2 min read
There are ongoing discussions amongst horse riders and saddle fitters whether treeless saddles are good for horses. In theory it sounds like a treeless saddle would be more gentle on the horses back, however this is not always the case. We have done the research and there are 3 things you need to consider before buying a treeless saddle.
Facts cannot be certain unless hours of research and testing have been poured into the field. However there are not many scientific articles or tests that have been done in relation to treeless and treed saddles. The research that have been done focuses on the issue whether treeless saddles puts pressure on the spine as mentioned above. There are a handful of articles that implies that treeless saddles creates pressure points on the rider seat bone and stirrup fastening. However there is not enough evidence at this stage whether treed or treeless saddles are more/less gentle on the horses back. An incorrectly fitted treed saddle can cause more damage than a treeless saddle with light pressure points.
It is evident that more research and testing together with technology is required, there is currently no right or wrong answer. The shape of horse saddles and manufacturing has not changed much in the last 100 years. However in todays technological environment it is just a question of time before the next generation of saddles that are easier to fit, more gentle on the horses back with no pressure points etc are developed. In the meantime we recommend either making sure that you have a correctly fitted treed saddle or a treeless saddle as long as you are a 'lighter' rider. Make sure you discuss options for you and your horse in relation to brands and fit with your vet and local saddle fitter.
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