The Unbranded Pad

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.

PicsArt_05-04-09.01.08
 © Treeless Tried and Tested 

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.

Triple E Rugged Ride Horse / Pony Bareback Pad

These can be made in the Southwest colours or plain cordura colours. Measures 26.5″, so do make sure this will suit your horse.

Contoured shape, neoprene non slip Base, felt filled for comfort with off billets and tie strap. The non slip girth can be changed and it comes with one as standard.

From the Big Apple, New York in the USA 🙂

Triple E Rugged Ride
 © Triple E Rugged Ride

Randols Treeless Saddle

This is what I would describe as very close to the Barefoot, it looks very much like the barefoot Cheyenne in style. It has small closed rings as oppose to the Barefoot large rings.
The base on the reviewed saddle is 20″, this would be equivalent to the size one, but the actual seat area is a bit smaller.
Nicely made in nubuck leather with a slightly higher fibreglass pommel, probably on the lines of the Torsion pommel, it gives a secure feel. You could change this if you wanted though it has a zip, whether the bf pommel sits in would be up to someone else to find out.
There is not much spinal clearance with this model, you do need to make sure you have an adequate treeless pad. For want of a better word it is on the non structured floppy side.
Designed for endurance by US riders, it is equally as good out and about hacking.

 

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.

Cashel Soft Treeless Saddle

Cashel G2

This is the first review of this model. If you have a review from a non wide horse, please let me know.
I had the original Cashel and its interesting to note they have put fleece on the underside. The original just had a foam base.

I attempted the Cashel G2 on my 14.2 Haflinger mare. She DOES has withers! She has a very large shoulder and what i would call a short back as she cannot take a western with a full skirt, otherwise it would hit her hips.

She normally weights in the 875-900lb range (using a weight tape so i am sure not 100% correct). She is barrel shaped.

The G2 arrived with a very strong “gas” smell. I am guessing from the foam. It appeared well made and i liked that it could be opened up and adjustments made to stirrup locations. The seat of the saddle seemed very grippy. The underside of the saddle was a faux fleece.

I used my own western girth. For starters, i could not get my girth tight enough. So i attempted the fit with a shorter girth. Again, it felt like i could not get it tight enough. I could hardly fit my hand between girth and the underside of the horse, but i could fit my first between girth and side of horse (just below saddle flap). So that meant all of the pressure of the saddle/girth was concentrated on her withers and underside.

I still attempted to sit in the saddle on her. I used a mounting block and hopped on without using the stirrups. The saddle was soft for my seat, but otherwise i felt like i was sitting about 2 feet above the horse, but still had no twist. The saddle flaps, because of their padding and the wideness of my horse did not actually curve to fit my horse. Perhaps after hours of riding it would start to conform, but i was not willing to try it. I also could tell the saddle would slip from side to side when i alternated weight in the stirrups to test slip ability.

Shipping back to the manufacturer was difficult. Costs were really high so i had to ship via USPS for around 40$. I did receive a full refund of the saddle (but of course i was out the money it cost me to ship back).

For a wide horse, i would not recommend this saddle. Perhaps it would work on a thinner horse. I think this saddle would work if they changed it to keep the seat, change the flaps to have less or basically no padding, changing the fleece to nonslip material and have shaped padding on the underside to provide built-in spine clearance.

For comparison, i normally ride my Haflinger Marcel Toulouse Premia with a wide tree. I have heard that their wide is more like a Medium wide. Sizing wise, she would fit a MW wintec gullet.

Cashel

The ultimate saddle alternative! Layers of Cashel closed cell foam and superior quality neoprene are constructed over a sculpted front and back foam wedge to provide you a close contact seat. It is wonderful for a peaceful trail ride or can be used for improving your balance and natural seat position. Comes complete with nylon latigo and nylon off-billet strap.

I chose the black medium saddle and i found it very comfortable to ride in. The pony being a low withered wide also liked it. The cashel has moved the stirrup fitting further back, this avoids extra drag on the wither. It is versitile and can be used on a horse that you haven’t got a saddle that fits, or for backing a youngster.

I only decided to sell it as i do more riding than it is designed for. As it is foam there is no mention of spinal clearance. As i can do up to 40 miles in a week plus jumping it was not going to withstand this use. You may wish to consider cutting some of it to produce this effect. Also store correctly it is not forgiving in it’s shape and you can nick the underside and crease it.

There is some debate as to whether or not this is a bareback pad with stirrup or a treeless saddle. I prefer to call it, “The Best of Both Worlds and it’s a cross between the two.

Bareback Saddle Pad

One of my favourite pads when I had the pony size. Look forward to photos of you and your horse having fun.

Avandarre In Dressage

I am now the proud owner of a bareback saddle pad!! My Hubby bought it for me after my last post. Woo Hoo!!

This is what my new BB pad looks like, but in navy blue. There’s a water bottle holder on the other side.

I tried it out on Ava first. Let me preface this by saying I haven’t ridden bareback in well over a year, and that was back when I was in tip-top shape and had actual balance. Now, I’m way out of shape and have a definite lack of balance (I’m all over the dang place even in a saddle).

I was trepidatious about riding bareback even with a bareback pad. Ava has been rather naughty lately. Nothing too horrible, but she seems to think there are only two gears: speed-walking, or gallop. Anything else is met by a small tantrum. And Ava has decided that only Ava will…

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Bareback Pad Links

This section has links to the bareback pads included in the reviews.

Any link not working, please let me know. I do pop through them from time to time, but urls change.

I hope you enjoy your visit 🙂

Bareback Pads 

Barefoot Ride On Pad

Barefoot Fleece Saddle

Baretek

Best Friend

Christ Lammfelle

Diamond Wool

Hilason

L Apogee

Libra (Netherlands)

Little Joe

Light Rider (Cynthia Cooper)

Parelli

Reinsman

Scott Hansen

Skito

Stacey Westfall

Straightness Training

Supracor

Thinline

Tolklat

Tough One

Tuffy – also Equigrip

Zilco Fleece,  Zilco Cotton

Misc

Most bareback companies are on Facebook. You can buy, sell and join the various groups on there if you choose.

You may also find bareback pads in the usual places, Amazon, Ebay and Preloved. If you are selling a pad, get in touch I may want to test ride it.