Saddles (treed and treeless) - which do you rate most highly?

squidsin

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Feb 16, 2013
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Another saddle question - what saddle do you use, and why do you like it/does it suit your horse? I am collating opinions with a view to changing my own saddle and need a few pointers as I know practically nothing about tack.

If money was no object, which saddle would you buy?

(Obviously money IS a major object, for me, anyway, but I am just interested, OK, nosy!)
 

notpoodle

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I would love one of the Native Pony Company half panel ones for Appley :) because the NPCs suit her and her flat back really well.

I think it's a case of what suits your horse eg. not all horses suit a Thorowgood, not all suit a Wintec, not all suit a WOW etc etc.
 

newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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My kind of thread. :giggle:

If money was no object I would get a made to measure side saddle for the cob. I do not think I could find a secondhand one.

We are totally happy with the current saddle, I say we because she wears it, I sit on it. So if she isn't happy I know-i get that look or she shuffles about. Because I am nosey and like to try, I may get a Solution treeless, just to see why they have the price tag they do. :wink: At some stage.

Why are we treeless, because I do not trust my local fitter to fit a treed. The saddle suited my previous chap and with altering of a few things, I backed the current lass with it. As she is xxxwide, good luck finding a treed. :wink:
 

squidsin

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My horse is a cob so I guess the owners with similar sizes of horse will be most relevant to me, but I have absolutely no idea even which websites I should be googling, so any info is helpful!
 

squidsin

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Feb 16, 2013
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My kind of thread. :giggle:

If money was no object I would get a made to measure side saddle for the cob. I do not think I could find a secondhand one.

We are totally happy with the current saddle, I say we because she wears it, I sit on it. So if she isn't happy I know-i get that look or she shuffles about. Because I am nosey and like to try, I may get a Solution treeless, just to see why they have the price tag they do. :wink: At some stage.

Why are we treeless, because I do not trust my local fitter to fit a treed. The saddle suited my previous chap and with altering of a few things, I backed the current lass with it. As she is xxxwide, good luck finding a treed. :wink:

What is your current saddle? I've had a look at your website and may email you with some questions if that is OK?!

What about girths - is there a particular brand or type of girth that is worth looking at? I just took the one that came with my saddle, never gave it a moment's thought. It is a plain brown synthetic leather thing.
 

Dannii5691

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I have a littlw throwagood saddle. Treed and very straight cut. Im guessing one of the older dressage models. I like it, though im not 100% on the fit of it as I use a prolite underneath and in an ideal world wouldnt have to



June rocks bareback. But my rider is about 5"6 and though light unfortunately cant fit into any saddle I have tried on her as her legs seem to go on forever. We have an option for this season which we may explore
 

Mary Poppins

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It's interesting because in 'real life' I don't know of a single person who rides in a treeless saddle. I don't even know anyone who has considered one. I don't think that I have even had a conversation about one. The saddlers who have come to the yard only ever carry treed saddles and none of my RI's (past or present) have ever suggested one. I wonder if that is just my yard?
 

notpoodle

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re girths: find out what suits your horse, brand isn't always important.

I've tried everything from 'chafless' waffle (made her bleed) to an £80 english leather (rubbed as well), plain cotton ... and ended up with Stubben Trevira girths (old fashioned but suited her!). some horses suit curved, some don't, some like elastic, some don't ... don't get too hung up about a particular make of saddle or girth, try out a range of styles, get a good local saddler/fitter out (ask around for recommendations maybe) and see what suits :) there's plenty quality stuff out there for cobs :)
 

newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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Before I had saddle issues I hadn't given treeless a thought. So I think sometimes if it works don't fix it.
My yard are part treed racing saddles, you can buy part treed treeless as well, but no one rides bareback, I do. I think its just how life is.
Some of my friends are treed, some not. Some shod, some not.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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if you are heavy then treeless don't work for you, they are not designed to carry larger riders.

So I have never sat in one of them.

At the moment we have an albion GP (also have an Albion VSD which is straighter cut) with endurance stirrups with foam to cushion my knees, Lemieux half sheepskin numnah and a professional choice neoprene sticky girth.

The VSD saddle is about 20 years old, bought for Molly. Too wide for Bud as I had it altered to fit Sasa who then was killed. If I had left it alone it would have been perfect for him but I had it re=treed.

The GP is slightly wide for him but not too bad
 

Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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I have the little English leather GP saddle that I first got when Raf came, the Freeform treeless, a lovely old Albion straight cut saddle and a Thorowgood. I've also tried a variety of different girths, because Raf is quite girthy and has a forward girth groove so they can slip under his elbows.

I can't honestly say he has gone any differently in any of the saddles I've ridden him in - maybe I am just very insensitive. My personal favourite was the Freeform for comfort. The GP put my legs in the wrong position (I don't think it was suited to my leg length, I'm 5'7"), the Albion is lovely but weighs a ton and the Thorowgood is lightweight, easy to clean and easy to ride in.

I'd like to try a Strada St Christopher endurance saddle -

Precision-moulded shock-absorbent panels that react to heat and pressure by softening and adapting completely to the horse’s contours.

6 fits reflecting different BODY SHAPES, not simply different widths.

Tree and panel design allow the horse to move freely in all paces, without creating pressure points that would compromise performance by causing muscle soreness.

Seat & flap design, as well as stirrup bar placement, permit the rider to sit naturally, keeping rider fatigue to a minimum. A tired rider soon becomes unbalanced. To cope with the shifting weight the horse is forced to re-balance himself constantly. This uses valuable energy and therefore reduces endurance.

The saddle sits very close to and “around”, rather than “on” the horse, resulting in superior stability, particularly on wider horses. Again, a stable load is easier for the horse to carry and stamina is therefore increased.

Lightweight – an obvious advantage.

Traditional looks increase the saddle’s usefulness: It does not look out of place in the dressage arena or the show ring.

Look great too! However they cost a fortune and there's no guarantee it would suit Raf or me if we ever did get to try one, which isn't likely. But that is my money no object dream saddle, since you ask!
 

sjp1

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Sep 14, 2009
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I'd like to try a Strada St Christopher endurance saddle -

Precision-moulded shock-absorbent panels that react to heat and pressure by softening and adapting completely to the horse’s contours.

6 fits reflecting different BODY SHAPES, not simply different widths.

Tree and panel design allow the horse to move freely in all paces, without creating pressure points that would compromise performance by causing muscle soreness.

Seat & flap design, as well as stirrup bar placement, permit the rider to sit naturally, keeping rider fatigue to a minimum. A tired rider soon becomes unbalanced. To cope with the shifting weight the horse is forced to re-balance himself constantly. This uses valuable energy and therefore reduces endurance.

The saddle sits very close to and “around”, rather than “on” the horse, resulting in superior stability, particularly on wider horses. Again, a stable load is easier for the horse to carry and stamina is therefore increased.

Lightweight – an obvious advantage.

Traditional looks increase the saddle’s usefulness: It does not look out of place in the dressage arena or the show ring.

Look great too! However they cost a fortune and there's no guarantee it would suit Raf or me if we ever did get to try one, which isn't likely. But that is my money no object dream saddle, since you ask!

The girl that bought my HM Vogue off me had a Strada saddle. She rang me after having bought and ridden in the Vogue, told me that the Vogue was not a patch on the Strada and it was going back on ebay!!! I didn't mind because she had paid, and that was her choice, but I thought it interesting!
 

newforest

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Mar 15, 2008
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I rode in a Vogue and didn't think much of it to be honest. Not when you look at the price tag.
 

mystiquemalaika

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Jan 7, 2013
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My first sadsle was a lovett and rickets gp and it was the comfiest treed saddle i ever had,mystique had a bates caprilli which she liked and i found ok not quite as comfy as the l&r but still nice.this didnt work for malaika and we tried numerous treeds to no avail which is how i ended up looking into treeless,i got a barefoot atlanta was very comfy malaika was happy but we did have saddle slippage issues woth it but nothing horrendous,i then done me knee in amd needed support for me knee so i thought ill try the saddler again,kent amd masters cob which overall are jice made saddles i didnt find it comfy but i think that hecaise id got so used to treeless,it didnt work gave malaika muscle wastage after just 6 weeks and she wasnt as free moving so i began the hunt for another treeless that offered me more support and i found sensations :) i just love them love them love them!i had an english trail and now have a dressage trail.so comfy,malaikas back was always clear for saddle soreness and she muscled back up really well,i also have a freeform which i ride my mums bosses pony in sometimes,i am using this on rainy days to keep my sensation nice :) i am hoping the sensation will work for neala when the time comes but if not will look again.malaika always moved more freely,didnt fidget when tacked up,stood to be mounted it was these little things that let me know she was happy and a physio telling me all was ok on a regular basis.i use the endurance setting on my sensation and that takes away any strap or stirrup bar over the back it attaches at the bottom of the flap and i dont worry about that pressure point i know people have had problems with.the freeform is firmer and used alot with endurance riders it to me rides more like a treed in the feel as its not as soft as the sensation but i dont get the aches and pains i do in a treed in it.
My dream saddle is a sensation hybrid :)
 

Rubic

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Apr 15, 2012
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I've sat in a lot of saddles but to be honest I couldn't tell you the make of half of them!!!

I've ridden in a Freeform treeless on a barrel shaped cob (a friends). It was ok but a bit unstable because of his shape. He is in a treed saddle now and that is much better to ride in!

Rubic has been in a Lovatt & Ricketts saddle (an older one and no idea what model) - it was a 16.5inch so a little small for me but seemed a good fit on her, not too forward at her shoulder which seems to be an important feature for Rubic.
283402_10150261339524095_3039046_n.jpg


Then we had the Thorowgood standard GP which, even at it's best fit, was too forward at her shoulder
168522_10151168937782589_1694645289_n.jpg


Then the Kent & Masters Cob GP which suited her brilliantly and gave her the shoulder space she needed!
1045069_10151516949617972_1854675892_n.jpg

970467_10151647723534095_2044822754_n.jpg


I was really happy with the K&M. I've kept it in case Rubic is sound enough to be ridden.

Girth wise I used a cheapy Tekna ergonomic girth and loved it - synthetic so quick and easy to clean, shaped so it fitted nicely behind her elbows.
 

Vicki100

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Jun 12, 2009
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Both my ridden ponies have made to measure leather saddles, after spending so much money on trying lots of different saddles I really wish id just gone for the made to measure to begin with.....hindsight is a great thing :redface:

Finn has a working hunter saddle as he is very flat backed and wide (XXW) He is a right chunky boy and likes to have freedom in his shoulders.

Buffy had her close contact jumping saddle made around 3 months ago, I really wish id got it sooner as it has improved her flatwork/jumping SO much. She is a complete saddle fitting nightmare, and im over the moon with the fit of the new one. She is croup high, very narrow shoulders but with quite wide in her rib area....I must of tried around 10 different saddles on her all together all of them slipped right over her shoulders after being ridden for 5-10 mins...very annoying....but her new M2M saddle stays put, never moves and she is much happier for it!! :biggrin:

I have tried treeless in the past (Libra trec) on Finn, it worked for a short while but ended up having lots of slipping issues doing faster work/jumping, he also ended up with pressure points and I hated the chair position it put me in :redcarded:

Also Tried lots of wintecs, the pony version, cob version and standard. Cant say any of them were a great fit tbh!

So too answer my question I would save up and go for a leather M2M saddle every time, 100% worth it. :angel:
 
Last edited:

Rubic

Equine Karaoke Queen
Apr 15, 2012
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Both my ridden ponies have made to measure leather saddles, after spending so much money on trying lots of different saddles I really wish id just gone for the made to measure to begin with.....hindsight is a great thing :redface:

Finn has a working hunter saddle as he is very flat backed and wide (XXW) He is a right chunky boy and likes to have freedom in his shoulders.

Buffy had her close contact jumping saddle made around 3 months ago, I really wish id got it sooner as it has improved her flatwork/jumping SO much. She is a complete saddle fitting nightmare, and im over the moon with the fit of the new one. She is croup high, very narrow shoulders but with quite wide in her rib area....I must of tried around 10 different saddles on her all together all of them slipped right over her shoulders after being ridden for 5-10 mins...very annoying....but her new M2M saddle stays put, never moves and she is much happier for it!! :biggrin:

I have tried treeless in the past (Libra trec) on Finn, it worked for a short while but ended up having lots of slipping issues doing faster work/jumping, he also ended up with pressure points and I hated the chair position it put me in :redcarded:

Also Tried lots of wintecs, the pony version, cob version and standard. Cant say any of them were a great fit tbh!

So too answer my question I would save up and go for a leather M2M saddle every time, 100% worth it. :angel:

Just out of curiosity - where did you get you M2M saddles from?
 
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