Model: Classic Treeless Saddle
Category: All Purpose Saddles
Purchase: I recently bought a Freeform Classic for $1500 from Action Rider Tack (USA). I got it because I have a very hard to fit Morgan, and I was riding in a Torsion Trekking treeless he was comfortable in, but I was not.
Likes: The Freeform is a brilliant design -- the seat is easily removable and can be switched with other sizes if you have different sized riders using the same saddle; the stirrup leathers can be moved forwards or backwards to your preference; the length of the leathers is easy to adjust from a riding position. It is also extremely well made and feels much more like a traditional saddle than other treeless saddles due to the foam-injected seat, which provides a "twist" feeling for the rider. It is lightweight, very attractive, and normal enough looking that you could ride in a show without calling too much attention to your tack. The knee roll is actually functional and helpful without getting in the way or pushing your leg off the horse. It provides you with a rock solid leg position, even when going down steep hills, yet still allows you to get your leg where you need it for cues or an emergency. I also chatted with elite level endurance rider Darolyn Butler about what she's riding in these days, and guess what -- she's in a Freeform. She likes the weight distribution better than any other treeless, and hey, if she says it's good for the horse's back, that's good enough for me!
Dislikes: Right now, the front of the saddle is putting a bit too much pressure on my horse's withers area, even though he doesn't have much in the way of withers. I believe this is because of the inserts in my pad, which I had cut a bit too wide in that area. I have ordered new inserts and we'll see if that solves the problem. Makes me wonder, though, how this saddle would work on a horse with real withers.
Quality: This is a beautifully crafted piece of equipment -- and I am fussy about such things. My only complaint here is that the leather might be a little too fine, as it is showing wear marks under the billets with very little use. As long as the rest of it doesn't mark up too easily, though, that is not a big deal. Time will tell!
Summary: Wonderful saddle, though I haven't ridden in it that much yet. I would highly recommend that you get your hands on one and try it!
Author: Susan Kauffmann
Usefulness Rating: 2.25 out of 5.
4 reader(s) voted.
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