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Treeless convert here. Wow, you've got to try it!

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  • Treeless convert here. Wow, you've got to try it!

    A friend of mine from the BB let me borrow her Barefoot London for a couple of days to try out. I really loved the saddle, but I admit I ended up in serious pain for days after the two rides. Ibuprofen was going down the gullet 4 at a time, and my back was seized from the neck to the hips. The only thing different was using that saddle to ride in for two days. So I was really worried this wasn't for me.

    On a whim I bought a super cheap synthetic treeless, then I ordered the Bandos treeless. The cheapo synthetic arrived almost a week ago and I've been riding in it. It is a knockoff Cheyenne. (Can't wait for the Bandos to get here!!) Well, I'm a convert!

    Even in this cheapo piece of crap saddle, I feel like I could ride all day. I took the seat off and just put a fleece tush cushion on it because the saddle is so cheap and crappy that the seat wrinkles up and isn't comfortable. But - this one is just for a backup, or for the days we go in the river, so I'm not worried.

    Anyway - I have never felt so comfortable in my life. I think the dressage styling of the London forced my hips and legs back and caused a lot of muscle strain. My back and hips are really wonked up as it is so I can't exactly blame the saddle.

    If you've never tried treeless, you have to! It's so warm and soft, and even at the trot, I can freely slide my hand up under the front of the saddle with no resistance. The saddle is very stable - does not slip - but nothing about it is tight or pinching on the horse at all. (I stuffed the pommel with foam though instead of the fiberglass that was in there.)

    Yesterday I let my horse gallop and it's so cool to feel the muscles on either side of the spine flexing and moving. Definitely don't get the same closeness or connection with a tree between you. I love bareback, and this has that beat by a mile too. With bareback you don't have the security or the cushion the treeless gives. It literally feels like sitting on a marshmallow. You don't realize how hard a tree really is on your butt (and you know on the horse too).

    The feeling of this saddle is so unique, I'm definitely a convert. This style feels very different than a Bob Marshall style. I liked the BM too, but this is much nicer. Can't wait for the Bandos to get here! Did I mention that already?? The only regret is that I didn't do it years ago.

  • #2
    What kind is it? PM me if you don't want to post it here... I'm in the market for a cheapo treeless for my impossible to fit QH...
    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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    • #3
      It is true...they are so much nicer. It amazes me how many people who've never even sat in a treeless saddle will badmouth them. I love the feel you get from them and the comfort for both me and my horse.

      If I can spring the money, I think we are going to buy a Barefoot saddle. Not decided on which one yet but something for a second saddle and all my old Wintecs will go up for sale. I never ride in them any more so why keep them?

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      • #4
        Stop it A2, I'm broke enough, no more enticements- pleeezze
        MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
        http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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        • #5
          Well that's great. I finally ordered myself a treeless saddle too. But I really wanted something that would work, and the feel of my sister's saddle, a glorified bareback pad, wasn' t going to cut it. So I went for broke and ordered a Trekker treeless saddle that was on clearance cause they're making a new model. Yeah, it was a bit more than I wanted to spend, and I'm totally broke, but I figure it will be worth it. It's supposed to have some sort of panels, so it has stability and you don't need a super expensive pad. And it only weighs like 7 and 1/2 lbs. I figure my tubby pony will be grateful for that. I just won't tell her it cost more than she did. I can't wait for it to come in. Maybe I'll be convert too.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Wow, good luck with the Trekker. Sounds like fun!

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            • #7
              I'm a treeless convert, too. I've had a Freeform for about a year and both my horses seem to like it as much as I do.

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              • #8
                I love my treeless saddle! I have the barefoot cheyenne. I didn't have any problems with pain in my legs and rode all the time in it till i rode in a saddle with a narrow twist and went back to it then i got a bit sore, but i think if I rode in it more consistant it would be okay, and I have done up to 20 miles in it (couldnt do the ride we were trianing for for other reasons.) i have gone swimming in it several times
                http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m...05ADF26B50.jpg

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                  On a whim I bought a super cheap synthetic treeless, then I ordered the Bandos treeless. The cheapo synthetic arrived almost a week ago and I've been riding in it. It is a knockoff Cheyenne. (Can't wait for the Bandos to get here!!) Well, I'm a convert!

                  Even in this cheapo piece of crap saddle, I feel like I could ride all day. I took the seat off and just put a fleece tush cushion on it because the saddle is so cheap and crappy that the seat wrinkles up and isn't comfortable. But - this one is just for a backup, or for the days we go in the river, so I'm not worried.
                  OK -- I'm intriqued. Please put me on the list of PMs to tell me the brand name of the cheap piece of crap! Also the modifications you made to it.

                  I'm not that familiar with treeless saddles, but I understand you have to use some sort of special pad underneath them?

                  What kind of pad? Do they come with the saddle? And exactly what did you do to change the CPC (cheap piece of crap...)? I mean, did you have to tear out the stitching to up foam in the pommel? And where did you get the tush cushion (brand)?

                  Sounds like you pretty much re-made the saddle<G>!

                  But I have a broad-backed Arab and her daughter, the Arab/WB cross who are going to be my endurance horses and they are giving me fits in the saddle dept. now that I'm riding longer miles. My Wintec Isabell, which I had such high hopes for, made a BIG white-hair mark on one side just behind the withers even when I tried two different gullet sizes. And it sits VERY downhill on her.

                  Any other suggestions would be much appreciated.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post

                    But I have a broad-backed Arab and her daughter, the Arab/WB cross who are going to be my endurance horses and they are giving me fits in the saddle dept. now that I'm riding longer miles. My Wintec Isabell, which I had such high hopes for, made a BIG white-hair mark on one side just behind the withers even when I tried two different gullet sizes. And it sits VERY downhill on her.
                    Based on how its going for me right now, I probably won't ever go back to a treed saddle. I wish I'd tried this years ago. It would have saved me a lot of headache.

                    I love it because when you're onboard, I can slide my hand right up under the saddle and it's not at all tight, pinching, squeezing, or crushing. You just slip your hand right in. You can't do that on a treed saddle.

                    I'm sure this isn't for everyone, but I'm sure glad it's working on for my girls so far.

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                    • #11
                      I just got a call yesterday from a friend who'd gone enthusiastically treeless about six months ago, saying that her mare was out of commission due to intense back soreness under where friend's seatbones go.

                      It's tough. They had such saddle-fitting hell for years, and the treeless seemed to be working so well at first.

                      Her husband's horse, though, who suffered from severe kissing spines is still doing really well with the treeless (and hubby is one of those assless/pointy butt guys). Go figure.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Wow, that is weird. You're right though - you just don't know until you've done it for a while. Same with a treed saddle I suppose.

                        One thing I have going for me is that I don't sit much. I post and 2-point most of the time, and switch it up with some sitting. The reviews I've read that weren't so good was from people who sat most of the time and the horse got sore under the rider's seat bones. Or heavy riders without the proper saddle pad, riding for too long, etc. I've heard that posting and 2 pointing greatly aleviates that, obviously. But you're definitely right, it's something to watch out for, unfortuantely.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post

                          I'm not that familiar with treeless saddles, but I understand you have to use some sort of special pad underneath them?
                          What kind of pad? Do they come with the saddle? And exactly what did you do to change the CPC (cheap piece of crap...)? But I have a broad-backed Arab and her daughter, the Arab/WB cross who are going to be my endurance horses and they are giving me fits in the saddle dept. now that I'm riding longer miles. My Wintec Isabell, which I had such high hopes for, made a BIG white-hair mark on one side just behind the withers even when I tried two different gullet sizes. And it sits VERY downhill on her.
                          Special (very expensive) pads are recommended for treeless saddles- Skito, Equipdedic, Supracor are 3 popular ones. I have an Equipedic- i hesitated to spend the $200 on it, but I love it. I use the same one for all my saddles / horses.

                          This is not treeless, but for broad backed horses, I would recommend the Thorowgood Broadback line. They are very cheap, really do fit WIDE horses and are really well balanced and comfy for the rider. I alternate btw. a Thorowgood and a treeless Barefoot Cheyenne for my Arab mare. I actually like the Thorowgood better.

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            I had a Thorowgood and the wide tree was not wide enough for my mares. I sold it for a loss because after riding in it a handfull of times, it was obvious that they hated it. I've heard that they don't run as wide as they should for being "wide" saddles. Did you find that to be true?

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                            • #15
                              Well, there are regular Thorowgoods with different tree sizes, then there is the Thorowgood Broadback line. There are different tree sizes in this line but the whole saddle is made for broad horses. I always recommend them because they fit wide horses better than any saddle that I've seen and they are such a good value.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have two wide backed, foundation TWH's. Have spent a small fortune in saddles that just don't fit quite right. Did some research, took a deep breath and shelled out the cash for a Heather Moffit Fheonix Dressage. LOVE IT ... Can't say enough good about how it fits both my mare and gelding, and it is so incredibly comfortable for the rider. I use a Passier saddle pad with it and routinely go on four to six hour trail rides, in addition to our ring work.

                                I just purchased my husband a Bob Marshall trail. Not as comfortable as mine, but he needs the stability of a western style saddle and the horse he rides seems to like it.

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