Manufacturer: Barefoot Treeless
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: I was in the middle of a saddle fit nightmare with my broad shouldered TWH and a friend suggested treeless. I did some research and ended up buying the Barefoot Arizona from the US Barefoot distributor for around $900.
Likes: I love this saddle. It will never part my company. I cannot figure out these one star ratings complaining of sitting up high (really? I never felt so close to my horse! can feel her muscles!), or like a pillow (really? wow, it's soft and comfy, but definitely "in" the horse, not on top or strapped on), or pushed forward and such with the seat (REALLY? I have never had an easier time sitting a saddle!!). I am so comfortable on this saddle that with my smooooooth gaited horse I feel like I'm on a living room sofa. And I can put it on my Arab and raise the stirrups to post and ride him in total comfort as well. Puts my legs in a sort of dressage seat, which is actually proper alignment. Chair seat with legs out front is NOT aligned, so I love the position it puts me in. I've had mine for 8 years now and still love it.
Dislikes: I agree with some that I've read, the fenders are (were?) horrible. But I was selling my Big Horn cordura after I bought this and traded out fenders. The cordura fenders were just the right match in color, soft and padded. The stiff WAY too thick and dark ones that came with the Arizona matched the leather parts of the Big Horn. So I never had to suffer with those nasty fenders.
Quality: Well made, 8 years later still super comfy. The nubuck leather is not the greatest, after a few years it has worn slick, but the saddle is still very comfortable and easy to ride.
Summary: When I need another trail saddle, I will definitely be buying another treeless. The Barefoot is a quality treeless. Black Forest is an offshoot (I think the originators of Barefoot split and one went to Black Forest) and VERY nice quality - possibly looks just a bit better up close than the Barefoot. If you buy treeless be careful! The copycats (Hilason for one) that are cheapo are very low quality and can hurt the horse. If you go treeless you need a GOOD saddle pad that helps the saddle work right, Equipedic, Skito, something like that and definitely NO ridge down the spine of the pad.
Usefulness Rating: 1.5 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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