Treeless saddles - recommendations please

Serephin

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I have been a long time Barefoot saddle user, I have had a Cheyenne for years. But I am looking to get something I can jump in. Plus my Cheyenne is an older style and I think the stirrup leather rings are causing pressure points on my horse's back.

I am interested in the Ghost saddle, its seems very lightweight and looks like it offers more protection for the horse.

There is also the Dartmoor/Exmoor Tree Free saddle which looks very similar to the Cheyenne but has normal stirrup bars as opposed to closed ring, which is tedious as I can't use normal leathers. Its also much more expensive than the Cheyenne.

I like the look of the Freeform but had read varying reviews about them, not all positive.

I have a flat backed chubby cob with a little bit of wither (only had him a couple of months, so won't be chubby forever!). My Cheyenne fits him fine, but I have noticed it rubs at the back a bit as well.

So, any recommendations? Is there a treeless saddle that surpasses them all? I am not restricted to the cheaper end of the scale necessarily as I envisage having the saddle for a long time. I am leaning towards the ghost at the moment, but its so adjustable it seems a bit daunting!

Choccy biscuits for any help!
 

hippocobamus

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Have you thought about a Solution saddle? On the higher end of the price scale, but the most conventional looking and very easy to use.
 

mdfreeman37

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We have a couple of solutions and they are great so I'd second solution. Also have a heather moffett one as well which I had on my shire x warmblood and found very comfy.
 

Serephin

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There is a solution saddle on ebay for sale, not sure how the sizes work out though. Can you jump in them?

There are also two mondials for sale, they look just like traditional saddles. They are not made any more but in the descrition are touted as the best treeless saddle you can get!

A new solution saddle is a bit too much, pretty sure I couldn't swing that with my Husband!
 

Serephin

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There are a couple of ghosts as well, but am wondering if Piccolo is going to be too small for my bum, I am a size 12.....
 

mdfreeman37

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There is a solution saddle on ebay for sale, not sure how the sizes work out though. Can you jump in them?

There are also two mondials for sale, they look just like traditional saddles. They are not made any more but in the descrition are touted as the best treeless saddle you can get!

A new solution saddle is a bit too much, pretty sure I couldn't swing that with my Husband!
My partners daughter jumps in her solution saddle (show jumping and cross country). I think theres a guide re sizes on solutions website

http://www.solutionsaddles.com/saddles/sizing.html
 
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Kat

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I jump and hunt in my solution saddles. Sizing wise you fit to your seat size. There is a guide on their website, mine are size 5s which are equivalent to a 17.5 - 18" seat.

The saddles should fit most horses but some models are more suitable for flatter backs and some for horses with more of a wither. They are very helpful and have fitters and saddles you can hire to try.
 

YorksG

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I am currently in the process of buying two solution saddles, they have been very,, very helpful so far. I've told them the size of the two riders, the sizes of the four horses, sent photo's of the horses backs and heard back today that they are 'building' them now, in time for when my funds clear in mid-september. They have no deposit, have my name and address and e-mail address, they have been great so far and very professional. I will keep you updated on how we go :)
 

kaiserchief

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How long is your Cheyenne and what padding are you using under it? It may be that the rubbing and pressure marks on jumping may be something that can be solved with the current saddle, however if you do want to upgrade, based on my personal experiences, I'd recommend a Freeform. I had one on my 13.2hh New Forest pony for most of her ridden life and loved it - it was comfortable, stable, she went well in it and we always had lovely even sweat marks. Sadly it wouldn't have fitted my current pony as he's smaller, shorter backed and narrower :( I do miss that saddle!

I trialled a Ghost a while back (I wrote up a long post about it which you could probably find if you run a search on here for my started threads) and liked it but not enough to buy one.

I have recently bought a secondhand Sensation, and whilst I love how comfortable and supportive it is, it won't be staying as I cannot get it to stay still! I've tried all sorts with the padding to balance it but it just shoots off to the right which isn't safe or comfortable for the pony. I had thought it could have been my riding but I had a professional ride him tonight and it happened twice with her too :(

My next port of call will be to try a Solution (so you never know, I may recommend that over a Freeform in the future, but since I haven't tried yet, I can't say).

Good luck with your saddle journey! :)
 

cundlegreen

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I took a fairly unmuscled 5 year old out on a 12 mile ride on Sun with my Barefoot Cheyenne with a grandeur pad underneath. I have found that in every treed saddle I rode her in, she had soft bumps come up on both sides and on top of the spine, despite having plenty of gullet clearance. She came back from the ride with her back perfect, despite the hot weather. No sign of any pressure rubs. This bears out my thinking in breaking and riding young horses in a treeless, as I think its important that they are comfortable to start with.
I trialled one of the new solution saddles 2 years ago, and was less than impressed. I also found it absolutely killed both my upper thighs due to the positioning of the stirrup bars, and that was on a half an hours hack. If you wanted to jump, and didn't mind the weight, I'd recommend a Reactorpanel, which I found very comfortable to hack and jump in.
 
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There is also the Dartmoor/Exmoor Tree Free saddle which looks very similar to the Cheyenne but has normal stirrup bars as opposed to closed ring, which is tedious as I can't use normal leathers. Its also much more expensive than the Cheyenne.

I like the look of the Freeform but had read varying reviews about them, not all positive.
I have tried the Freeform, it wasn't really supportive for me on anything longer than a 1 hr ride; I got lower backache in it which basically told me it wasn't putting me in the right place, also when I took it off the horse it was easy to see because she'd worked up a sweat, that there was pressure-marks where the stirrup bars sat :( Not good.

I have one of the Tree Free saddles, the Exmoor. It is lovely; on the later/more recent models you can opt for the "forward" stirrup position which puts your hips in a slightly less outwardly rotated position. They've got a GP prototype which you can try (or any of their saddles basically) for £50 for a week's trial and this is deducted if you buy the saddle. I've just trialled the GP prototype, it is LOVELY. I was able to ride for 2 hrs in it and hardly knew I'd been up there, it was just soooo comfy. I'm buying one! Johan and Andrea are based in Buckfastleigh, Devon, and are Master Saddlers. Their saddles are made extremely well and they've used all their expertise into developing their Tree Free range so that the horse's back is protected. I cannot recommend them highly enough; after having had a mega-bad experience with some "saddle fitters" who were nothing more than crooks basically, it was refreshing to deal with such lovely, genuine, and honest people, who don't pressure you at all.

As for jumping?? Hmmm, dunno, can't answer that coz not something I'd do. In the Tree Free, you'd probably be OK popping a log out hacking....... but as for serious jumping, I wouldn't know I'm afraid.

Have tried the HM Phoenix & Vogue but didn't get on with them.

Ditto the HM FlexEE; I had one of the pre-gulletted versions and could never make the flippin thing fit no matter now I tried - it always seemed different every time I rode in it. Hated it, got rid of it. Dunno whether it would be "jump-able".
 
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Sukistokes2

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I have the Heather Moffett saddles and I find they ride well, as well as being very comfortable for the horses. Can be bought from eBay or from the EE FB page, been very pleased with mine.
 

Serephin

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I did read your review of the Ghost, Kaiser, a shame it didn't suit for you. It sounds like such a good saddle. I am going to trial one in a couple of weeks, and I am hoping it'll do the job.

I am do like the tree free saddles, I phoned them yesterday and left a message. I like the fact that I could use normal stirrup leathers. They are very similar in appearance to the Cheyenne, and I do like the deep seat feel of the barefoot.

The solution just looks a bit weird to me and its putting me off. I am hoping they might be at Burghley this year and I could see one in the flesh so to speak.

I did buy a flexee and I really didn't like it. So sold it again.

As far as jumping goes, I doubt I would be doing anything serious, just a log out hacking and maybe some low jumps in the school. I have only had my boy for a couple of months and am getting to know him, but I think my days of jumping 3' might be over, but never say never and all that!
 

Serephin

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And my existing barefoot I use a barefoot pad. It doesn't have the vps system as I did try one of those a few years ago, my horse spooked at a bunny, the saddle slipped right round and deposited me on the floor! My old type cheyenne doesn't budge at all, but does seem to leave pressure point marks where the stirrup rings are.
 

Kat

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What do you mean the solutions look weird? They look more like a traditional saddle than any other treeless. Most people don't realise mine is treeless. Have you seen the show saddle?
 

Serephin

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What do you mean the solutions look weird? They look more like a traditional saddle than any other treeless. Most people don't realise mine is treeless. Have you seen the show saddle?
I think it might be because I have ridden in a barefoot for nigh on ten years now, so traditional saddles make my bum ache just looking at them!
 

Kat

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I think it might be because I have ridden in a barefoot for nigh on ten years now, so traditional saddles make my bum ache just looking at them!
They are much more comfortable than a traditional saddle, they just look traditional!

I really recommend getting a fitter out who can let you ride in a few different models. I have a dressage one and a jumping one!
 

Serephin

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I'm going to see if there are any fitters in my area, its worth a try, so many people have said they are good!
 
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