What do people think of treeless saddles?

welsh1704

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Four weeks ago I had a total hip replacement, I am 27. Before the op the surgeon told me no more riding which has hit me hard. My boyfriend is all for this but has said, as long as he and my friends are around me to help me get on, a few laps of the school now again ...on a lead...cannot hurt. Its a start people. I was thinking of getting a treeless saddle as they give you a much deeper and secure seat...what about the horse though? What do people think? My boy is golden but it will not hurt to feel more comfortable.
 

Spotsrock

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My mare had to have one following a slipped disc. She is better than ever in it. I have a jumping one which tbh is pants and an endurance one which is super comfy but I can't jump in it. I'd def try it. Some of the cheap ones on ebay are actually ok. Contact the seller 1st and confirm that there is no seam on the underside and no hard componants. That way when it comes if it's badly made u can return it easily. My endurance one came from india but I contacted them 1st and was happy with the seller before I bought it. Wish I could remember the seller's name. Bonus of having a cheap one, my local saddler has moved all the knee and thigh padding to suit my preference which was not expensive but I would have been scared to pull an expensive one apart! I have a bad back and it is much better since we went treeless.
 

Alimac19

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I borrowed one once, very comfy and great for hacking. Found that schooling is not possible however and as I do a lot of schooling and jumping it wasn't for me. If I was doing endurance though I wouldn't hesitate.
 

welsh1704

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Okay great thanks. I know some people don' t like them as your sat on the horses back. Ive been offered a black one which i will try on him at the weekend. Your right though ebay have loads if not. Csn you use them in ridden classes? Xx
 

sbloom

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I'm interested that you feel they are deeper - most people find that a treeless, however comfortable, will always be a little shallower and less supportive than a treed saddle. You need to be a well balanced rider to ride in treeless. I fit traditional and flexi panel saddles and i'm not a fan, though in some circyumstances they can work. I'd not recommend one here though - they have wider twists which means your hips will be opened more, and you may need more support. There are plenty of treed saddles out there which would be more suitable for the show ring and would give you that support.

And I would never recommend one of the cheap ones from Inida - you'd not buy a treed saddle from there, a treeless takes good technology to spread the weight of the stirrups, and that costs money. Avoid cheap new saddles like the plague! I have heard too many horror stories of what you CAN'T see in them.
 

smiggy

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i agree with sbloom, having dodgy hips myself, can safely say that although the nicely padded seat may be attractive, they kill your hips due to lack of twist.
 

Casey76

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I've only ever ridden in a Fhoenix, so I don't know how the others compare, but I wouldn't hesitate to use it on any horse. However it does feel wide to me (mind you my cob is very wide to begin with!). I know a lot of people say that the Vogue (also designed by Heather Moffett) has a much narrower twist ans is super comfortable.

The only downside is that they are expensive, and if you are only looking to have a pootle now and a gain, it might not be with the investment.

I wish you a very speedy recovery, and I hope you get back on board soon ;)
 

Aoibhin

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im awaiting the dreaded hip replacement (31) & have found the securest saddle to ride in was a freinds Portuguise saddle, the raised cantle give you support behind & they are rather difficult to fall out of (but still can spetacually!& when you do)

well worth looking into, i am hoping to get my own for if/when i get a horse thats rideable again.
 

welsh1704

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Not dreaded...trust me im four weeks on and its the best thing I ever did. So I cannot bend and twist or ride for a while but i am already going around tescos on one crutch. Just follow everything they say to the book and you will be fine. Its like walking on air.

Oh dear i thought a treeless would be a good move. Its so hard to know what to do xxx
 
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I have a dodgy hip.
My big fuzzy came with a top qual Barefoot saddle.
I found it 'ok' for gentle hacking, but no good for jumping, and after persisting for a good month of riding 4 days a week my hip was much worse than usual.
I found it too broad full stop, also too large in the seat for me.

Got saddler out & found a good qual 2nd hand whp/straight-ish cut GP & havent looked back, happy to jump etc & sit in it for a few hours :)

The biggest annoyance was the girthing on the treeless. I ride alone 99% of the time & it was a right royal pain to get the girth right before getting on (particularly on a round-ish horse), as once on I could not bend down (hip!) to the dressage length buckles to adjust tightness.
 

M_G

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I had a HM one and it was beautiful very comfortable and I loved it however it just slipped on the horse I had at the time (round cob with no wither) I think if you have a normal withered horse it would be grand.

What about side saddle would that be easier on your hip? get well soon x

Edited to add what about an ozzy stock saddle? it is 1/2 western 1/2 english very comfortable & deep seated, I think you would have a hard time falling off one (I was worried about how to get out of it if I had to bail out) x
 
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Tinypony

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You could try a Fhoenix Vogue, they feel quite normal as far as the twist is concerned. It would be worth getting a fitter out so that you can try before you buy as they are expensive. As others have said, many treeless saddles feel wide, so might not be the best thing for your hips.
It depends on your range of movement and which saddle you pick, but remember that with some styles of western and stock saddles, you can need to get your leg up quite high when mounting and dismounting to clear the pommel. I hit that barrier when recovering from a knee op.
 

Spotsrock

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Re ridden classes. I compete in both mine but they don't look very different to normal (from a distance, if u squint). My indian one is my prefered saddle and cost a fifth what the other one did. Disagree not to look at them. My horses back lady and saddler are both happy with weight distribution and horses back is testimony to how well made it is. I would urge u to be careful though.
 

TigerTail

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The v cheap treeless saddles that are basically a pad with stirrups attached are not supportive for either horse or rider.

HM ones are technically a soft treed saddle, and do give the feel of a twist, though some find they feel wide to begin with.

If you find Enlightened Equitation on Facebook you can ask Heather yourself ;)
 

touchstone

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I tried a treeless and found it much worse for my hips. I got rid of it sharpish, I hated the thing!

I would stick to a saddle with a decent twist to it and possibly try a Heather Moffet Hip Saver, a saddle with a lower cantle might help with getting on and off?
 

Rosehip

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I loved mine :) I went treeless as my big girl was a nightmare to try and fit to a traditional saddle and I felt very insecure and perched on her.
I went for the Requisite Roamer, as I didnt want to spend a fortune and then find it wasnt any good. I could do anything I wanted in it, hacking, jumping (although only tiny things!) and schooling. I do find it increadably wide, as Mels was over weight when I got it, and she is a typical flat backed Fell, so you may find a treeless too wide for you? The Semi-tree'd and top end treeless have a twist, so may be better for you?
Can you/could you ride your boy bareback without feeling stretched? I find that a good guide, if you are like the thelweell kids bareback, then a treeless will make you feel more so!
Good luck with your recovery, Im 2.5 weeks out of a total hysterectomy(28), so know your frustration!! x
 

Skippys Mum

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I loved my treeless - Freeform - but it killed my hips. I eventually had to go back to a treed saddle as I just couldnt take it any more :(.

Mind you, my boy is very wide!
 

YasandCrystal

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I would be with Touchstone here - treeless saddles make the seat extremely wide and I would have thought that is the last thing you need.

Some treed saddles offer a 'narrow twist' which again I would have thought would make riding easier for you. Have you thought of a dressage saddle with big knee/thigh rolls - they look so secure or a stock saddle? I would say western, but again I think that may offer too wide a seat although secure. Or maybe side saddle - I know that's completely different. Good luck I am sure you will find a solution. :)
 

Spudlet

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Western saddles are pretty supportive, I'd look into those. Not sure about side saddles, depending which side you have done it may put your hip at quite an angle.

As a suggestion, why not ring the RDA up and see if they could advise you?

Also there is a small charity in Scotland called Horseback Heroes - they do (among other things) western riding for wounded service people. So they could probably tell you a bit about saddles too. They're on Facebook if you want to get in touch.

:)
 

Abbeygale

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I have one - I have done everything in it - jumping, schooling, hacking, beach galloping, Trec - really enjoy it.

But - a friend of mine had a hip op, and she really struggle to ride in it, as it didn't give her enough support in the saddle. I guess it depends a bit which treeless you go for, but my experience of treeless is that they do give less of a seat to sit your ass in. I wouldn't recommend a treeless for someone that was weak in the seat.
 

GinaGeo

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I have a solution Treeless saddle. love it. The newer smart saddles have more of a twist and you can change the knee role position to suit you.

They're not cheap, but I know mine will always fit regardless of the horse's shape!

I wouldn't even entertain a cheap one from abroad, they are death traps.
 

canteron

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When I spoke to my saddler he said his biggest reservation was when you have a relatively big person on a relatively small horse as it doesn't spread the weight as well. Just something to take into account.
 

ozpoz

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I have a total hip replacement and was very anxious to ride again securely and without pain so I feel qualified to comment here! :)
A Solution Smart is not at all wide to ride in, (or I wouldn't), fitted with big knee blocks gives me lots of security, and is deep.... Plus it feels very cushioned. I can't recommend it highly enough and don't think I would ride if I hadn't come across it.
I can't understand some of the comments here - it is impossible to generalize about all treeless saddles.
Definitely try one before you decide on anything.
 

Capriole

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I( have a Saddle Solutions one, it has a twist. I wouldnt entertain getting a cheapy (Indian or otherwise) one off the internet, having seen inside some of them, seriously not good stuff.
I think you can only decide if treeless is for you by actually riding in some. Different brands and models, dont just try one and say its not for you. You can hire some brands to trial, and see if you can borrow other peoples to have a ride on.
Also, be aware there is a weight limit for some saddles.
 

Marley&Me

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I have a Barefoot Cheyenne, I love it.

I have hypermobility syndrome and I am also a returning rider (lacking confidence and fitness)

I would say if you only want to do gentle hacking....which given your recent op I guess that is all you will be up. It is super comfy for you and horse, though possibly less stable (makes you use/improve your core strength).

If you want to do fast hacks/ jumping it is not ideal.

I got mine as my boy needed to develop/correct assymetry....which has been fixed completely from the treeless.

I got the drytex version of the cheyenne, it is cheap and light and will sell on ebay for virtually what you pay new. So you wont loose out.

pm if you need to know more.
 

Ashgrove

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I'm interested that you feel they are deeper - most people find that a treeless, however comfortable, will always be a little shallower and less supportive than a treed saddle. You need to be a well balanced rider to ride in treeless. I fit traditional and flexi panel saddles and i'm not a fan, though in some circyumstances they can work. I'd not recommend one here though - they have wider twists which means your hips will be opened more, and you may need more support. There are plenty of treed saddles out there which would be more suitable for the show ring and would give you that support.

And I would never recommend one of the cheap ones from Inida - you'd not buy a treed saddle from there, a treeless takes good technology to spread the weight of the stirrups, and that costs money. Avoid cheap new saddles like the plague! I have heard too many horror stories of what you CAN'T see in them.
^^ This.

I have 2 treeless saddles, 1 is a Solution GP and a Bob Marshall western. I love them both, but I don't think a treeless saddle would be right for your situation.

Some will give you a deeper seat, but I'm not sure about a more secure seat?
 
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welsh1704

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Thanks for all your comments. I contacted a physio for horse riders and she said the wider the better as your hip is more supportive that way. hmmm what to do.
 

sbloom

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I think you really need a fitter for each out - budget for two callouts, find a good traditional fitter who understands the shape of your horse (happy to help :D) and a treeless fitter and try several. Good saddles are not cheap and if you can budget as much as poss it will give you as much choice as poss, even if you end up spending less.
 
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