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Anyone with Hilason Treeless Saddle Experience?

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  • Anyone with Hilason Treeless Saddle Experience?

    Okay. Is there anyone out there with this saddle (sells on eBay)? Or have you all heard anything about them. Visually they are close to a Bob Marshall. I purchased one early on that looks like the Torsion Saddle. I got it and didn't like it the pommel/cantle were very "unstable". But since then they have offered the other style. Curious to hear if anyone has ridden in one.

  • #2

    This topic was addressed in an earlier thread . . . not a lot of good things being said about Hilason saddles.
    If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....


    • #3
      i rode in one a few years ago, exercising an endurance horse for the owner. i loved it. it was the most comfortable saddle i have ever ridden in. BUT you have to have balance to use on. if you put too much weight in one stirrup you'll roll the saddle. if anyone has one cheap i'd love to buy it. i normally ride in a 16-16.5 inch english saddle. not sure what size that would be in the Sport saddle.


      • #4
        Aren't the Hilason saddles relatively new? I don't remember seeing them before a year or so ago. Coleen, are you sure you tried out a Hilason and not a Bob Marshall sports saddle?

        A friend of mine bought a Hilason last year and didn't like the quality or the fit at all. She already had a Bob Marshall Sports saddle that she loved and thought the Hilason would be just like it, but for less money. Wrong. She sent it back.
        Horse'in around in Upstate NY


        • #5
          they used to be called just plain SPORT SADDLES. no Bob Marshall. i am guessing he bought the company. when i hear Bob Marshall i think of the western treeless saddles. the Hilason ones are the ones i rode in. black leather with a cantle and a hand hold for a pommel. whatever they are called now, i rode in one. maybe the make is different than they used to be, but the endurance riders around here( margaret( maggie) Price) owned the farm i rode on and she had a bunch of them.

          here is a link, the TOP photo is the saddle i speak of.



          • #6
            Yep thats the BM sports saddle. The Hilason is close but wanted to know how close. I have ridden in Bob Marshalls (BM) and like them but cant afford the cost and time it takes to order.


            • #7
              i bought a hilason and it was HORRIBLE!!!!! When I got it, the saddle was in the box completely flat and I could never get it to bend to anything near the shape of the horse's back. The leather was cheap; the billets cracked the first time that I tried to girth it up. I tried to contact the company several times, but they would not respond at all.
              \"can\'t shake the devil\'s hand and say you\'re only kidding\" TheyMightBeGiants


              • #8
                Bob Marshall invented the Sport Saddle. It is made in a variety of styles including western barrel, pleasure, etc., and the endurance model shown above.

                For a few years the BM patent rights were sold to Circle Y so the saddle could be produced also under their name, hence the "Circle Y Bob Marshall Sport Saddle." I read somewhere that was done when the original company could not keep up with production for the demand. I don't know if that's true. My understanding is the the deal ran out a year or so ago, and was not renewed, so the Sport Saddle is again only available from the Bob Marshall company. I have one of the Circle Y BMs, and despite reading that some people think the BM Original is a better saddle, I did not see that in comparing them.

                The Hilason appears to be a BM copy of lower quality, which I'm surprised has not had patent complaints...or maybe not at the cost of pursuing an infringement.


                • #9
                  I actually tried one. Well, three, altogether.

                  My experience:

                  I got the lower pommel "endurance" model. I was told the seat ran true to size, so I got a 15". That arrived, and was gorgeous. VERY good quality leather for the price. Billets were nylon... stirrup leathers were nylon lined. Really, actually BETTER leather than I expected.

                  Alas, seat size was small. TOO small.

                  Very agreeably, I was told to return it. Which I did, and replacement arrived promptly and was INCREDIBLY crooked. Leather was nowhere near the quality either. The pommel was offset by about 3 inches, and the cantle by at least 1.5. Hm. I thought. People have Mondays, people have bad days.

                  Returned it again--communication simple via email, hassle free... however this time waited a LONG time for the replacement. Right around Christmas, I'm fine with that... communication rarer and rarer. Finally I tried to put in a complaint with Paypal--by now the transaction was too old. Was contacted by email and by phone, "sorry for the mixup, your replacement is on the way!"

                  IT arrived...and while not AS crooked as replacement #1... it was still crooked. Pommel offset by about 2" this time, and cantle still by about 1.5.

                  Honestly, had the first one been the right size, I would have nothing but praise for the product. I'm pretty astounded at the difference between the first and the second two. I suspect people who are happy with the saddles got a good one.

                  So far, saddle #3 been returned, but paypal hasn't been credited yet. We'll see how that goes. I've no reason to believe that will be a problem... yet. By the end of the week I'll know for sure.

                  I'm quite dissapointed as I really wanted an inexpensive western type saddle for very, very occasional use. The first one was GREAT. If I could just get the bigger size with that quality, I'd be VERY happy. Alas.... <sigh>
                  InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                  Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pintopiaffe
                    I actually tried one. Well, three, altogether.
                    Just to clarify, as I'm seriously considering a new Bob Marshall, you are talking about the Hilason, right? I've not read any negative comments on the BM and want to be sure.
                    Odi profanum vulgus et aceo


                    • #11
                      yep... I was replying to the original post, re: Hilason.

                      The only negative I've ever heard re: BM's is that the pommel can sometimes not be quite wide enough for the widest/flattest types.
                      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                      • #12
                        Just a post script to my experiences...

                        I rec'd two voice mails from the company wishing to 'discuss' my return of the 2nd saddle. I'll credit them with trying to contact me! I had emailed three times asking for a refund.

                        Finally, I emailed with a copy of the original pay-pal invoice/payment, a plea for a refund as I work nights and was not available for phone calls during Mountain Standard Time, and a... statement... that I WOULD pursue this with the BBB if it was not resolved.

                        *Poof* payment refunded the next day.

                        I am really dissapointed, as said above, the first saddle was LOVELY and if it had been the right size, I think I'd be very happy with my experience.

                        The first return went well.

                        The second and third saddles were horribly crooked.

                        The 'refund' was more of a hassle than the returns, but eventually worked.

                        And that's my first hand experience. FWIW.
                        InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                        Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                        • #13
                          I think people are not leaving the right feedback and a lot of people are deprived of the right information. Of all the messages I see only one person has tried the Hilason Treeless Saddles and that two in early 2005. Their saddle has changed significantly and I can testify for Hilason saddles as my entire training school is using it (Over 46 horses). I had 6 Bob Marshall's and bought about 17 of Hilason for a better and more comfortable ride. Their products have features that I have not found in three other treeless saddles. I will deny and oppose any negative of their new saddles and I think people can buy thier saddles with confidence. Please contact me if you need more information.
                          Happy Riding!!!


                          • #14
                            worst saddle I have ever seen

                            you get what you pay for & my daughter paid for poor quality junk using my ebay account!

                            She wanted Bob Marshall but could not afford it so tried the Hillison treeless sold by leathergem on ebay & I was going to buy one too after I checked hers out . . . they run even smaller than they say they do, the cantle was on crooked, the whole saddle was twisted, the fenders were like cheap, hard, thin, cardboard . . . the stirrup straps did not have blevens buckles & they were thin & less than an inch wide, would have broke on the first ride . . . I've been told they are made in India . . . after a lot of hassle I not only got her money back but also her restocking fee, they offered to do it for me while asking me if I would consider retracting the bad feedback . . . after I got her money back, I considered & decided to leave the negative feed back about poor quality because if other people would not have retracted theirs, I would have seen the negatives in the score & not have bought from them . . . they were nice until then . . . they said I don't know QUALITY leather . . . my husband repairs saddles & this saddle was such poor quality that it would not have even been repairable!

                            When I would not retract my feedback, they left me the only bad feedback I have ever gotten on ebay . . . see below

                            IGNORANT, STUBBORN, dubious; beware; not good as a customer, shame for ebay!!!

                            Seller leathergem Jan-22-06 05:39 7202807333

                            Reply by braford1957: bought saddle/paid same day/returned same day delivered & I left them bad feedback 4 poor quality


                            • #15
                              Haven't had any experience with Hilason, but have a Bob Marshall. Expensive, but worth every penny. Most comfortable saddle I've ever sat in. The mare loves it too!


                              • #16
                                My friend has a Hilason, one of the Bob marshall knock-offs, had it for a few years. She does not have to the money to spend on expensive saddles, $400 is about her limit. The HIlason is working well for her- it is clearly not the highest quality saddle but it is comfy for her and fits all the horses she has tried it on. She has even ridden one of my horses in it on a 25 and his back was perfect afterwards.

                                So for those who just cant afford a brand name treeless saddle, it might be worth a try. I have another friend on a budget who just bought a treeless saddle from ebay made by "Sydney Saddleworks" which looks like a Barefoot Cheyenne copy. ONly cost about $250 and she is happy with it.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by xring View Post
                                  Just to clarify, as I'm seriously considering a new Bob Marshall, you are talking about the Hilason, right? I've not read any negative comments on the BM and want to be sure.

                                  I have an Original Bob Marshall (Not a Circle Y version) and LOVE it!!!! My draft mare is so hard to fit, not even "draft bars" fit. One I went treeless, we've never looked back! She used to be "cinchy" because, as I know now, my other saddles hurt. The overall change in her attitude is wonderful, but the change in her gaits is the most dramatic. She is free in her shoulders, and moves out with absolutely NO hesitation.

                                  I have a friend of a friend who tried several Hillason and had nothing but problems. I've never tried them, so can't comment. But, the person I know has nothing but negativity for that particular company.

                                  Here's the thing about treeless saddles, you pay for what you get. If you want a cheaper version, that's exactly what you will get. If you have the money for a BM, I will tell you it's worth the wait to get it. I will not ever ride in another saddle again.
                                  “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson


                                  • #18
                                    Is this the Bob Marshall site or the Hillason one?
                                    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


                                    • #19
                                      It looks like the Bob Marshall rather than the Hilason, but doesn't give definite brand information. Check out www.treelesssaddle.com

                                      April Battles is the sales person. She is an endurance rider as well and she knows her stuff. VERY helpful.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by JackSprats Mom View Post
                                        Is this the Bob Marshall site or the Hillason one?
                                        On her home page it says she's a distributor for Sports Saddle, Inc., which is Bob Marshall. The saddles on that site look too nice to be Hilasons.
                                        "To be an equestrian in the classical sense is not just to be a rider.
                                        It is a position in life." --Charles de Kunffy