Reblogged with permission from the little horse who could blog 🙂
Photo of brown barefoot cheyenne and barefoot cheyenne pad. Ridden at all paces including 10 mile fun ride with optional jumps, jumping up to 2.9 stirrups fitted reverse. Used on 14hh and a 12.3hh.
This saddle is one of the popular models around, it is made of nubuck which like everything after a while has a worn look to it. It soon had the stirrup marks on it’s sides, however i found this saddle secure to ride in and very comfortable. It comes with the option of changing the pommel inserts to fit your particular shape of horse or pony. It has stirrup rings so safety stirrups must be used.
I did however find that this saddle was the one that moved forwards despite changing the girth and using correct pad. It also appeared quite front heavy and it did lift of the pony’s back when jumping and seeing the photos of this i sold it.
At the time i owned the saddle the pad did not have the spinal clearance nor the saddle vps, there was no option to shim if required. I believe now that the newer pad out (2007 onwards) has the spinal clearance so it is worth checking if you want this feature. The newer models 2010 onwards are now made with a different feeling nubuck, it doesn’t have the suede look or feel.
Overall good value for money. Ideal as first time starter saddle. Holds it value if you resell.
I bought my Barefoot London around about 2 years ago – I own a 15h cob who at the time was only 5 and still had a lot of growing up and maturing to do. After getting a traditional treed saddle especially made for him only to find out that it really did not fit him at all, and getting another saddler out and struggling to find anything that fitted him on her advice I went down the route of a treeless saddle. I had on trial from her the Barefoot Cheyenne for a few weeks and loved it – I think mainly I was just delighted to be riding in a saddle that fitted him and that I wasn’t going to be paranoid with it still fitting him in a few months time. My main discipline with my horse is dressage so I ordered the Barefoot London dressage saddle in black. To me this saddle certainly looks more like a traditional saddle than the majority of treeless ones out there – although they are getting better and better these days. I am only a petite rider and my horse is only 15hh so to me it was important to get something that suited us both and didn’t look huge or like a western saddle etc. I had numerous folk at shows come up to me asking about my saddle and saying how well my horse went in it and how good it looked. I have to also say that 2 years ago I was a very squint rider but the saddle has certainly improved my position and given me a very deep and classical seat. 2 years down the line I have competed up to Elementary level dressage in this saddle but just lately I started to find canter really hard to sit to and noticed that my toes were beginning to turn out and that my horse just wasn’t so active or attentive to my aids. I had my saddler out to check everything – it is important to note that although these are treeless saddles they can still cause sore points and it is important that you regularly check the fit. Anyway the saddle was becoming too tight and so my saddler recommended changing the fibre glass pommel to the wide – which is a great idea as this gives you the option of changing the shape/width as your horse develops. However the saddle was now really too wide for me, I’m a small size 8 and the saddle unfortunately was beginning to stretch me, hence my toes turning out and not being able to sit. I have to say that this saddle has been a god send however I’ve not had to return to a traditional treed saddle which although is still a wide fitting because there is not so much bulk / padding I am finding it much narrower and my position has returned. I must say though that my horse is now almost 8 and although he will still change shape throughout the seasons, he has stopped developing and has his full muscle tone so I am not so concerned now about having to change saddles every few months as I would have done had I not had the treeless while he was still maturing.
All in all I found the Barefoot London an excellent saddle – great to look at, great to ride in and really excellent value for money. The only down side I found was that it had too much bulk / padding so doesn’t actually give you as close a contact as you’d think. Extremely secure saddle though, so for anyone who has difficulty in maintaining their position / insecure seat etc I’d really recommend trying one of these
Barefoot Stella Limited Edition
I had this saddle shipped from a UK barefoot distributor for 599. I wanted this Limited edition model and It was not available here in the US. After taking equitation lessons for 2 years having tried jump and dressage and feeling confident I bought my first horse. I’ve spent more time and money in the last 3 years trying to find a saddle that fits both my horse and I. What im looking for in a saddle. Affordable 200-600 Padded adjustable knee rolls Deep seat Med-Narrow twist Built in spinal protection Adjustable stirrup Adjustments No lateral movement
Likes: Amazingly this Barefoot Stella fits my whole check list. First I want to add, there was no breaking in or getting use to this saddle as I have been riding primarily treeless for the last year and a half. Finally I am able to post or sit the trot. The seat is deep and supports me when my 17 hand saddlebred canters and best of all, absolutely no lateral movement. and has ample wither clearance. This saddle is even more secure than my wintec dressage pro that I thought would be my forever saddle.
Dislikes: So as picky as I am the only thing I don’t like is barefoots limited saddle sizes. 0, 1 or 2. And it’s really a guessing game to get the right fit. My suggestions are to measure the seat and length of your current saddle and buy the one that comes the closest. Measurements are available at any barefoot website.
Quality: I have the drytex synthetic so this does not apply to the leather models. I bought mine brand new so As all new tack goes there is a breaking in period. The saddle is flexible but rigid in the important places. All stitching is neat and even. The material used is not smooth nor sticky and gives just the right amount of stick. The underside is sheep wool and of good quality. The billets are synthetic suede. The wither arch is indestructible. After 1 months there is no visible wear.
Summary: If you could own only 1 saddle this could be it. You can adjust the wither arch from narrow to xw and by adding more shims a treeless pad for the horse with prominent spines you can be 100% sure you are getting spinal clearance with almost any horse. Great for arena work or the trail. My husband even preferred this saddle over my other ones and he is a complete novice. Bottom line this is an awesome saddle at an affordable price.
In 2008 I received my first treeless saddle. It came to me as a surprise because I won it through natural horse magazine, and I didn’t know it until it showed up at my door. And what a fantastic surprise it was.
At first I thought to myself, this sure is a different looking/feeling saddle. The saddle that I received was a Barefoot Cheyenne. The leather was soft and the under fleece was plush. So after checking out the saddle I needed to test it out. The saddle adjusted right to my horse’s back. It also allowed my legs to swing freely. The close contact that It has with my horse makes it comfortable, and it keeps me in alignment with my horse’s center of gravity.
It’s almost like not even riding in a saddle. It just feels so natural! I just LOVE my treeless saddle. Once you go treeless its really really hard to go back to any other saddle.
I’ve had Mac for about a year and a half now, he’s a very stocky, wide, flat backed quarter horse, the saddle that came with him use to tip to the right and I got saddle fitter to check it and he said it sits on his withers,then I got an aussie stock saddle as he had previously been ridden in one, but this was too tight across his shoulders.
My riding instructor suggested that I try a treeless saddle on Mac, I looked everywhere researching them trying to decide which to get, I find saddles so confusing. I found the barefoot site and found them to be reasonably priced. I went for a drytex Cheyenne as I’m not very good at tack cleaning and it can be wiped over with a damp sponge. I was also interested as you can use both english dressage stirrups or western fenders with it.
Previously when I rode Mac out he was always plodding miles behind the other horses, I honestly believed that he only had slow or stop paces, but since i’ve been using his new drytex saddle he has been a different horse, keeps up with the other horses, even passes them without having to jog, he appears to be alot happier, therefore so am I, plus it is so comfortable for me too.
I’m also very impressed with the wide and narrow pommels that can be inserted into the saddle therefore making it an excellent fit for most horse. I have found the people at barefoot very helpful with sizing and they even said that once my new saddle arrives I could ring and they would run though some guidelines for fitting to ensure the best fit.
A few Barefoot photos people have sent me.