Model: London Treeless
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I purchased my saddle from a distributor in Vermont, Gail Cowherd, and paid $769. I have seen them on-line for as much as $1850, so it pays to shop carefully. I also found them at Lori's Tack on-line for this price.
Likes: This is my fourth treeless saddle, and definitely my favorite. It is very light weight, 9 lbs, and easy to lift and carry. I have eight horses under saddle and it fits all of them. They range from medium to wide withers. It comes in two seat sizes. I purchased the larger size, but I am not a large person. It has a rigid cantle and pommel which provides good side-to-side rigidity and a balanced, secure seat. You could only call it "cushy" it is so soft to ride in, and you have the bonus of feeling every movement of your horse with very close contact. The saddle puts you in center seat and keeps you there.
Dislikes: I am an average-sized person and the large size fits me well. This would not be a good saddle choice for large riders. The stirrup bar (where the leathers attach) is a complete ring, and not the traditional C-shaped bar. This means the leathers will not come off if your foot gets hung in the irons during a fall. For this reason I would only use safety irons with this saddle. The billets start at the bottom of the skirts and are very long. This is not a good saddle for small horses or ponies. I have Paso Finos and had to buy 20" girths and punch extra holes in the billets. Other saddle models by Barefoot do not have this problem.
Quality: The seat and knee pad leather is very soft and has a non-slip finish. All edges are rolled and finished, the stitching is tight and double reinforced in all weight-bearing areas. The saddle has an interchangeable fiberglass pommel for different horses and comes with two sizes of velcro-in knee pads. There is inch thick black fleece lining under the saddle, which just adds to the comfort. The billets are thick, nylon lined, and double stitched.
Summary: I would definitely recommend this saddle for anyone who rides English that wants to go treeless. The deep, balanced seat keeps you in center seat and the close contact is excellent for leg cues. It is very secure and show-legal in dressage.
Usefulness Rating: 2 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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