The Treeless Saddle or Close Contact Saddle

Horse Training and the Treeless Saddle.

The Treeless Saddle is an equine saddle constructed without the use of a conventional wood or metal tree.

The tree in a traditional saddle provides structure and support and raises the rider off the horses spine.

Treeless saddles are also sometimes referred to as close contact saddles and are highly regarded and very popular with endurance riders.

Some casual riders love the close contact provided by treeless saddles, but others miss the form and shape of the traditional saddle.

Treeless saddles can make you sit wider and many treeless saddles will not fit all horses (or riders).

Treeless Saddle: Barefoot Cheyenne

Without the barrier of a stiff wooden tree, you can feel the horses rhythm and try to work with it.

Your horse then learns to react to more subtle aids and cues and can avoid any pain caused by the shifting or pinching of traditional saddle trees.

The horse should then enjoy going through the full range of motions.

A treeless saddle is designed to feel like bareback riding, while reassuring the rider that they still have the safety and comfort of a saddle.

The rider sits in the movement, rather than on top of the saddle.

Popular makes of treeless saddle include Barefoot and Torsion, who manufacture various types, sizes and styles.

The treeless saddle will provide more freedom in the shoulder through the scapula than a saddle with a rigid tree, but there have been instances when a lack of support has caused problems.

Specifically when a treeless is positioned over the horses back rather than just behind the wither, which is the horses centre of balance.

Your horse has a horizontal spine and your spine is vertical. Only a tree’d saddle can raise you the rider, off your horses spine. It is, therefore, vitally important that your treeless saddle fits both you and your horse.

With this in mind, most treeless saddle manufacturers will request your own measurements along with those of your horse.

Local Riding Saddle Choices
Consider all your horse saddle and bridle options to make sure you choose the correct type, size and combination for the sort of work you want your horse to do.