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Which treeless??


I have been doing a lot of research into treeless saddles lately, but so many of the discussions I’ve found are several years old.

My Hanoverian/Arab/Saddlebred is a bit of an awkward shape- big barrel with prominent withers- but he’s so much happier when I just ride him bareback that I’m going treeless!

Is there a particular make/model that y’all might recommend for his particular shape?

Thanks in advance for any help! :smiley:


I’m not sure about how it would work on a horse with high withers …but I have an Ansur Excel and LOVE IT.

I like my Heather Moffat Vogue very well, and they are easy to deal with.

Someone is loaning me an Ansur to try out next week. I’m really looking forward to it.

I really liked my Barefoot London. A lot of the fit of a treeless saddle is dependent upon how you pad them.

I have a Rebecca Treeless, and have no complaints.

For a horse with high withers and larger barrel I highly suggest the Ansur Classic.

I would say - don’t go treeless with prominent withers.
Having said that, I think the Freeform has a cutback model. http://freeformusa.com/features.html
Given that the stirrup attachment goes over the horse’s back on most regular treeless models, you are bound to get the pommel pulled down on to the wither.

I had the Ansur Classic for many years. My horse has high withers. Never had a problem. I am also an equine massage therapist and never found him to be back sore. I also used this saddle on other horses I rode. It fit every thing from high withers to a no wither Friesian. But saddles are truly a personal choice. It has to fit both horse and rider. Both have to feel comfortable. For us ladies out there it’s like buying a bra :wink: what works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. I have heard the Freeforms are super nice also! If you want to go with a treed saddle Kieffer and County have nice saddles designed specifically for high withers.

I considered a treeless saddle until I read this article. This is the Abstract from an independent research group. I’m sure the full article is available also.


I considered a treeless saddle until I read this article. This is the Abstract from an independent research group. I’m sure the full article is available also.

I’ve read this research before and disappointed that it does not say which treeless was used in the research as there is a big variation. I’ve pressure tested my treeless (solution GP) with pliance system and there were no pressure points.

I had a solution treeless and it was great, I do recommend them. I think I’ve had two horses it didn’t suit, but I’ve used it on quite a few horses. I’d get another.

I have heard quite nice things about Heather Moffett’s treeless saddles. And I think even if you get one second hand, they’ll be happy to help you fix it to your horse.

I’ve heard quite bad things about the HM saddles and it’s a brand I wouldn’t touch. I won’t go into detail on here though.

I’ve owned an Ansur Classic since 2002 and have used it on many horses with a huge variety of back shapes. I have never found it to fit (with conventional saddle pads, at least) the high-withered back. Some other Ansur models are built with channels and those might be a good choice (the saddles are well-made and comfortable).

My super picky girl loves our Ansur Excel. I got it used for a decent price. I’ve read the articles and research, but if she’s happy, I’m happy. She’s routinely seen by a massage therapist that’s also our saddle fitter, so I have no doubt I’d know about it if something wasn’t right!

I’ve seem more problems from ill fitting treed saddles than from treeless.

I had a Barefoot London and didn’t care for the super long flaps (this was the old style) and it felt more like a western saddle.

I have had a Free Max Dressage (not Free Form) for years now (not sold in the US) and I’ve been very happy with it. It looks just like a regular treed saddle and has worn like iron. I’d buy another in a moment if I came across one.

Treeless saddles seem to be one of the most polarizing topics. Some people will make the argument, “you need a tree to correctly distribute the weight of the rider” other say it’s not true. I own an ansur classic but honestly I haven’t used it in years because I want the support of a treed saddle; I don’t feel confident enough any more to use it.

I’ve only used tree saddles for 20 years but with my mare, who hates every saddle I have, I agreed to try a friends Ansur. It is the kind with a gullet.

We rode for 2 hours yesterday, the most I’ve been able to ride is 45ish minutes before she made it clear we were done. I loved it. Just one ride in so we will see how daily rides build up on her, but she had even sweat marks, no back soreness, and it fit me like a cloud.

I may be a convert soon.

The HM Vogue Mark II is hands down the best treeless saddle I’ve ever ridden.

Wouldn’t own an Ansur, but one of the prior owners, Peter something, spun off into a new company a few years ago that makes some lovely models. I can find the info if someone’s really interested.