Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Cheap Ebay Treeless English Saddle Review

  • Bought on eBay for $135 + s/h, made in India
  • Used with a Reinsman contour pad, not a correct treeless pad, but it seemed to work for my horse. Also, I removed the panels from another treeless saddle and attached them to this saddle. Without those panels, I wouldn't have used a regular saddle pad.
  • Very comfortable, decent construction and materials
  • Horse never got sore in this saddle
  • Took me a while to get my feet under me - shortened stirrups
  • Made my very wide horse seem much wider, my hips eventually started popping
  • Floppy construction - saddle was not secure, sold it after slipping

This was my very first treeless saddle. After trying and failing repeatedly to fit a treed saddle to my horse, I finally found something he was comfortable in. The saddle construction and materials were decent and looked good on the horse. However, it was very floppy, like a bareback pad. The Torsion Close-Contact saddle has a much sturdier construction and holds its shape well, keeping it from slipping. This cheaper saddle slipped every time my weight shifted too far to the side and there was no mounting from the ground. My first ride in it I rolled it under my horse’s belly. Learned quickly that I needed to make ABSOLUTELY SURE the girth was tight.

The thick flaps on this saddle made my already wide horse feel enormous.  When I first started riding in this saddle, I could not get my feet under me and I had to shorten my stirrups.  This helped keep me in a good position, but the lack of twist in this saddle would later become a problem.


For about 1-2 years I rode solely in this saddle, up to 15 miles at a time 1-2 times a week plus some arena riding, and it did really well for me.  I gained a very secure seat (because I couldn’t let my weight go to the side) and had a lot of great rides, both trail and arena, in this saddle. The construction of the saddle was quite durable, and I never had any pieces break.  However, any spook that sent my horse sideways, or barely knocked me to the side, ended with me on the ground. After about 2 years it got worse as the saddle started breaking down, and I was starting to notice a pop in my hip ligament that I never had before due to lack of twist. Finally, after a really bad fall that absolutely shouldn’t have happened (my horse spooked and my saddle ended up, once again, under his belly), I sold this saddle as a knock-around saddle to play in but not for serious endeavors.

Overall, I enjoyed many rides in this saddle.  I made a few alterations, such as beefing up the velcro under the seat and adding the panels, and I switched out the leather seat for a suede one for added security.  The only reason I sold it was because it just wouldn't stay on my faster-than-the-speed-of-light cutting bred horse.  Though my hip started popping while riding in this saddle, I can also attribute this to tight hips and a previous riding accident.  Getting more exercise, lifting weights, and most importantly starting Yoga has fixed my hip, even though I still ride the same horse with a thick bareback pad.  I'd consider this saddle to have been a good intro to treeless for me, though it would have worked out much better on a steady-eddy type horse.

See all of my English Style Treeless Saddle Reviews.

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