Can I Compete In A Treeless Saddle?

I get asked this from time to time. The simple answer is yes you can but just be aware of a couple of things.

If you opt for a class where the judge may ride, do not be offended if they decline. In the showing world, tradition is for a treed saddle, if showing if your chosen sport you might like to get one. 🙂

You may be marked down for being in a treeless in the show ring in a less than traditional looking model. Some judges just do not like them. If you want something traditional looking go for a Solution.

BD rules state that you can use a treeless saddle providing it is of a standard design, ie not western looking. If you want something traditional looking go for the Freeform, Barefoot or Sensation Dressage models.

We have had success in the Freeform Classic though. 🙂

2015 championship
              2015 championship
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Bareback Horse and Pony Pad – Best Friend

Best Friend

I have owned the basic one of these for about five years, finally decided to sell as the pony size looked way too small on a horse.

Best Friend
© Treeless Tried and Tested 

 

Hacked out, jumped, done camp, had fun basically.🙂 It’s thin enough that you do not even notice it’s there, but it just gives you a little more comfort than totally bare. I wouldn’t have as a one off, but used regularly, so I justified the cost to myself 😉 Best Friend do a pony and horse size, but I think the horse size is just a bigger cinch that it comes with. Easy to clean.

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Best Friend make a Western version and I believe the USA has a bigger range of colours than the UK. Comes in blue, red and green in the UK.

Best Friend Bareback Pad Girth Extender

I had the pony cinch and with the extender added it will make it up to the horse size.  Black was kept in stock so had that, but blue could have been got.

Tried on today and I am using both of the extenders in order to balance the pad. I only really need the one as I have an 8 inch gap, however that meant one of the buckles was underneath the pony.
Adjusted using both which will enable me to adjust from on board. It also keeps the whole thing symmetrical.

Up to date photo to follow. (Whenever I read this I realise I haven’t)

Torsion Treeless Saddle

Icelandic / Soft

Icelandic
Icelandic

Photo shows incorrect pad, this was just to keep the saddle clean, not to use.

Icelandic
Icelandic

This saddle is known under various names depending on what part of the world you are in, hence why it’s in the title.

First impressions well made, good quality. Generous seat area with overall length of base being a 22″. This is a medium size, equates to a size 2, or those people who would need a 17/17.5″ treed.

It is ideal for adults on short backed ponies and cobs, although this particular model has the 22″ base, due to the design the cantle and skirt is so soft it isn’t going to cause any pressure to your mount. In fact it looked small on a 14hh cob!This saddle has a nice shape with soft flaps allowing maximum leg contact for the rider. This is particularly of great benefit if you have a wider horse or pony, it enabled me to get my round on the horse due to the close contact slim flaps.

It is made of Nappa leather, the extra soft end of the seat enhances softness and suppleness in your horse. There is no risk of a hard cantle pressing down at the end of the seat as the padding is designed to be soft for the horse and soft for the rider. You can squeeze the cantle and the end skirt with D ring is also very soft. I didn’t actually notice I had no actual cantle.

While suitable for all horse types, the soft nature of this treeless is particularly suited for horses with short backs, sway backs, high croups and dippy backs. It is also ideally designed for the gaited horse such as the Icelandic and I would feel it was a good choice for the cob type action to.

It has two closed rings for a choice of stirrup position. You can use the double ended t bar or if you prefer you could use slim dressage leathers with a reverse buckle. In the photo that’s just bog standard leathers to test the saddle out. I didn’t notice the buckle but personally slimmer leathers just add to your comfort-also I would opt for black!

Second ride-moved the seat a tiny fraction forwards, that was actually better for me than yesterday. Felt more with the horse. The pommel has its uses being fairly high in that the reins sit nicely behind it if you don’t want to hold them, or if you want to get off for any reason they do stay behind it.

Its used by the Riding For The Disabled and this particular saddle was gifted to the Conquest Centre

Torsion
Torsion
Close contact
Close contact

Torsion GP

Ridden at all paces including a 10 mile hack, beach ride and jumping up to 2ft3 stirrups fitted reverse.

This saddle has the closed ring, which is a personal choice whether you like it or not, i always use safety stirrups so this is not an issue for me. The length of the girth straps are realistic and not excess like some makes on the market, also covered and not just webbing.
Excellent quality soft italian leather, good overall finish. However this saddle i didn’t find as comfortable as some I’ve had. Due to the size of the pommel i would say it fits up to a med/wide horse, it was too narrow for xwide across the front, there are no options to put another pommel insert in, this is disappointing.

Overall good saddle just not for us.

BE and BD approved models, double-check with your judge for a show with a ride judge, they may decline.

Torsion with Skito pad

Torsion
Torsion

Solution Treeless Saddle (Smart , Energist)

Solution Smart GP

I contacted solution via their website and got in contact with a local fitter. The saddle itself is identical to the original smart gp, but with thinner and shorter panels, making it ideal for wide, flat backed horses, and those who are bum high. I have the Size 4 and at 5’8 it provides the benefit of helping the rider feel less perched.

The saddle came with a dorsal supplement pad (DSP) – a fancy half pad, which is non slip on the saddle side, with Velcro along the underside attaching itself to a numnah (either the eskadron classic range, or anything which already has Velcro attached -p.s. I’m not advertising eskadron, it’s the only one I’ve found so far which the Velcro already sticks to without needing further alterations) and a nuumed hi wither numnah with Velcro on. They do say that it doesn’t have to be one of their numnahs however, all you need is a hi wither, thin numnah/saddle cloth and a roll of Velcro, approx 3″ wide!
On the saddle, I have a large knee roll, and a thigh block, I ride a 4yo with limited riding experience and a high risk of tripping. I’m also used to a barnsby omega gp on my older horse, so I like a decent knee roll to stick my knee in at the first sign of trouble.

To say I was sceptical would be a large underestimation. All treed saddles had slipped forwards onto her shoulders, and inhibited movement, and I’ve never been a member of the ‘barefoot and treeless’ brigade. I’ve always been fairly traditional, so the solution appealed to me as it looks treed but very lightweight. The leather is soft and good quality, and in general the saddle is very comfy to ride in.

Since owning the saddle, I have hacked over varied terrain in walk, trot and canter, been to a dressage competition and most recently show jumping. The saddle doesn’t move a millimetre no matter what my horse does underneath me, allowing her to move freely underneath me. It took a few rides to fully get used to how much the rider can feel the horse moving underneath you, and vice versa. Having only ridden in treed saddles before, I found I was half halting but receiving a halt from my mare. She was suddenly much more responsive.

Price wise, if buying brand new they’re an expensive outlay, but the company do offer 10% the total purchase if you buy outright, or they offer a 0% payment plan! which gives you a free saddle cloth, DSP, and knee blocks. Buying a saddle that has the potential to last you from backing of the horse, and for life the cost will work out very cost effective over the years. The saddles are FEI approved, so fully legal for all levels of competition. I haven’t yet jumped over 50cm ish, but am planning our first ODE later this year so we shall see how it goes then!

Solution Smart Jump

Solution Smart
Solution Smart

Today I tacked up as per instructions, I had spoken to the company and I can if I want to have a fitter out to tweak when she covers my area.
It says amongst other things “put on far forwards” I have to say that’s alien and I was convinced it would be over her shoulder and that’s going to be as far as we get! But, as it says to have your straps vertically straight, that’s what we did.
You only need a thin cotton pad, so we used the extra-large Shires one.

I lunged in walk, trot and canter and my bum was twitching to get on. My first shock was that the seat is in fact fairly hard. But I believe its due to it needing to mould and my bum expecting it to be a Freeform softish seat! Once my stirrups were shortened, we started to “settle”
In the jumping position it’s really comfortable, you have space to adjust your seat and we popped a couple of jumps.

It rides as a treed saddle, if you prefer the more bareback feel I have been told to look for the Freestyle and Energist models. This model is in my opinion as heavy as a treed would be. I love the w girthing and there is no crupper ring. It has two rings for their own make of x over breastplate.

Its a lovely well made saddle, but I decided not to keep this model and look for a gp instead. I had a lesson and it fitted the horse lovely but wasn’t totally suiting me. I think perhaps the non panel type could be better or the gp.
It really is as flexible as they say, my horse has an upright shoulder, low wither and is very broad.

Air Jacket Fitting

Air Jacket Announcement-from Solution

It has come to our attention that clients are attaching straps for air-jackets, panniers and grab straps onto the stirrup hangers of their Solution saddles. Please be aware that attaching anything other than stirrup leathers or webbers to the stirrup hangers can compromise the function, as well as cause damage to the saddle.

Misuse of the saddles in this way renders the warranty void

We suggest that any clients wishing to attach such items to their saddle do so by way of clips to the D-rings. The D-rings alone are not guaranteed under such high forces as an exploding air-bag and we therefore recommend attaching via a plastic clip which will give in the event of an emergency.

Similarly, please remember that the girthing assembly is also not designed for any purpose other than attaching the girth. Please do not attach breastgirth straps etc. to the girth straps themselves. All Solution GP and Jump saddles come with knee D-rings as standard. If your saddle does not have knee D-rings, these can be fitted retrospectively in our workshop.

Thank you to both riders above for demonstrating correct use of the SMART X-over breastgirth and attachment of air-jackets.

Reproduced from the newsletter.

Startrekk Treeless Saddle

Startrekk Dressage

Very nice saddle, very traditional English looking and rides very similar to a treed saddle, lots of twist so great for people with bad hips.

The pommel chambers can be replaced with different widths to suit individual horses. It gives plenty of wither clearance so perfect for high withered horses, the Velcro panels underneath allow for a tailored fit to suit individual horses. This saddle is better for the slightly narrower horses as the pommel chambers do not come out as wide as the Western models. The newer version of this saddle has flocked panels and not the Velcro panels, which gives it a more traditional appearance.

Used on a 16.3hh TB ex racer, a 16hh ID x TB and a 12hh Welsh Mountain pony.

Startrekk
Startrekk

Startrekk Western

Very well made saddle with nice German leather, wears very well, scratches quite easily on pommel and fenders and takes a long time to break in, but buttery soft when it has broken in.

Pommel chamber can be replaced with different widths to suit individual horses, the pommel chambers are quite flexible on fit between sizes (I.e. size 2 will fit a wide range of different horses, size 3 if quite a lot wider). Velcro panels under the saddle allow the saddle to be tailored to suit the individual.

Stirrup rings mounted on leather under the seat of the saddle with a choice of 2 stirrup settings.

Used at all paces including short endurance rides (10-12 miles).

Size 2 pommel chamber used on 16.3hh TB ex racer, 14.3hh Welsh x Arab and 15.1hh HW Cob, Size 3 pommel chamber used on 14hh Welsh Cob.

Startrekk
Startrekk

Sensation Treeless Saddle

Sensation Harmony Element

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Review to follow.

Sensation Westlish

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Erin with a Tb

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Sensation Hybrid

Lovely saddle, very well made and the leather is very soft and flexible and doesn’t take much breaking in, at the same time it is hard wearing and doesn’t mark easily.

Used at all paces and small jumps, including short endurance rides (10-12
miles) and a 2 day 26 mile ride.

Has 3 stirrup positions, freeswing, hard use and endurance. The stirrup position on freeswing and hard use can be moved due to stirrup ring being on moveable Velcro plate. Endurance is fastened to the bottom of the stirrup flap which eliminates stirrup pressure points on the horses back.

Used on 12hh Welsh Section A, 14hh Welsh Cob, 14.3hh Welsh x Arab and 15.1hh HW Cob.

Sensation Dressage Trail

Dressage trail with upgraded formal dressage pommel and cantle giving a deeper seat and upgraded g4 seat giving a neater look.

I ordered this but unfortunately I just didn’t get in with it,I found the formal pommel and cantle just a little too deep for me and in hindsight should have had the normal dressage trail pommel and cantle but it was a lesson learned. The colours are butterscotch deertan seat,knee,thigh roll and beading with dark coffee bean flap leather. 2 removable rigging billets and a 17″ seat. The formal dressage pommel because of its higher stance offers a little more wither clearance but again this had been used from low wide wither to medium narrow withers with just the change of pads. For flat work this worked well to give a really deep seat and the flap is similar to a working hunter style cut and offers good shoulder room. Same 19″ weight bearing panels and works well in short backs.

Dressage trail with 1″ shortened flap and standard dressage trail pommel and cantle.

Offers a semi deep seat with a working hunter style flap,not completely straight but only slightly forward cut. This fit my mare very well and was the first saddle we had had that really worked,both treed and treeless. The flexibility of this saddle really worked well in allowing the saddle to mould to my mares shape,medium but very wide wither,sharp rise to the group,downhill and very short backed, huge movement from behind and through her back which always caused saddles to fly forward then blocking her shoulder,nightmare to fit! In the picture I am using the endurance set up stirrup attachment which offers the most effective weight distribution. It does however mean you lose some of the swing in your stirrups,for me this is not a problem,it helps stabilize my left leg since a knee injury but does take a little bit of getting used to. I jumped around 2’6″ in this saddle and it works well for flat work too. I am using a Skito pad with 3/4″ inserts and a 1/2″ wither shim for this particular horse but the Skito is a great pad for all types of horses and saddles and offers a very large selection of inserts and shims.

Sensation Sonoran

This is my favourite model of all the sensations. This is a 15.5″ seat measured like a western. It has a tall western swell with a tall western cantle,2 removable rigging billets and g3 rigging for the stirrup attachment. It is set up in the endurance setting in the photo,this offers the most weight distribution after the hard use set-up and is my preferred stirrup attachment as I hate leathers under my legs and it also helps stabalise my legs. Good for me since an old injury. It does limit your leg movement a bit but does not fix it in one position.

I had the flap shortened 1.5″ on this one and at 5’4″ with a 28″ inseam this is perfect for me. The sonoran has the formal dressage flap which is very straight cut and I am effortlessly riding in a very relaxed correct position with no back,knee or ankle pain. The swell and cantle offer security but do not pin me in or restrict posting the trot. Though not great for jumping anything but small logs etc out on the trail. All the horses I’ve used this on have been very comfortable in it and the wither clearance is great in the ones I ride. I have not used it on shark fin withers but believe it would work with the correct choice of pad. From 13.2hh no withered xxxxw up to 17hh med wide medium withered with only a change in pad. The colours in this are butterscotch deertan seat,knee,thigh roll and binding on black cherry flap leather which was a one off hide nickers saddlery had available,I love this combination! This for me is a perfect trail saddle for comfort and ease of a relaxed but correct position and remains my favourite model.

The only limitations for the Sensation range is that they are not recommended for horses with a high wither. Riders should be under 14 stone.

Freeform Treeless Saddle

Freeform
Freeform

Freeforms come in three lengths, xs is the extra short base of 18.5″, the Sb is the short base of 20″ and the standard of 22″

They also have 12 different models, 6 seat styles and the seat sizes range from 15″ to 19″

If you buy from new you can have it made to your specification and also opt for no, small or large knee rolls.

Freeform
Freeform

Freeform Enduro

These are lovely looking saddles, not seen in the flesh so if you have one, get in touch.

have two horses and they each have Freeform saddles.

Freeform Classic

My little mare is 13.3, approx 360kg, and she would be best described as a light-weight cob. She has small withers, but does actually have withers!! Her freeform is a 16″ seat on the smaller version of the classic base, and it fits us both perfectly. I can mount from the ground if I have to without it slipping, and it doesn’t slip when we do extreme up- or down-hills either, nor when she does her occasional daft spooks!! She wears it with a Leather Airnet elastic girth. We’ve done Trec, a bit of dressage and LOADS of hacking it, and she’s had it since 2003. I find it an incredibly comfortable saddle and I believe she does too.

My bigger gelding is a 15h 500kg barrel shape with no withers at all. He’s had his Freeform since I first bought him in 2004 and at that time he was around 620kg and loaded with fat pads! We’ve done some serious ‘dieting’ every year because his diet really has to be controlled to keep him at a weight more suitable to him, but his saddle has coped with all his weight changes. He’s got a standard size classic base with a 17.5″ seat on it, which used to fit me better because I too was a ’round’ person, although I’m not now, and I now find the seat a little too generous. He and I do Trec, dressage and a bit of jumping along with loads of hacking, and the saddle is fine for all these activities. He also wears a Leather Airnet elastic girth and I can mount from the ground on him too on my more agile days (well I am 50!) if I have to, without the saddle slipping. He is often ridden by friends who haven’t got a horse and who accompany me and my mare, and everybody comments on how very comfortable it is.

The quality of the leather is lovely, and in fact the quality of the saddle is super all round. I don’t think I’d ever buy a different make for wither of these two horses now – we love our Freeforms.

Freeform Dressage Elite

This is a standard 22″ base freeform elite dressage saddle. Cutback 3cm with suede underside. This saddle offers large supportive knee blocks and a higher cantle than the classic models and a more defined twist in the seat.

I found this more comfortable for me than the classic as I prefer a large knee block to support my leg,my left especially due to an old knee injury. I was effortlessly put into a very nice position and felt secure and balanced.
The horses I used this on all moved freely and offered canter with a smooth transition which has been a struggle in their treed saddles. I think on Parr the lack of tree and the ample shoulder room this model offers were both contributing factors.

It has a firmer feel than the sensations for example and is not quite so malleable but still offers flexibility.
The stirrup plate is movable by simply taking the seat off and adjusting.
All in all a lovely saddle with a great deal of flexibility,and also show worthy for the competition ring.

The picture is a 14hh gelding and the saddle really only just fits,the 20″ short base would be better for him but I was just testing this out.

Freeform Dressage
Freeform Dressage

This is Ellie in her Freeform saddle with red equitex pad underneath.

Freeform
Freeform

She is a medium wide to wide in a treed saddle.
The one I bought was the dressage Freeform as I felt it fitted my length of legs (I am only five feet tall) and with Ellie’s movement I thought it was the better choice.
If the horse is smaller than 15 hands I think the person should ask to buy the shorter backed option. Ellie is short backed and I think I could have got away with a shorter backed model.
Have tried the saddle on a Irish X but it fitted across the shoulders but did not sit on his back.
Have tried the saddle on a Thoroughbred with a high wither and we were not convinced but my friend said she would like to try it out riding with the equitex pad underneath.

Ellie is very happy in the saddle and in fact she does not take a step backwards now when you get off. It’s extremely comfy for the rider.

Freeform Classic SB (short base)

Equitex
Equitex

i’ve been testing one of these this week, i’ve decided to buy one.

I found straight away the seat slippery to what i’m used to and the seat had a shape. I’ve got a Libra Trec. However i decided that i could change the seat to suede or pop on seat saver. Plus i’m not used to the seat shape. So chances are it’s due to how i sat.

Met up with friend and went for plod, did fit in two canters and i found it easy to ride in the forward seat just as easy as sitting.

Jack being Jack spotted open gate and thought lets really test it out, i said no and we spun round, the saddle didn’t move. It didn’t slip it didn’t go forwards either. Excellent plus point, think decided then i was going to get one! Due to Jack’s shape and fact he does have history of spinning, can stop dead and the Freeform didn’t budge.

Friend liked the saddle said suited Jack. He liked it, I liked it.

Day two, this time I shortened the stirrups a few holes as spent some of last hack with them in mid flight. I also rode in my suede full chaps as i found the seat a tad slippery, this is likely to be due to fact i’ve had my derier on suede and synthetic suede, I think it’s a mental thing that i think i may just slide off, I’m also finding the seat a little small for me, but I can order the Classic Plus seat.

The stirrups are set forwards at the moment and so i was doing sort of western seat, i did pop over a small jump to see what saddle felt like and it was comfortable. I changed from the pad it came with to my equitex pad, to see how it felt, it felt insecure, so changed back to the Haf.

This model is the sb, with 20″ base, i would get the synthetic suede model.

I also liked the girth system, my chap has a slight forward groove and the girth sits nicely with this saddle, i’m using a roamer girth and I do have a trekker one.

By day four i was finding the seat plenty big enough as my body had adapted to the shape. I did some small gridwork 2ft4 and i loved the feel and felt secure. I’d even forgotten the seat felt slippery, which it didn’t seem to feel anymore.

Bought one 🙂

Freeform
Freeform

Dream Treeless Saddle

prototype
prototype

The above saddle was the original prototype that was made before the launch. I had it to test ride when Dream contacted me. It came with the Equitex pad,  girth and Barnes Buckle.

The only alterations between that and the eventual saddle, was the cantle was lowered.

I got on really well with it. It was a secure feeling saddle and I would have one if I could justify that I needed two treeless for my needs. Though every cob needs two don’t they. 🙂

Colour I personally prefer the brown, the black does appear to suffer with sun bleach. I realise as saddles gets used etc they can discolour, however my Freeform is 7years old and hasn’t changed at all. My only minor point on this otherwise well made item.

Dream
Dream

I use my 17″ saddle with the Equitex HW pad or the Dream Universal Square. I have used it on various horses including a 20 year old tbx that was cold backed. A 15.2hh cobx that was very wide! We went hunting and xc in the Dream.

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Dream
Dream

The young 5yr old I had on loan was a cobxtb, the saddle allowed for his changing shape and I went hunting, xc, local showing dressage and the Blenheim fun ride.
I now have a 16hh tb ex racer, who has been off work for over a year, so I started him treeless in the Dream.

I have had a Dream Team for 3 years now. It is so comfortable, but it has slipped round during a fast spin on a newly broken horse, although the recommended saddle pad was being used and the girth was tight. Mind you, I think that any treeless would have slipped!

I would recommend it for normal horses, but for young or spooky horses I now use my ‘HP Australian Stock Saddle’ as it does not slip and is very secure.
I use the Dream Team as the first saddle that I put on them as it is so light and comfortable for the horse.
All in all I would say that it is the best treeless I have tried and I have tried quite a few.

Treeless Saddle By Echo

Dream
Dream

I’ve just purchased the new Dream Saddle for my 3 year old NF/Warmblood cross.

I’d looked at quite a lot of treeless saddles as conventional saddles didn’t look like they were going to fit him in his present state (no withers, flat backed and still growing!).

I like the more traditional design of the new Dream Saddle.

Dream were very helpful, wanted lots of pictures of him before recommending the saddle/pad/girthing combination they thought would be best.

Saddle arrived yesterday and I shot down the yard with it to put on him. Also managed to get a “test ride” on it on my friends NF. It DOES feel really wide, but that is common in all treeless I think, particularly on wide horses, but it was very comfortable and felt very secure. I think it will be better once it’s settled to my and his shape, even though the leather is lovely the soft it still feels very “new” and stiff at the moment.

He’s off for backing in September so I’ll let you know how it goes!

UPDATE

I posted a while ago about the new Dream Team saddle that I’d ordered for backing my youngster. He’s now in his last week at the backing yard and I have ridden in the Dream Saddle a couple of times.

I have to say it is a lovely saddle. I am still getting used to the fact that it looks so BIG on him, but as with most treeless they are a little longer than conventional saddles and the skirt on the Dream Team Saddle are quite long, so not best suited to those with short legs! As you can see from the picture it’s not too bad for myself and him as my legs are quite long on him.

The saddle is great, hasn’t slipped and I think will only get better as it moulds to his shape. It is really secure, having knee rolls and so ideal for riding a green horse, plus the deep seat makes you feel pretty safe too. My RI mounted from the floor in it quite happily (I’m a little older and less springy so I used a mounting block), but it hardly moved.

Its ridden with Dream Team’s own pad which is very nice and has the gullet in it. I do have a Barefoot Cherokee coming on trial soon just as a comparison, but at present I’m loving the dream team!”

I have 2 Dream Team saddles and they are great. I have had other makes before but these are the best I have tried. The horses like them too. I have backed youngsters, ridden them out in them for the first time and they are so secure. Vicky

I have a very wide, flat backed welsh sec d x with a huge shoulder who has always been very difficult to fit, at one point I had 2 decent treed saddles to fit him, a gp and a dressage saddle that were professionally fitted and we were both happy with. However in the summer of 2008 he had an accident and was off work for a few months, ever since then no treed saddle has been quite right and I was starting to despair. My mum got a libra saddle to try early last year for her arab who is still developing muscle and suggested I try it on my horse, she put it on him anyway and rode him herself. The difference in his way of going was immediate – his movement was free, he was going forwards nicely, he looked soft and just happy so I gave it a go and I had a different horse on my hands. In the last year he has become a different horse to ride, he is so easy and he loves his schooling again, we have both made lots of progress with our dressage and even hacking out he seems much happier, he is better behaved and I feel more secure. Last year was the first time since I got him that he had no problems with his back, he was nicely muscled and more even than he has ever been so I decided to do some research and buy myself a good quality leather treeless one which is when I came across the Dream Team range. I liked how it looked like a conventional saddle but the seat is in between a conventional saddle and a treeless one and I can honestly say it is the comfiest thing I have ever sat on, the seat is soft and spongy, im not sure if it is filled with memory foam but it feels that way. The leather is of excellent quality, its soft and supple and feels like it will last a lifetime and the underside is thick and luxurious wool which must be lovely on the horses back. It has a built in gullet to give room above the horses spine, i have tried other treeless saddles like this and felt somewhat perched on top of the horse but the Dream saddle settles quickly and molds to the horses shape so you feel nice and close and ‘with’ the horse. The saddle is specified for ‘jumping and hacking’ but i plan to use it for everything, mainly flatwork schooling for which it is more than suitable and puts you in a good position, although I have not yet jumped in it I feel secure and comfortable enough in it to do so and the knee rolls are velcro so you can move them to suit or remove them altogether. The saddle looks really good, im sure it will look much better when I get my horse back into work and get rid of his belly. I would be very interested in buying a straighter cut/dressage version when they are available as I concentrate more on dressage than anything else and a straighter cut would look better on my horse but that’s just being picky. This is a really good quality saddle which I bought at the introductory price but it is easily worth more, I am really happy with it and so is my horse along with everyone else on the yard who were as eager to have a shot of it as I was. I was also really impressed with the service I received from the staff at Dream Team products who were very helpful, friendly and informative and I even received my saddle the day after it was ordered despite the weather and being at the opposite end of the country so I really can’t recommend them highly enough. Thanks, Adele

Launch of Dream Information

Dream Team Products, the Specialists in treeless saddles, launches its own saddle! DREAM SADDLE – A Treeless Saddle with English flaps; Knee rolls at a Dream Price. Jack and Karen, the saddle testers.

A TREELESS SADDLE specially designed for Hacking and Jumping: Over ten years experience with Italian made Torsion treeless saddles has led Dream Team Products to design their own saddle. Bringing the proven designs of a Torsion style seat together with English style flaps, combining optimal fit for the horse and maximum comfort for the rider. This saddle not only has features that an active rider asks for but also has a price to dream of. This saddle features everything a treeless saddle enthusiast enjoys plus English flaps & Knee rolls. • A flexible saddle offering highest comfort level for horse and rider • Very affordable as it changes shape, either from one horse to another or • It changes shape with your horse’s level of training • Quality leather and workmanship – soft already from the first ride • Combines best design features for comfort and looks • Soft padded cushioning and a Torsion style pommel provides a Feel-Save-Seat • Traditional, English looking flaps with removable knee rolls • Dressage style girth straps for closer leg contact • Available in 16” or 17”, black or brown soft calf leather The DREAM SADDLES will be available directly from DREAM TEAM PRODUCTS. With over ten years experience with treeless saddles, the team at DREAM TEAM PRODUCTS is more than happy to help you choose the right accessories for your horse/pony. They have increased the choice of dressage style girths and will be able to offer a budget girth from £20 to the best-you-can-buy Torsion girth for £99, and various good alternatives in between. A special DREAM PAD designed by Equitex, Italian’s specialist for treeless pads, will be available for the DREAM SADDLE in two styles. An already well known High Wither style and a Standard Flat Backed style. These Pads have been specially shaped and designed to suit the DREAM SADDLE. Help is on hand assessing which style Pad would be more suitable for your horse or pony. As usual the staff at DREAM TEAM PRODUCTS can assist you in making an informed decision. DREAM TEAM PRODUCTS – the Specialists for treeless Saddles For more information visit our Web site on www.dreamteamproducts.com or contact us on 08450 725 765

Barefoot Treeless Saddle

Reblogged with permission from the little horse who could blog 🙂

Barefoot Treeless
Barefoot Treeless
reblogged wordpress.com
reblogged wordpress.com

Barefoot Cheyenne 

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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.

NB

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.

Barefoot London

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.

Barefoot Cheyenne

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.

Barefoot Drytex

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.

Barefoot
Barefoot

More reviews here 🙂 Barefoot