Treeless saddles

Discussion in 'Tack & Equipment' started by xochxfishrxo, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. xochxfishrxo

    xochxfishrxo Senior Member

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    Hi! I am currently looking around to buy a new or used (inexpensive) saddle after i make a little more cash ...unfortunately my mare is really wide withered. NOTHING FITS HER. She is super sensitive which makes it all the better :no:.
    SO. i am wondering what everyone's opinion is on treeless saddles. how do they fit on wide horses? I know they can be a little pricy but all i care about is my mare being sound and comfortable. I rode in a Bob Marshall treeless the other day on another horse...i almost thought you could feel the horse a little too much..? my mare is just going to be doing basic training right now..but i do barrel race. I have heard from fellow racers that the saddles tend to make the horses sore after so many runs from bouncing some and all thatt..(we cant always stay in the seat as well as we would like to:wink:).
    just any info on treeless saddles would be helpful

    EDIT:
    I will get a picture of my mare's withers and such later. I am so worried because nothing has fit her and i dont have the money for a custom saddle...i am so mad at myself too! I JUST sold my english saddle that has interchangeable gullets. i could have ridden in that until i found a western saddle!
     






  2. possumtrot

    possumtrot Senior Member+

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    I don't have much experience with western treeless but do love my english treeless (have had a couple of different ones over the last 10-12 years). Perhaps you should just continue to save until you can get the treed saddle you need? Is she too wide for a quarter horse bar saddle? Perhaps you just need to investigate the different bar shapes and that will help. And look at used if possible. Much friendlier on the budget...
     
  3. Javanewt

    Javanewt Senior Member+

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    Ditto possumtrot. I love my Ansur Konklusion and Carlton. Don't know much about Western, though.
     
  4. crayon

    crayon Senior Member+

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    Ansur does have a Western-ish model, although I've never seen it used. Bob Marshalls have good reputations. Honestly though, (and I'm not criticizing you, I've tried barrel racing and it was tough to stay as soft in the saddle as usual!) I think a horse would get sore after enough bouncing in any saddle, treed or not. It's just that you're closer to the horse with a treeless saddle and need to use special supplemental padding for extra protection for the horse. I have an Ansur Chic, and I'm pretty sure it makes everything less bouncy. It's much easier for me to sit the trot and canter. I prefer to be pretty close to my horse, and some people prefer the support of a saddle. However, I don't have any experience with the Bob Marshall saddles. I would say, try what you can and see what works best. :)
     
  5. DancingArabian

    DancingArabian Senior Member+

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    Treeless saddles still need to be fitted and IMO that causes a lot of the problems people get with treeless. They just throw a saddle and pad on thinking that it's fine because it's treeless then end up with problems. Not everyone does it mind you, but I think enough do.

    Havent you ever heard of a horse with a treed saddle getting a sore back? It does happen :) people don't run screaming from treed saddles for it so no reason to do so for treeless.

    Ive only had experience with the Bob Marshall's and the one I used was nice for what it was. It was uncomfortable to me mostly because I ride English and I'm not used to so much saddle LOL

    For what it's worth, I ride treeless. I've tried switching to a treed saddle and my horse gets confused and stops moving forward. I think he feels blocked from the tree? No idea but saddle wise we are fine so I never looked into it further.
     
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  6. xSecertsx

    xSecertsx Senior Member

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    I switched to a treeless saddle this year. I enjoy it and ride several horses with my saddle it never seems to make any of their backs sore, just use a good pad. I switched because my horse who I bought the saddle for is wide with a short back, I figured a treeless saddle would give him more freedom and be more likely to fit. It fits better than my treed saddle did. Though I advise you to borrow one before you buy one to ride your horse in. Some horses I ride I really wish I had a treed saddle to ride in, rougher horses are easier to feel. I tried a Bob Marshall out and it was nice, but I didn't like how much I could feel the horse especially the body heat coming off them. I ended up with a Tammy Fischer Circle Y treeless barrel saddle, it has a thicker seat and they run a bit bigger seat wise than a Bob Marshall, they only have half sizes but a 15.5 fits like a treed 15 where the BM felt kinda snug. It's just preference, treeless saddles in barrel racing continue to become more popular.
     
  7. crayon

    crayon Senior Member+

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    This is what it was like with Crayon when I would go from riding primarily bareback to with a treed saddle. With my treeless, she's now more forward, more round more often, and happier than she has ever been before. I do have to pad it carefully do it doesn't bind over her withers or spine, but so far so good. I have even done barrels with her in this saddle a few times. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  8. Peanut Palomino

    Peanut Palomino Senior Member+

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    A someone who has been barrel racing since I started riding, I can honestly say that I have only seen 1 barrel horse do well in a treeless.
    I would NEVER recommend them for barrel racing.
    Trees are there to make the horse comfortable. They spread out the pressure. Not just pressure from slamming down in the saddle, but just general riding. They make it so that the back muscles absorb the pressure, and not the spine. In a treeless, you can't avoid that. All of you pressure comes down on the one spot where your **** is, and on the spine.
    This usually isn't a big deal for gentle, careful, experienced riders.
    But when you're barrel racing, if you make one little mistake and come down hard in the saddle, your horse will feel every pound of you and then some. This will be especially hard to avoid since she's still in training and likely to take a mis-step that throws you off. Do your horse a favor and find a saddle with a tree that fits her.

    Treeless saddles are great for a lot of things, but they don't belong in barrel racing (in my opinion).
     
  9. crayon

    crayon Senior Member+

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    ^That is an incorrect assumption about treeless saddles. In fact, studies have shown that well fitting treed saddles and well fitting treeless saddles distribute weight equally well. If they are incorrectly padded, sure, you will end up with pressure on the spine. However, any reputable treeless company will suggest supplemental padding, usually a Skito brand pad, or some other reputable brand. The padding is designed to ensure that you don't have pressure on the spine, and that the rider's weight is distributed evenly instead of just where they're sitting. For example, I use an Ansur dorsal pad with my Ansur saddle. Although, the Ansur saddles have a special structure inside that distribute's the rider's weight. When I take the saddle off after a long ride my horse has a very even sweat mark with a clear dry channel along her spine and withers, because the saddle does not put pressure on those parts. Of course it is up to the horse's owner to determine what type of saddle is best forthem, the horse, and their main discipline. I don't want to force treeless saddles on anyone, but I believe it's important that correct facts are known. :)
     
  10. Peanut Palomino

    Peanut Palomino Senior Member+

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    I'm just judging off what I've observed after barrel racing my entire life. Treeless is fine for other things, but no amount of padding is going to fix a rider coming down hard in the saddle when a green barrel horse takes a mis-step around a barrel when they are learning to run.
    I've seen them work fine on VERY seasoned horses with very seasoned riders, but for training purposes in barrel racing, it's not a smart choice.
     






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