I just realized that although the whole topic of treeless saddles vs. treed saddles is a pretty controversial one, I have not until now shared my personal thoughts with you on them in this blog space. Please do understand, however, that my thoughts are based on scientific facts and truths – regardless what the manufacturers of these treeless saddles claim. I have had some interesting discourse on the topic with @Barbra Ann King of Relationship Riding in Alberta, and some of these thoughts are based on her point of view. In my blog next week I will present more of my own viewpoint on the topic, but this week I have taken a more conciliatory stance.
The subject of treed and treeless saddles is somewhat contentious and each side will always have its ardent supporters. Since they first showed up on the market, some treeless saddle manufacturers have addressed the spinal issues as well as weight distribution, although there are very few that are doing it properly.
Ms. King has had experience in rehabilitating horses with muscle atrophy caused by treed saddles, with dramatic and convincing results. So obviously there are two sides to the story; I still maintain that while they may even be a positive solution for a short period, in general properly fitted treed saddles win hands down, every time. There is a reason for the development of the saddle tree – which goes back many centuries, when horse people were actually horse people and had to ensure their horses stayed sound as their lives depended on it. The saddle tree acts as an interface between the vertical spine of the rider and the horizontal spine of the horse – protecting both against long term back damage. Read full article here.
~ Jochen Schleese CMS, CSFT, CSE, courtesy of Saddlefit 4 Life