Manufacturer: Barefoot (View all products by Barefoot Saddlery)
Model: London (View all London reviews)
Category: Dressage Saddles
Purchase: I bought this saddle from Actionridertack.com for $829. My short-backed gelding is very hard to fit a saddle to and I was displeased with the saddle I had for him, as far as it fit me. I have a friend with another Barefoot saddle and I decided to take his recommendation and try this one.
Likes: This saddle is gorgeous and very well made. It has adjustable knee blocks in 2 sizes. The leather is soft and of very good quality. They said that it may take time to get used to this saddle and I do agree. I really love it, though so far! My horse is adjusting too, I am feeling him experimenting to round his back and he is moving more freely. I notice the biggest difference probably going down hills. I never thought about it until I tried treeless, but where my treed saddles I felt like I was a bumpy trip downhill, this treeless saddle I fell like I am just gliding down the hill with my horse, and his back is definitely more freed up. This is just something you have to feel to believe. The saddle is stable, but I did have to adjust to not really using my stirrups a lot. I realized I was balancing a lot with my feet rather than seat, so this saddle definitely encourages good riding habit, and good balance. It places the rider in a good position without feeling forced into it, also, which I really like. And pfft to everyone that says I am putting pressure on his spine, the spine was free of sweat when I removed the saddle, just like a treed saddle. I did buy the recommended saddle pad though, and the newer saddle model that has the foam gullet. I love the close contact feeling of this saddle. It reminds me of when I used to ride the ponies around with a bareback pad, and you can feel the muscles really working. I also have severe pain in my shoulder when I ride, especially for periods over an hour long, and I went on a 2-hour trail in this saddle and my shoulder only had mild discomfort when I was done. I think this would be a good choice for someone that has pain issues when riding.
Dislikes: It is somewhat less stable than a treed saddle, and the billets are VERY long on my lean 15hand gelding, I had to buy an 18" girth! Also, because of there being no tree, the stirrups are not safety release, so you must ride with the peacock stirrup irons.
Quality: Very high quality, well made, attractive saddle.
Summary: I would definitely consider another Barefoot saddle or recommend one to a friend. This saddle is well made and very comfortable for both horse and rider. I am still waiting for a big spook in it though, as I am not convince it would not go to the side. It has held in place though with smaller spooks, so I am optimistic.
Author: Whitney Coolidge
Usefulness Rating: 3.125 out of 5.
24 reader(s) voted.
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