The design for these treeless saddles, manufactured by Viking Saddlery, was inspired by the idea that the mutual riding sensation for horse and rider, should be as close to a natural experience as possible.
These saddles are designed to give the rider the same control over the horse as a conventional saddle, at the same time as being flexible with no rigid parts which could cause discomfort to the horse.
They support and distribute the rider’s weight over the saddles bearing surface. The unique built in gullet relieves the pressure that a saddle without this feature could exert along the horse’s spine.
As Master Saddlers we are able to understand the benefits of conventional saddles, incorporating some of their features into our own unique Treefree Saddles.
The Treefree saddle is made with flexibility and closeness in mind. To achieve this the Treefree saddle is constructed by laminating the different materials together to get the best properties out of them. Selecting and hand picking top grain leather hides for its durability, softness and visual beauty, gives the finish that will be loved and withstand the elements. Leather also allows for an easy to clean surface that will enrich with age.
Natural suede is chosen for the areas where extra grip is desired such as the seat, cantle and knee grips (on the Exmoor).
The internal part of the panel is constructed with high grade open-cell foam. The raised main bearing area is created by using a 1” layer of closed-cell foam that is shaped and feathered to conform to the horses shape and give the rider an even closer feel. This layer has then been bonded to the leather and in total will act to diffuse the riders weight and even out any potential lumps and bumps.
The use of reverse hide as the panel with its natural non-slip properties, gives that extra security and stability with the numnah or even directly onto the horse back.
Creating our treeless saddles with a gullet allows them to reduce any potential pressures on the spine. Pressures usually occur where forces from the stirrup attachments and girthing system come together.
In this saddle the gullet allows for these forces to bridge the sensitive area across the spine. Not only will the gullet give lateral stability it will also provide some air circulation and thus have a cooling effect on the horse's back.
Having a secure stirrup fixing is vital. The Treefree saddle has an extremely strong bronze alloy stirrup hook. The strength of the alloy allows for reductions in its thickness and there by creating less bulk under the riders leg. Having an open hook has many benefits. If something went wrong there is a chance that the stirrup leather/webber could come off from the saddle thus freeing the rider from potential danger. I have to stress this is not a safety bar and other measures should be sought if desired.
The greatest benefit with a hook is that it allows the rider to utilize the "Webbers" more information on the webbers can be found on the accessories page, but briefly these are thinner than conventional stirrup leathers helping to minimize any lumps and bumps between the horse and rider, giving you that closer feeling.
Every model of Treefree saddle has the benefit of the interchangeable pommel, this offers great flexibility and the ability to use the same saddle for different horses. Or as your horse changes shape throughout the different seasons your saddle can change with it.
There are three different standard sizes of pommels, please find more information on how to find the correct size for your horse on the saddle fitting pages.
Flexible Cantle Insert
The whole ethos and thought behind the Treefree saddle is based around freedom and flexibility, the soft flexible cantle allows the saddle to follow every movement of the horse without restricting it in anyway.
Solid Brass Dees
The Treefree saddle is equipped with 5 solid brass dees that are part of the numnah attachment and also gives plenty fixings for additional equipment such as saddle bags or flasks.