• 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

seeking input on Ortho-Flex & Barefoot saddles

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • seeking input on Ortho-Flex & Barefoot saddles

    I'm seeking a new saddle for my 16.3 hand pleasure horse TB
    which will be easy on my "total knee replacement" done in Dec 2009.

    In short, I seeking a saddle that is soft, secure and equipped with soft knee rolls (and maybe thigh rolls too for extra security).

    I'm looking at the "Ortho-Flex" English saddles (ie: the Stitchdown model or the Suzanne Sheppard model) as well as the "Barefoot" English saddles (ie: the Lexington model). The Ortho-Flex are "treed" saddles while the Barefoot are "treeless".

    I'd so appreciate any input from anyone who has experienced these saddles.

    Thank you.


  • #2
    Are you planning to jump?
    "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM


    • #3
      "Are you planning to jump?"


      Really doubtful.

      I'll probably only be walking the trails for quite a while with maybe
      a trot and a canter one day in the future.

      If I ever jump again it would be to pop a crossrail or a 2'6" fence.



      • #4
        Originally posted by lisastep View Post

        I'm looking at the "Ortho-Flex" English saddles (ie: the Stitchdown model or the Suzanne Sheppard model) as well as the "Barefoot" English saddles (ie: the Lexington model). The Ortho-Flex are "treed" saddles while the Barefoot are "treeless".

        I have an Orthoflex Stitchdown saddle - used it on a 15.3 hh grade gelding. It is a very comfy saddle used mostly for trail rides and a little bit of jumping (cross-rails, mostly). I loved it at the time.

        What I don't like about it is that it's heavy. The other negative is that the "flex" tree puts you way up off your horse's back. Since I've gotten more involved with dressage and don't do much trail riding, I prefer something that puts me closer to my horse.

        I haven't had any experience with the "treeless" saddles, but it seems like a lot of money to put out for a bareback pad. JMHO.

        Riding - the art of keeping your horse between you and the ground.


        • #5
          I've owned an Orthoflex Stitchdown since 1989 when I bought it for trail riding on my 15.1h Paso Fino. Since then, I've used it on my TBs (both 16.1, but with very different backs) and my 16.3h Hanoverian, not to mention a variety of horses in training. for me, it's the ultimate in security and ease, especially if you're riding in the mountains. At 19 lbs it is a little heavy to lift up, but it has aged more than gracefully. Still looks almost new thanks to great construction and materials. My first impression was due to the way the flexible panels are constructed - it does sit you well above the back, but it only took a few rides to get used to. And those panels have never made a horse's back sore, even after a rugged 7-8 hours on the trail. I would *not* recommend it for anything other than trail riding because it's far more western than english in balance.

          I also have a treeless Ansur Classic dressage that's great for light-duty trail riding. Very close contact with very little blocking, though, so if there will be hills the Stitchdown is the one I use.

          ** A final word about the Stitchdown. OrthoFlex underwent an ownership change years ago and I recently had an opportunity to look at some of the new models. I was NOT impressed... the flexible panels are now VERY flexible and it seemed to me they were so thin the attachment points would cause pressure unless a very thick pad was used (and even then, we all know how horses can feel the "pea" under the mattress no matter how good the pad). I'll bet you can find an old one on Ebay, though.
          Patience pays.


          • #6
            I LOVE my Free Form treeless saddle. It puts you in a very correct, balanced position... and has a twist. The barefoot feels like you are spreading the legs way too much.. hence the need of a twist.

            I use it for mounted work it is so comfortable. Heres a pic of it....

            Edited to add - I agree w/ nomoregrays, I demoed the Orthoflex and felt it was too raise up off the horses back. I like feel but I don't want to ride bare back.

            The Free Form is light and feels like a "real" saddle w/ security. I think you will like the saddle. There is a store that will let you demo them.

            I wish they made a jumping saddle. I can easily jump in this saddle except the thigh blocks are in the way and the flap is not forward enough to accept a shorter iron for jumping......
            Last edited by doublesstable; Apr. 30, 2010, 09:30 PM.
            Live in the sunshine.
            Swim in the sea.
            Drink the wild air.