I couldn’t resist a “bargain” if it turns out like that. I don’t do unbranded treeless saddles, I don’t do some branded if myself or others have had significant issues. (A saddle folding in half when mounted is significant!)
So my “bargain” is a bareback pad from my favourite online market place. This one is a black synthetic suede, with synthetic fleece underside. Short English billets with a nice wide fleece and faux suede girth. D rings for breast plate and crupper if required. More D rings for extras.
Stirrups! Whose idea is this! I don’t get why some makes come with them. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
The pad is actually comfortable to ride in. I changed the girth, you might notice a slight shortness in the photo 🙂 With the added spinal clearance pad underneath it would not even do up. Plus the girth has no keeper for the straps, it takes a company minutes to add a loop. Bug bear of mine on any Dressage girth, loops please!
The handle is in the wrong place, you are sat on it. The large D rings for your stirrups didn’t get in my way. In fact you could possibly longrein through its the right height. Note I said possibly. This depends on your horse.
They do get sold at £49. It’s not up to my standards to pay that. See above, but with some tweaks the maker has potential to develop this product more.
These are available in black, green, navy and chocolate. Suede top with wool felt underneath.
Cut back for a comfortable fit, hand hold and front d rings for breastplate, not stirrups. Hidden western cinch.
My only point to note is these are huge! Measuring in at 25″ I am not too sure who they think will be sitting on board. In case inches are not your thing it’s just over 2ft. I have included this brand as my friend loves hers and I have seen a photo in use on a quarter horse and actually it didn’t look too bad. But for anyone with a short coupled type or a large pony, I would say it will look out-of-place.
It looks like a saddle, and is saddle shaped in that it has a cut back head and contoured shape that follows the shoulder. You could sort of say WH style? The cantle is useful for going uphill but having it almost supports your bottom anyway. The knee rolls were the first thing that appeared to be useful for the downhill, as well as keeping my leg a bit more classical placed. (Much the annoyance of said legs!) They are used to going more forwards and were having bit of discussion with the knee rolls, that are not moveable.
It’s suede so very secure and lovely and comfortable, you almost think your on a saddle, but there is no option for stirrups. There is also no steady handle on the front that you get with other pads. Although i don’t use this it’s odd to hack out knowing there is not one.
You could put a numnah underneath for cleaniness or to add a bit more spinal relief. i rode in the pad for about two hours, but for schooling you may only want it for maybe an hour. I hacked out, please check your insurance before you do this.
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.