse's. It can be very subtle. You are just allowing the muscles and joints of your leg to mitigate the concussion.

                              I think giving the crupper a try even though you "hate them with a passion" is a great move. I totally understand. Good luck!
                              An auto-save saved my post.

                              I might be a cylon


                              • #16
                                Unfortunately, two-point position and treeless saddles are generally not a good combination because the weight of the rider in the stirrups will cause pressure points.

                                In most treeless saddle designs, the stirrups are very simply attached with webbing across the top of the saddle and there isn't enough structure in the saddle to spread the pressure out over a larger area. I know that Nickers' Sensation Saddle offers a "hard use" variation on their stirrup attachment system that is supposed to help with this but I haven't seen it up close and personal so am not sure how it works.

                                Yes, you can make it better using serious inserts and a good pad, but unless you are a very light weight rider I can't see that combination working for you as an endurance solution over the long term.

                                The Barefoot Cheyenne is one of the least "structured" of the treeless saddles so it will be prone to causing pressure points from stirrup pressure.

                                Certainly a lot of endurance riders use treeless saddles successfully but my impression is that many of them ride "light" in the stirrups and so their riding style is more in tune with the saddle's capabilities.

                                I have both treed and treeless saddles. Over the years I've tried the Cheyenne (it put me in a chair seat and I felt it did not offer enough structure), Torsion, Heather Moffett and Freeform. I've always used appropriate padding with them.

                                The only one I still have is the Freeform. Ironically, the Pheonix, which was the most expensive and which I thought would be the most comfortable (it has a gullet), made my horse's back quite sore.
                                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                • #17
                                  I have an Sensation Jump Saddle that I foxhunt in. It has the "Hard Use" leather set up. There is a buckle off the bottom of the flap (mind you, Sensations are "monoflaps") that the leather attaches to and then runs up to the stirrup bar. So, when you're weighting your stirrups, the entire saddle is taking up some of the force, not just the stirrup bars.

                                  Sensation also has an "Endurance" set up where the stirrups only attach to the flaps, ommitting the stirrup bars altogether.

                                  I've ridden in a few different treeless Saddles, and the only one that worked for us was the Sensation Jump. We have a treed saddle for dressage, as I just cannot get enough support for that kind of work from a treeless saddle.

                                  But, for long hours in the saddle (much of it galloping in 2 point) foxhunting, the Sensation can't be beat.

                                  Treed jumping saddle after treed jumping saddle put white hairs on her back, pressure from the girth buckles under my leg put white hairs on her sides.......

                                  Been using the Sensation for two years now and not a single white hair anywhere. Love it.