These are not made anymore. But because someone is looking for one I decided to pop up a post about them.
Back in 2012 or thereabouts Libra decided to introduce these. I can’t say for sure how popular they were so not certain how likely they are to come up for sale.
The idea was pretty simple. You have both a bareback pad and a saddle. The seat, pommel, cantle and stirrup plate were all removable and adjustable. You could therefore change from a 15″ to a 17″ and put the stirrups right for you. Perfect!
The downside was the velcro from the pommel in front of you. This was sometimes annoying and ended up with bits stuck to it, and your clothes might get pulled and bobbled on it.
I personally didn’t find the underside of these reliable in staying put without the treeless pad, as a saddle or a pad. At the time the underside was in development of some sort of cushioning panel that I believe meant you didn’t have to use an actual pad. But I say development because this added to my saddle instability on anything wide without one. The outer material was a slippery type of fleece and just didn’t work for us.
But I love the pre panel saddles, I would likely take out the cushioning if I saw one for sale and convert it to the original underside.
I’ve ridden out in it twice, it’s sooooo comfy. I’ve got the pony/cob size and it looks ok on a 14hh middleweight. I used a German girth with air pockets. Libra do a nice girth to match the pad though. It has a nice cantle and pommel of which the inner can be removed. The pommel and the cantle adds to the feeling of security. There is a steady handle should you want it and two d rings, i popped my saddle bag onto one. I’ve not used with stirrups and the closed ring didn’t get in the way, i’d prefer to put a pad underneath for spinal clearance before i rode with stirrups. Normally it’s advised not to mount from the ground with these pads, so i imagine the stirrups are just to place the foot and not for standing up in, for rising trot.
HOOF APPROVED, tried tested and keeping
Photo of 17″ black libra trec treeless saddle with Equitex Torsion pad. Ridden at all paces including 12 mile hack, beach ride and jumping up to 2.9 (Note this saddle is described for small jumping, it was my choice to test it further)
This is a lightweight saddle, ideal as an entry into the treeless world, light enough for child to carry and disabled person. Ideal for youngsters and wipe clean synthetic suede makes it ideal for wet weather. One of the reasons i bought it!
Small low pommel, ideal for all shapes and especially those of us with wide and extra wide, my chap is xwide. It comes with crupper ring.
Excellent value for money.
Very comfortable and I’ve tried more expensive makes and go back to this one everytime.
I tend to use this saddle with the Wintec chaffless girth or Roamer. I always use safety stirrups even though this model has an e bar.
It is designed for longer rides or happy hacking, i have jumped but i ride western so my weight is mainly in the saddle not stirrup. I’ve since bought some treeless leathers that buckle at the stirrup as when i shorten a few holes i did feel the buckle.
Comes in synthetic or a nubuck for riders over 11 stone. The pad gives the spinal clearance, but i opted for the equitex as it gave me a bit more clearance. It’s about what fits you and your horse and not a reflection on the Libra pads. My friend has one of these pads and has enough clearance.
Since this review was written Libra has ceased the Trail and introduced the Explorer.
Price range under £200, don’t be put off by how reasonable it is, it’s comfortable and my pony loves it!
Reviews wanted 🙂
The Libra Adjustable is two saddles in one. It is also good for hacking and schooling and has built in pressure relief pads. The girthing is english billet taking a dressage / treeless length.
This model has an adjustable Flexisoft pommel and cantle to allow the alteration of the seat size. The 19″ base model can be adjusted from 13″ to 16″, this permits different children or a small adult to use easily. The 21″ model can be adjusted from 15″ to 18″.
The great feature about this model is you can remove the pommel, cantle and stirrup to convert into a bareback pad. This is ideal for natural horsemanship and those wanting a more close feel.
Not Produced but included as comes up for sale secondhand.
hi ya my name is diane. l have two ponies one is 11-3 and 14-2 lrish cob. My 11-3 joe l let kids take to pony games and club he is a real joker. My cob is black,white called strider he is great and can do near anything but one draw back is out of the blue he will buck and they are handstand ones ha.
Have had some bad falls took long time to get to ride him again other than walk trot. Got a stock saddle and doing well but nipped his withers abit. Then done alot of reading on treeless in end got libra trek wow what a saddle l feel safe like sitting on a soft chair he goes great in it and l stay on.
Worth every penny well made lovely leather very nice people to deal with. l’ve hacked gone across rivers up steep trails jumped and only had it just over a week. lts brill never change from treeless.
The History Of Libra
I came across this photo from back in 2008, its the original style Libra Trec. They were introduced around 2006. This was when they were tan and black and from memory 23″ long.
My friend still has an older type. They do pop up for sale.
Then came the plain black and plain brown which was the newer shorter length base of 21″ for a 17″. This was without the zipped pommel. They added a zip at some point but removed it again after people were removing the insert.
They went on to produce these with a spinal clearance underside and twin ring stirrup hanger.
The trail was suede and came in a burgundy and maybe another colour. These were discontinued. Does anyone have one?🙂 Not sure why they ceased production.
The original Hackabout was just a synthetic leather with movable underside panels. This was ceased but reintroduced as the Hackabout II with a non slip seat in suede.
You can still find the older models either. For those of you that are non UK, this saddle can be found under different names I believe. I have to say I prefer the previous non panel model.
Below is the old style Hack About II, not made anymore like this but again can be found on eBay.
I have just recently got one of these saddles from ebay, I have never ridden in a treeless saddle before and have found this a great saddle so far. It is used on my thoroughbred who does have a high wither. I bought an equitex high wither pad to go with it and its perfect. I recommend them as a first treeless saddle to buy if you need to keep to a budget especially if you can get them second hand as i did.
Libra Hackabout, ceased production.
Very similar to the Trec but with a different underside – no sheepskin but spinal clearance padding instead, knee rolls and is made of a synthetic leather so much sturdier and more durable than the trec. And do you know what – we love it!
Ive had to get used to a very slightly different position (to accommodate my thighs ) Im very happy with it and have lots of incentive to get down to its 11 stone weight limit. I still have the added protection of the Haf pad as this is what was recommended for ‘heavier’ riders. Unless things drastically change, if and when the hackabout is knackered (and Im not well known for looking after stuff) I will be replacing it with the same again
This photo was sent to me from a Pininterest user. 🙂
If you have a heavy type these fit well. I know of someone using on a Highland and a Shire.