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    Treeless Tried and Tested

    New place for this blog.


    I have owned this Saddle Pad for three years now.

    It is now ridden on a 13.2 round barrel mule that has no withers and a 15hh painted mare that has high withers, also previously ridden on a 16hh Purebred spanish with extremely high wither and a 12hh welsh pony. So as it being a Pad it has no problems on any horse.

    The little Joe pad i purchased is from America as it is handmade and only found by the maker who are www.better-horsetack.com .


    The seat is split cowhide , it has D rings for the option of stirrups which i use mine with caged stirrups , the only problem is the stirrup leathers sit right under your thigh so you either have to buy leathers with the buckle at the bottom or as i did which is turn the leathers the other way round so the buckle faces inwards . I have 2 rectangles numnahs that came with it you get one free with purchase of the saddle.

    Obviously 3years ago there wasn't a lot of saddle pads out there, but i in particular have always enjoyed this pad beings i enjoy riding bareback so this just gives me a bit more comfy ness and option of stirrups, and you can feel all the muscles underneath you and become one with your horse because of the close contact.

    If i was to say anything bad about this saddle it would be the fact that if you do use the stirrups when doing a rising trot i sometimes find myself putting more weight on one leg then the other meaning the pad may now and then just slip the most unnoticeable bit. But not every time i ride.

    But apart from that is overall a good pad and for bareback riders just gives you that bit for comfort under your bottom.


    HAF - Shown here in blue.
    The haf pad has a wool underside option or the sympanova. It doesn't have any straps to hold it in place, but i have used this pad under my Freeform and the Dartmoor Treefree ok. Washes well, easy to keep clean and has the option to shim.
    haf pad

    equitex standard

    EQUITEX GP - shown here in white with Freeform

    EQUITEX HIGH WITHER - shown in brown

    equitex high wither

    EQUITEX ELEGANCE- shown here in white

    Freeform sb

    LIBRA - I bought my first treeless saddle and this was the pad that came with it. I have an extremely wide Highland, and i use without the inserts. It is a great pad. Really comfortable and padded.

    DREAM TEAM UNIVERSAL - I liked the material on this pad, and the fact it is a dressage square style. It suits the Dream Team saddle but it is also ok for other treeless and treed saddles. I used it under a freeform and a Dartmoor Treefree. For more information on treeless pads, check out the links on the left.

    KAVALCADE- being tested. If anyone has details if the company is trading let me know.


    Dream Team 'C' Girth
    It is for horses with curved tummy lines and forward girthing point.

    c girth

    HY COMFORT DRESSAGE-Easy to put on wipes clean. Not that thick so not padded apart from end sections. Elastic ends. Easy to use keepers to slot in to start with and to finish. You have a little pocket to tuck excess into. Too easy to over tighten, didn't give me a very secure feeling although the girth didn't move, it did become slippery when she sweated. Sold.

    KAVALKADE This is an air filled girth which my cob loves. Keeps the saddle nice and secure. Straight cut but doesn't rub and allows freedom of movement. Would like a larger size, but stockists are elusive. If you know any, let me know. Believed to be German made.

    DREAM TEAM W GIRTH This is another good quality girth from DT. It is really easy to do up ans suits my cob with her large shoulder movement well. It has the centre ring for attachment and the keepers are kept in place by two flaps which keep everything tidy and in place. Highly recommended. :yes:



    i've been testing one of these this week, i've decided to buy one.

    I found straight away the seat slippery to what i'm used to and the seat had a shape. I've got libra trec. However i decided that i could change the seat to suede or pop on seat saver. Plus i'm not used to the seat shape. So chances are it's due to how i sat.

    Met up with friend and went for plod, did fit in two canters and i found it easy to ride in the forward seat just as easy as sitting.

    Jack being Jack spotted open gate and thought lets really test it out, i said no and we spun round, the saddle didn't move. It didn't slip it didn't go forwards either. Excellent plus point, think decided then i was going to get one! Due to Jack's shape and fact he does have history of spinning, can stop dead and the freeform didn't budge.

    Friend liked the saddle said suited Jack. He liked it, I liked it.

    Day two, this time I shortened the stirrups a few holes as spent some of last hack with them in mid flight. I also rode in my suede full chaps as i found the seat a tad slippery, this is likely to be due to fact i've had my derier on suede and synthetic suede, I think it's a mental thing that i think i may just slide off, I'm also finding the seat a little small for me, but I can order the Classic Plus seat.

    The stirrups are set forwards at the moment and so i was doing sort of western seat, i did pop over a small jump to see what saddle felt like and it was comfortable. I changed from the pad it came with to my equitex pad, to see how it felt, it felt insecure, so changed back to the Haf.

    This model is the sb, with 21" base, i would get a synthetic suede model.

    I also liked the girth system, my chap has a slight forward groove and the girth sits nicely with this saddle, i'm using a roamer girth and I do have a trekker one.

    By day four i was finding the seat plenty big enough as my body had adapted to the shape. I did some small gridwork 2ft4 and i loved the feel and felt secure. I'd even forgotten the seat felt slippery, which it didn't seem to feel anymore.


    I have a 13 hh New Forest pony, with a fairly flat, short back, and virtually no withers. This has made it very difficult to find a saddle that fits her, and I have had problems with every treed sadlle I've tried. Having thought about it for several years, I finally decided to give treeless a go after a nasty fall out hacking, when my pony shied at some cows and spun round, causing my saddle to slip sideways and dump me on the ground at speed.

    After a great deal of research and review reading, I decided to trial a Ghost standard (price from 575). I feel that I've found the solution to my fitting problems. Virtually every aspect of the Ghost is adjustable, including seat size, panel position, stirrup position and girth position. You can even buy different seats, without needing a whole new saddle, if you fancy a change of colour or style. Use of the right pads (I am using the Ghost pad with Thinline pad) means the saddle doesn't slip, and I have even popped a couple of small jumps in it with no problems. It is an extremely comfortable saddle, much more so than any of my treed ones have been, and I felt I could have ridden all day on a recent hack. We have walked, trotted, cantered, galloped with no problems, and it's so nice to feel secure at speed!

    My pony is moving much more freely, and is no longer tense and hollow during transitions. She no longer objects to being saddled either, so it seems to have her stamp of approval. Because it is so adjustable, I have also tried the Ghost on my 15.3 hh youngster. She is only lightly backed so we haven't given it a thorough testing together, but she seemed very happy in it too. She has a good set of withers, and we had no problems with wither clearance at all.

    Overall, I feel the Ghost is excellent value for money - highly adjustable, suitable for use on a range of horses, and very comfortable for the rider. I have to add that customer service from ghostsaddles.co.uk is second to none, very patient and friendly. Thank you to them for helping to solve my saddling problems!


    I've been lucky enough to own this pad and it was completely luxurious. The knee rolls were personally not much use to me since i've not ridden with any for a few years now, but it did from a psychological point of view give the impression of security. The shaped seat with a feel of a cantle was also very nice to sit in and definately worth the money.
    My model came with a handle, crupper ring, breastplate ring, side rein rings and a closed stirrp ring (which i did not use as i've always had concerns over the pressure points.
    The pony size was sadly too small for me and is better suited to a child or small adult up to a size 10.


    I have 3-4 treeless saddles from Hilason. I only get Hilason now. They have a great selection of saddles and they are very comfortable.
    Hilason saddles are designed to fit almost every type of horse! All the saddles that i've bought from them, they all fit my Arabian Mare perfectly. The leather is just perfect! The quality is outstanding and I love the feeling of it when I'm riding it. I've ridden it so many times and it also seems like my horse loves it. Everything is just perfectly in place and i was really happy by the quality that it was made. I've tried other companies as well but honestly i really like Hilason the best. The leather is really comfortable and very durable.
    As for their prices, its unbeatable. I was surprised how such good of a saddle didn't have sky-high prices.
    I really like Hilason and now I dont buy anything else.

    These saddles are american and retail from 250 english money


    have two horses and they each have Freeform saddles.

    My little mare is 13.3, approx 360kg, and she would be best described as a light-weight cob. She has small withers, but does actually have withers!! Her Freefrom is a 16" seat on the smaller version of the classic base, and it fits us both perfectly. I can mount from the ground if I have to without it slipping, and it doesn't slip when we do extreme up- or down-hills either, nor when she does her occasional daft spooks!! She wears it with a Leather Airnet elastic girth. We've done Trec, a bit of dressage and LOADS of hacking it, and she's had it since 2003. I find it an incredibly comfortable saddle and I believe she does too.

    My bigger gelding is a 15h 500kg barrel shape with no withers at all. He's had his Freeform since I first bought him in 2004 and at that time he was around 620kg and loaded with fat pads! We've done some serious 'dieting' every year because his diet really has to be controlled to keep him at a weight more suitable to him, but his saddle has coped with all his weight changes. He's got a standard size classic base with a 17.5" seat on it, which used to fit me better because I too was a 'round' person, although I'm not now, and I now find the seat a little too generous. He and I do Trec, dressage and a bit of jumping along with loads of hacking, and the saddle is fine for all these activities. He also wears a Leather Airnet elastic girth and I can mount from the ground on him too on my more agile days (well I am 50!) if I have to, without the saddle slipping. He is often ridden by friends who haven't got a horse and who accompany me and my mare, and everybody comments on how very comfortable it is.

    The quality of the leather is lovely, and in fact the quality of the saddle is super all round. I don't think I'd ever buy a different make for wither of these two horses now - we love our Freeforms.

    This company has saddle fitters and they retail from 575 and have 6 seat options.


    Very nice saddle, very traditional English looking and rides very similar to a treed saddle, lots of twist so great for people with bad hips.

    The pommel chambers can be replaced with different widths to suit individual horses. It gives plenty of wither clearance so perfect for high withered horses, the Velcro panels underneath allow for a tailored fit to suit individual horses. This saddle is better for the slightly narrower horses as the pommel chambers do not come out as wide as the Western models. The newer version of this saddle has flocked panels and not the Velcro panels, which gives it a more traditional appearance.

    Used on a 16.3hh TB ex racer, a 16hh ID x TB and a 12hh Welsh Mountain pony.

    startrekk dressage
    Prices start from 700


    Very well made saddle with nice German leather, wears very well, scratches quite easily on pommel and fenders and takes a long time to break in, but buttery soft when it has broken in.

    Pommel chamber can be replaced with different widths to suit individual horses, the pommel chambers are quite flexible on fit between sizes (I.e.
    size 2 will fit a wide range of different horses, size 3 if quite a lot wider). Velcro panels under the saddle allow the saddle to be tailored to suit the individual.

    Stirrup rings mounted on leather under the seat of the saddle with a choice of 2 stirrup settings.

    Used at all paces including short endurance rides (10-12 miles).

    Size 2 pommel chamber used on 16.3hh TB ex racer, 14.3hh Welsh x Arab and 15.1hh HW Cob, Size 3 pommel chamber used on 14hh Welsh Cob.

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