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Fitting a Barefoot saddle

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  • Fitting a Barefoot saddle

    So after never being able to find a treed Western saddle to fit my horse, I went treeless. Kieran's ridden in a treeless before (five hour long trail rides) and done well. I found a pretty good deal on a Barefoot Arizona + fenders + Grandeur Physio pad + cinch on Ebay and though I'll admit the saddle's a size 1 and I should've gotten the size 2, I personally don't mind that the seat size is a bit small and I'm not sure how much it really affects me otherwise (any comments on that?). Anyway, I posted some pics of the saddle on my horse in another forum and most everyone seems to think it doesn't fit him but most of those folks don't actually ride in treeless saddles so I thought I'd come here.

    I think what they're concerned about is that in the pictures of it just sitting on his back with the pad on, it kind of looks popped up behind. I was chalking that up to the Physio pad just being kind of thick and the saddle itself being pretty light so without weight on it, it stands up a bit. Is this wrong?

    Anyway, I haven't ridden in it for a long time yet (just about twenty-thirty minutes) but it was warm enough last night he sweat and the sweat marks were even over his back and I didn't have any resistance while riding him.

    The picture in question: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...e/DSC01926.jpg

    I'm also going to get someone in real life's opinion, but I know you guys here have experience with treeless saddles so I figured I'd ask how you fit one (as compared to fitting a treed saddle).

    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

  • #2
    First, your horse is adorable!! What is he?

    I'm not an expert on Treeless, but it seems to look fine to me. As I was told by a person who sells treeless saddles, the more you ride in the saddle, it should conform and start to smush down over time.

    How did it feel when riding? Did you feel propped up in the back?

    Hopefully more experienced treeless posters will chime in.
    MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

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


    • #3
      Bring the barefoot to your lesson Thursday evening (if you dont mind having your lesson in it). I would love to see how he moves in it and how it fits you.


      • Original Poster


        He's a Percheron/Paint cross. And that's sort of what I was thinking, I figure it's just sort of still "set" for whatever horse it was ridden with before I got it and over time it'll kind of conform better to his back.


        Hah, I got caught! Hi. Yes, it's in my car and I'll bring it with. It's probably too small for my big butt but I personally don't mind how it feels, especially if I only end up using it for trails and team penning and not equitation classes. I've got some video on youtube I can post links too or something too.
        The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
        Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


        • #5
          There is a Yahoo! group where many of the members ride in Barefoot Saddles. Some are Barefoot dealers. The group is a great place to get and share wisdom regarding treeless saddles you can join here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/treelesssaddles/
          You horse is adorable! Here is what I do know about barfoot saddles. If the hard cantle is still in the saddle it can be removed and stuffed with pillow stuffing or wool which might make the seat feel a little bigger....
          "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."


          • #6
            I ride in the Barefoot Cheyenne. Your saddle looks like it fits fine.


            • #7
              It looks fine to me. I ride in a Cheyenne. My pad does the same thing until I sit in it Your horse is cute!


              • #8
                I also ride in a Barefoot saddle - yes, the padding will 'smoosh' once you get enough miles on it and it will feel better and better.

                You might want to invest in a well fitting breastplate - mine tends to slip around, but I also use the Barefoot pad with it, and it's all fluff!

                Mine really starts to feel good after about 45 min to an hour into my rides. I think it's still too new to hold it's squished-ness in between rides.


                • #9
                  If it was my saddle I might move it forward just a little bit, as it looks like the cantle is just slightly higher than the pommel in the pics.

                  If you find the seat is a little small for you, if it's the older style saddle you should be able to take out the cantle and stuff it with soft material, if you do happen to sit on the cantle then it won't cause any pressure points


                  • #10
                    i know nothing about your saddle , but was curious to see it, learn something about it........it is very nice looking......

                    but your HORSE..............................OMG, just a beautiful hunka horse.......i love draft crosses, and the flashy color is an extra bonus....you must be hard to lose in a crowd.....just gorgeous


                    • #11
                      Um, is it me, or is that horse's head bigger than the saddle?? Is it longer than the length of the stirrup? Longer than the length of his leg?? That has to be the most bizzarrely proportioned horse I've ever seen. Even his ears are as long as the seat of the saddle. I've never seen an animal like it. Wowser.
                      Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                        Um, is it me, or is that horse's head bigger than the saddle?? Is it longer than the length of the stirrup? Longer than the length of his leg?? That has to be the most bizzarrely proportioned horse I've ever seen. Even his ears are as long as the seat of the saddle. I've never seen an animal like it. Wowser.
                        I think it would have been nice if you would have also mentioned something pleasant to your comment....just so she doesn't think you meant it in a demeaning way
                        By the way....your saddle looks to be fine.I'd just be sure to check that the removable solid pommel fits correctly.I like to take that out and stuff with pool noodles.


                        • Original Poster

                          Don't worry, I wasn't offended. I mean, we call Kieran both a cow and tell him he has radar ears so...

                          That picture really isn't a terribly good one to judge the size of his head, though. I mean, he does have a big Perchy head but there, he's got it turned toward me and the rest of hi body is further away so it makes it seem even bigger.

                          He's really actually put together pretty well for a draft.

                          And for the record, we've ridden in the saddle several times since I made the original post (even in a local parade, hah!) with no issues. And I do have a breastplate I can use with it that I got specifically to use on trail rides since a lot of our trails are fairly hilly.
                          The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                          Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                          • #14
                            I think you'll love your saddle and I love your horse!


                            • Original Poster


                              Just a for-example picture from a better angle. He still has a big Perchy head, but you can see it does actually fit on his body.


                              And here are some of us in the Barefoot more recently (this would be the parade I mentioned):

                              (Yes, I know, no helmets. I trust him but really, it's a risk I shouldn't have taken and the whole time I was focusing on, "gee, if he tripped or spooked I'd be DOOMED.")
                              Last edited by analise; Jul. 21, 2010, 11:34 PM. Reason: ETA to add more topical pics ;)
                              The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                              Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                              • #16
                                Those last photos show hat a pretty horse he is.

                                I think just about any saddle will LOOK small on him since he is rather large. As long as it fits, and the two of you are comfortable I say go for IT!


                                • #17
                                  Looks good!!