Topic: Does anyone have experience with a treeless saddle?
June 16, 2019 / By Blossom Question:
I have a Paint mare that I'm having HUGE saddle fitting problems. She has a good wither, but is quite wide in the shoulder, and has a long sloped shoulder which makes her a lovely English horse but causes almost all saddles to pinch her there. She is also long backed. I have paid two different experts for saddle fit, I currently own four Western saddles and none fit her properly. She is fine in my wide Stubben Sigfried English saddle. If rode in other saddles she starts to wring her tail, raise her head, short stride, get cranky. If I continue she will throw her head almost into my face, and even kick out. (This does not happen with the Stubben) I've had her for chiropractic treatments, she's on Glucosamine, she is on ideal living for a horse with back problems as she's in turnout 24/7 (except at shows). I am a small rider, only 115 pounds. I ride well and do not twist in the saddle or thump. I am using a mounting block to try to help her back. I own both books and DVDs on saddle fitting to try to solve the problem myself, but haven't made much progress, although I follow all their suggestions!
I wonder if a treeless saddle would spare her all these saddle fitting problems. Anyone understand how they work? If there is no tree, how does the saddle support your weight? Advantages with one? Disadvantages? I am tired of having this talented horse that cannot wear almost any saddle, and I cannot afford to keep buying saddles that don't solve our problems! Help!
Don't worry, I won't mess with her English saddle. But I show Western, and I can't use the Stubben then! Also, for long trail rides, especially in rough terrain I feel more secure in a Western saddle!
I agree that treeless saddles have a strange look, but right about now I don't care how they look. I just need something that works.
Hi Mulereiner. I didn't add that I have tried many saddle pads and combinations of pads - $200 orthopedic pads, wood and navaho combinations, neoprene underpads, none have helped. None of my Western saddles have worked well. I bought a $3500 used Blue Ribbon because everyone assured me they fit wide horses, and with that saddle at my last show she'd stand in the warm-up pen quietly, then suddenly throw her head upwards and arch her back. Then she's relax a few minutes, and throw her head up again. Not good! I also own a semi-QH Billy Cook, a small youth Cloverbar, a Simco Arab show saddle, none work well. I can ride briefly in them okay, but if I need to ride for a few hours things go downhill. And if I use it a few days in a row then I end up with a sore, stiff horse. No matter what pad I try. In fact, the narrower pads have been better than my $200 orthopedic as the thick pad seems to add bulk to her shoulder.