Does anyone have a lot of knowledge on treeless saddles on here??
I ask as following a discussion recently with someone,I am a bit confused (doesn't take much lol)
I always thought that treeless saddles were NOT meant for heavier riders,in fact am sure barefoot recommended for their saddles no-one over 12 stone?? (or used to state that anyway,haven't looked recently).I must confess to using mine when a little over this weight,but always worried about it (still do TBH,am bang on 12 stone now,but still bothers me),and would have stopped using it at all if got any heavier.
I *think* it has to do with having no gullet and too much pressure on the spine if the rider is heavier?? but could be wrong as not certain as to the exact science of it.
Recently though anyone and everyone seems to use them including heavier riders,and don't seem to even know that there is even an issue with rider weight,person I mentioned it to had never even heard it was any different to treed saddles
Now did I completey imagine that there ever was an issue with heavier riders and treeless,or is it more that people aren't being made aware of it now??
I have had mine couple of years now,so it is possible that the whole concept of treeless has changed and that they have changed the recommendations for them,if so fair enough,but it does concern me a bit that people are getting them,and not being told or finding out about their limitations.
BTW this is in no way a negative post regarding heavier riders,(I am one myself),just in respect to treeless saddles.
Just to make clear BTW before I make everyone feel guilty for riding in a treeless,I did mean heavier as in heavier than the 'norm',not as in no-one over 9 stone should use one lol.
I agree that no saddle should put pressure on the spine,but I am failry sure that just due to their design there is more chance of this with a treeless than treed?? Like I said though I could have got the reasoning wrong and might have been nothing to do with the spine,could have been pressure on other points,or nothing to do with pressure at all lol
I shall go and google it,and check out barefoot website as am driving myself nuts here thinking I imagined it!!
*Think* on the barefoot site it was mentioned on the bit about the pads to use with them,think they recommended a certain pad if over a certain weight,and not to use at all if over 12 stone,although could have that wrong as well,my memory is not what it used to be,must be getting old
Can't find it on the barefoot website now,it does mention about the physio pad being recommended for heavier riders,but doesn't say what heavier is,or if there is a limit.Might be there,but I couldn't find it from browsing the website.
I googled it and came up with lot's of vague comments regarding rider weight like this from one comparison website for treeless :
Rider Weight - Always check with the supplier for weight restrictions for their saddles. Some treeless saddles are not suitable for very heavy riders and extra pads are required for saddles used with heavy riders to ensure there is no pressure on the horse's spine.
but nothing specific or conclusive.A lot was mentioned about using correct padding though,perhpas it is ok to use them if heavier as long as have the padding exactly right??
Also found some references to weight across the back from standing in the stirrups (ie:rising trot),so maybe the stirrup points were the problem for heavier riders as well, (or as much) as spine pressure?? Suppose it makes sense when you think about it,depending how the treeless saddle is designed of course.
Ah well makes me feel bit better about riding in mine
A lot of the original treeless saddles that came out didn't have gullets, and I think this is when they use to say about a weight restiction. Barefoot do now have a gullet in them. I think it probably depends on the make of saddle.
The reason they don't/didn't have a gullet is that the gullet is in the saddle pad - and a treeles saddle should never be used without a saddle pad designed specifically for a treeless saddle. When I take Paddy's saddle off, if he's been sweating (not that he works that hard very often!), you can clearly see a dry line down his spine where the saddle has not been touching him.
Treeless saddles have come on a lot since I bought mine, but it used to be recommended that nobody over a size 18 dress size used one. Probably everybody already knows that they are based on the size of the rider, not the horse, which is one of the reasons they are so useful - I got mine because Paddy was still young and changing shape and I knew I'd probably never be able to afford to replace a saddle - if he got bigger, fatter, thinner or more muscular, so I got one that would accommodate to any shape he is in.
You need to ask the manufacturers really, I got mine from Copperbeech Treeless saddles who are a very helpful company.