Model: Tahoe Classic
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I have struggled for years to find a saddle that would work for my haflinger. When white spots appeared on his withers I started to look into treeless saddles. After researching different brands, I decided on Barefoot because of the price and excellent reviews. I purchased my Barefoot from Brita Rizzi on barefootsaddles.net for $829. It is the new model with the VPS system. I couldn't be happier!
Likes: What isn't there to love about this saddle? The leather is EXCUISITE! The craftsmanship is wonderful and it fits both me and my haflinger to a "T". What I can't figure out is why people think these are glorified bareback pads. THESE ARE NOT GLORIFIED BAREBACK PADS PEOPLE! This is a sophisticated saddle that a lot of time and attention went into to make sure horse and rider are comfortable and safe. I love the VPS system as it allows a great amount of spinal clearance and forms a perfect gullet without pressure points. It fits my haflingers short back and does not sit over his kidney area like every other saddle I've tried. I love the look of my Classic model. It doesn't have the horsehead or leather saddle strings so it looks more like a traditional english saddle that I could potentially show in. Everything about this saddle is comfortable and pliable and I couldn't be happier.
Dislikes: The billets are VERY long. This is a good thing to have, however, if you use this saddle on different horses of varying heights. My 13.2 hand haflinger needs a 14" dressage girth! Also, this model is made with nubuck leather which means cleaning is slightly more tedious than with full grain leather. Most cleaners are made for sealed leathers (like full grain) and not nubuck or suede. They will strip the dye and dry the leather out. BE CAREFUL! Another thing you need to know about treeless saddles are the special pads they require. Your saddle pad must have foam inserts for added support and protection of your horse's back. These are expensive! These saddles also have a CLOSED ring for the stirrup leathers so safety stirrups are a must. I use Foot Free stirrups.
Quality: The quality couldn't be any better! The leather is so soft and pliable that almost NO break in time is needed for the seat to feel comfortable. The saddle is beautifully crafted with tight stitching, it smells great, and looks like a million bucks.
Summary: Barefoot saddles are wonderful! Look into one if you are considering going treeless. You will need to buy different accessories though. This is what I bought: Grandeur saddle pad $165 Barefoot leathers $50 Foot free stirrups $35 Short girth $70 Tahoe Classic saddle $829 Having a comfortable horse PRICELESS!
Author: Revolver Girl
Usefulness Rating: 2.4 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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