When I first heard about treeless saddles at the PA Horse World Expo two years ago it was nothing more than a fleeting "hmm interesting" moment. When I finally got to ride in one at Muckleratz about a month ago though, it quickly went from interesting to must HAVE. If doing 25 miles for the first time in an unfamiliar saddle with an unfamiliar horse resulted in zero soreness post-ride (for both horse and rider) then I don't know what else proves that treeless works pretty darn well when everything is tweaked just right. Quest and I have had no issues with w/t/c bareback and I did say that I'd invest in a nicer saddle for us when we started endurance, I decided to give treeless a try.
I did my research, talked to some distance riding folks, and came up with a list of brands and models to shop for. After a few days of searching, I managed to find a used Black Forest Shasta that fit my specifications at a very good price and contacted the seller who turned out to be an avid endurance rider back in the day.
After a week and a half of waiting
And of course I had to do a quick test ride at the first opportunity. T and I had plans early the next morning so I was not properly dressed for riding, oops. T let me try out a couple of her dressage girths to figure out sizing (Quest is a 20-22"). The saddle came with western fenders which I'm probably not going to use so I went sans stirrups and used a regular AP pad underneath since the Skito pad is still en route.
Used the fence to hop on and...omg comfort. Riding on a cloud comfort. The seat size was just right for me and Quest moved out very nicely with happy ears the whole time.
|Tracking up nicely at the walk.|
....please excuse the lack of proper footwear.