Freemax Western Treeless Saddle

It looks like a treed western saddle. But amazingly it also rides just like one! It has a solid swell/horn, but is interchangeable and they have 5 different widths. It comes in 3 different seat lengths and they will also be doing a childs’ version.

My horse went really well in it. Normally he finds it difficult to maintain a slow jog, but in this saddle no problem. His canter was wonderful in that his back felt so unrestricted.

The saddle is quite firm, so would be no good for a sway backed horse. They are designing one for sway backed horses later in the year. I rode with the Port Lewis Impression Pad. Without a saddle pad under the saddle was a little too low at the front. So I rode with the Mattes Rio Pecos western correctional pad. I put 3 shims in each front pocket to balance the saddle. The Port Lewis showed a little extra pressure still at the front. So I kept the 3 shims in each front pocket and added 1 in each middle pocket, and I added 3 full length shims (I had the pad designed so you can add full length shims in the pad if the horse has a prominent spine (as mine does)) and the impression was almost even. It was a little bit thinner at the front, but hardly different to the rest of the PLIP. So was happy with that. My horse is so very difficult to fit. Nearly everything slips back on him – he a saddle fitters nightmare!

The Mattes pad is really expensive though (retails around £350 for the one I was using which is a modified version of the standard Rio Pecos). So tried a cheaper Pro Correction pad which costs £185. (This has removable shims but not as flexible as the Mattes as you can only put thicker one shim per pocket (Mattes you can put up to 6 thin shims) The results of the cheaper pad were almost as good as the Mattes pad.

So all in all, horse happy, PLIP happy and rider VERY happy to ride in a treeless western saddle that FEELS like a treed western saddle.