Model: Extra Light Endurance Treeless Saddle
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I purchased this saddle on-line after reading about treeless saddles in EQUUS and thought they were a great idea. I bought it for $850 (not including the stirrups).
Likes: Extremely light weight (7 or 8 pounds, I think) with a nice faux suede seat that gave extra "sticking" power. The stirrups were more like English stirrups and allowed free movement of the legs. The seat was extremely comfortable, but without a twist, it felt more like riding bareback.
Dislikes: Although I only weigh 140 pounds, this saddle eventually made my horse develop two white spots in the shape of a butterfly across her spine on her brown back that directly coincided with where my tailbones were. Although she never seemed terribly sore, it was apparent that there was enough pressure there to cause the hairs to whiten (fortunately, after I stopped riding in the saddle, the white hairs eventually shedded out and she's back to brown again). I also noticed that the cool grip liner seemed to stick to the saddle pad more and instead of sliding over the pad, it would grip the pad and ruffle the fur underneath contributing to further problems. I tried all kinds of different saddle pads (Skito, Supracor, and even a specially designed pad with plastic inserts to help distribute the weight), but nothing worked. I also found that the seat for these saddles tends to run very small and although I swim in a 16 western seat, I needed a 17 in the torsion to feel like I had some breathing room.
Quality: Construction of the saddle seemed good. It was cleanly put together and seemed rugged and solid.
Summary: I finally sold the saddle on e-bay after about a year's worth of trying to make it work. Although I love the idea of a treeless saddle, this one just doesn't seem to work (and I'm not that heavy of a person)! I would not recommend this particular saddle to anyone, but perhaps another treeless might work.
Usefulness Rating: 4.25 out of 5.
20 reader(s) voted.
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