Friday, 8 March 2013

Treeless Saddles Review - ONE YEAR ON

I have had 2 different treeless saddles now.
The first was a Freemax.
I didn't like it very much as it slipped quite a bit, even at trot. The girthing points were quite far back and I contacted Freemax to see if I could add a point strap to stop it slipping forwards, but they said that it would alter the balance of the saddle.

Now, I don't think that my 2 horses are deformed, but I have no idea how these saddles are supposed to fit NORMAL horses with normal girthlines?

I stopped using it after a spin caused it to slip round, under her belly and yes, I fell off again.

The second was a Dream Team. They no longer make this saddle though as of last year - SHAME.
This was much better and the most comfortable saddle I have ever sat in - yes sat IN, not on, as it is so lovely and you feel so close to the horse.
But again, the girth straps are way too far back for normal horses and pull the saddle forwards when you ride. I have added another girth strap to mine, 3 inches in front of the others and this is now OK.
Treeless saddle designers really should look at horses, fit the saddles and make sure that the girth is vertical when the saddle is girthed up, otherwise, it is pulled forwards with every stride.
The other problem is saddle slip to the side and when mounting.

I have tried all types of treeless pads and the WORST, by far, is the 'Equitex' treeless pad. Now, for a pad that was £100, you would expect that it would be designed with saddle slip in mind as it is one of the biggest problems with treeless saddles? It is impossible to mount without the saddle slipping round and it slips even when trotting corners in the school. I abandoned it.
Next was a treeless pad from Ebay, £36.00. Faux fur lining on inside, removable closed cell foam insert panels. Much better, but did not stop all slip.

The photo above shows Fred in the Dream Team Saddle
The BEST pad by far is the ESKADRON PVC saddle pad. This does not slip at all! I can mount from the ground, without the girth being so tight that the horse can't breathe (which was the case with the Equitex - I had to loosen it when I got on) and the saddle does not move. Sharp spins - the saddle does not move. They are brilliant, but you can't buy them in the UK any more!! I had to order mine from Spain Worth every penny.

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