Model: Barrel/Racer/Trail/Sports Model
Category: Trail Saddles
Purchase: Purchased on Ebay a new Hilason treeless saddle from Leathergem. Wanted to try a treeless saddle but did not want to pay $1200-$1500. Paid about $490 with shipping and handling.
It seems no matter which treed saddle I use on my somewhat high withered quarter horse, he continues to grow white hairs over his back right behind his withers as if the saddle and/or saddle pad is rubbing him wrong. (I certainly do not want to entertain the thought that my weight/and/or poor riding may be causing this!!)
Likes: It is very light weight. I am 47 years old and throwing my older 40# Circle Y on my 16 hand Quarter Horse was proving too much for me. I was plumb tuckered out just getting him tacked up!! The leather appears to be good quality except for that on the stirrup leathers. I like the close contact of the saddle. It seems to be sturdy and I feel secure in it. I like the high cantle. It is now a very comfortable saddle after I made the changes that I made with the stirrup leathers. (see below).
Dislikes: The tan dyed leather is a sickly pinkish beige color. I am hoping with age, oil and sun that the leather will age into a more attractive color. Thankfully, the majority of the saddle is black leather which is nice.
The stirrup leathers were very uncomfortable under my legs when riding. The problem is due partly to the buckles used to adjust stirrup length...they cause the leathers to be very bulky under your leg. (Remember the ol' princess and the pea stories!) I tried oiling the leather and then clamping it down to decrease the bulk but then the leather actually split like it was made of cardboard. I have never seen "real leather" do that so was very disappointed but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
I switched out the crappy stirrup leathers that came with the saddle with a pair of English 1 inch leathers and used them with the stirrups that came with the saddle. This made for much less bulk under my leg and made the saddle 110% comfortable!
Quality: Besides the poor quality leather on the stirrup leathers, I have no complaints at all about this saddle. All of the fittings are very secure and for the money spent, the rest of the saddle quality appears as good as that of any of my more expensive saddles including Circle Y.
I would definitely recommend this saddle to anyone wishing to try a treeless.
I hope to post in a few months time that my quarter horses back is the beautiful bay it should be instead of the white hairs poking through.
Summary: For the money I spent, which was less than $500.00 including s/h, I believe this saddle was a good buy. I need to ride it for a longer period of time to see if my quarter horses back hairs start to come back in bay instead of the white I have been seeing. I want my horse to have a saddle that is comfortable for him as well.
I researched the treeless saddles for a long period of time before purchasing one and I saw that a complaint of many was saddle slippage when mounting. I switched out my saddle blanket to a neoprene "non-slip" pad and have had no problems whatsoever with the saddle slipping (and I weigh close to 200#). My gelding is 16 hands tall so I always use a mounting block as I do not feel it is good for his back otherwise. No problems with the saddle slipping at all.
Another recommendation I would strongly recommend is NOT tying the cinch in the typical western knot. This makes for too much bulk under your left leg. Punch some holes in your cinch strap and buckle your strap. I read this hint on one of the Bob Marshall websites which tells the correct way to cinch their saddle.
Worked wonders for me!
Author: gail and Blazn (my horse)
Usefulness Rating: 2 out of 5.
5 reader(s) voted.
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