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7 Best Treeless Saddles. Plus, how to choose the ideal one.

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The versatility and universal fit of the treeless saddle have made them more popular than ever. One major advantage is that you can easily tailor it to your riding style or horse’s needs. But how do you know which is best for you?

The best treeless saddles are made from durable material, either sturdy leather or high-quality synthetic. It should be flexible and easy to adjust; a perfect fit makes all the difference. Most importantly, a good treeless saddle should be comfortable for both you and your horse.

I recently wrote an article about the importance of saddles. And because the popularity of treeless saddles is on the rise, I wanted to share my thoughts on some top sellers.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:
picture of a horse being unsaddled.

In this guide, I will help you pick the best treeless saddles based on genuine user reviews. We will mainly cover:

  • 7 of the best treeless saddles
  • How to choose a treeless saddle?
  • And more…

Treeless saddles

A treeless saddle is a unique type of equestrian gear that allows you to ride with more control and flexibility than ever before. These saddles fit most horses regardless of their back shape, as they do not have solid frames.

Treeless saddles also allow closer contact with the horse, giving the rider better control over it and eliminating pressure points to keep the horse more flexible and energetic.

However, it’s important to note: Not all models are created equal so let me tell you about some good ones while showing why spending money on these high-quality products will be worth every penny spent. Check out the saddles on Amazon to compare prices before buying.

7 Best Treeless Saddles – 2021 Top 5 Picks

Winner –  Hilason Treeless Saddle

The hand-tooled design on the Hilason treeless saddle combined with its premium quality genuine cowhide leather is sure to impress anyone who sees it! Hilason treeless saddles evenly distribute pressure and keep you and your horse safe and comfortable. The treeless design enhances your horse’s movements and enables it to make quick turns.

Features

  • Made with genuine American cowhide leather
  • Available in 4 sizes with 1-inch increments from 14 to 18 inches
  • Attractive tan color with hand-tooled design
  • Matching front cinch straps

Pros

  • Comfortable for both horse and riders
  • Allows sharp turns and free movement
  • Great for keeping horses energetic and active for longer durations
  • Fits pony, draft, and other horse breeds
  • High-quality materials with excellent craftsmanship

Cons

  • High price.

How it compares

When it comes to answering the question: Which is the best treeless saddle, one name that comes to the forefront is Hilason. Hilason treeless saddle is well-known for its excellent craftsmanship, high-quality materials, and even pressure distribution. The higher price is justified because of its function and features. Check out what riders have to say about this saddle.

Best Treeless Saddle for Pony – Manaal Enterprises Pony Miniature Horse Treeless Saddle

For a smaller horse or pony breed, you need an appropriately sized saddle. Manaal Enterprise’s pony treeless saddle is made with high-quality synthetic suede and polyurethane molded seats which will prevent soreness. It will also keep your pony/miniature horse comfortable on those long rides.

Features

  • Washable synthetic suede and PU molded seat
  • Compatible with dressage girths
  • Detachable seat due to Velcro straps
  • Available in 2 sizes – 10 and 12-inches.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Washable and easy to clean
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Buckles are prone to rusting.

How it compares

Manaal treeless saddle is washable and easy to clean. It is also affordable. The materials used are high-quality as well. The small sizes are convenient for small breed horses.

Best Budget: Cwell Equine New Synthetic All Purpose Treeless Saddle 

Cwell Equine synthetic treeless saddle is affordable and functional. It conforms to any size horse and does not have any complex components.

Features

  • Made with soft, synthetic suede, no hard components, and Pu molded back and flaps
  • Lightweight – weighs under 9 lbs
  • Available in 2 sizes – 16 and 17.5 inches

Pros

  • Fits a variety of horses
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Flexible and versatile
  • Has many adjustable features

Cons

  • Girth straps are slightly short and stirrup straps are long

How it compares

The Cwell is a comfortable saddle, and being very light, it is excellent for long-distance riding. It fits several horses too. The price is also reasonable. On the downside, it could do with more size and color choices. Check out the customer reviews to see what they like and dislike about the Cwell treeless saddle.

Best Treeless Endurance Saddle: Tough-1 Endurance Treeless Saddle

I love Tough-1 products, and they are a popular choice among the equestrian community. This is a beautifully hand-crafted saddle with a hand-tooled floral skirt and accents. 

Features

  • It is made with synthetic lightweight material and aluminum stirrups.
  • Fits most horses easily

Pros

  • Great for trail and jumping
  • Can be lifted with one hand – it is so light
  • Comfortable for both horse and rider

Cons

  • Lack of sizes and color options.

How it compares

This treeless saddle will ensure a comfortable ride should you opt for long-distance trail riding or endurance riding. Tough-1 is a reliable brand, and its products are well-received in the equine community. You and your horse will love this comfortable treeless saddle.

Best English Treeless Saddle: Professional Equine Synthetic Saddle

You will love this high-quality treeless saddle for English riding from Professional Equine. It has a medium flex tree (so it isn’t entirely treeless), but the flexibility ensures keeping your horse comfortable, flexible, and pain-free.

If you don’t like turquoise, this model is also available in a traditional brown/black combination, which I prefer. This English treeless endurance saddle is lightweight and made of high-quality synthetic materials.

Features

  • Available in one size – 14-inch
  • Made with high-quality, washable, synthetic suede
  • Adjustable stirrups for extra comfort.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Washable
  • Comfortable
  • Well-made
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Lack of sizes and color choices

How it compares

Professional Equine English treeless saddle has a medium flex tree. This can help with sharp turns and keeps you and your horse comfortable. Its price is attractive, but we wish there were more choices in sizes/colors.

Best Soft Treeless Saddle for Pleasure and Trail Riding: Soft Western Bareback Treeless Horse Saddle Pleasure Trail Riding 49101

This soft and lightweight treeless saddle from Challenger is ideal for pleasure trail riding. It is long-lasting, and its soft faux fleece lining will keep your horse ultra-comfortable and pain-free. This lightweight endurance saddle is built with top-quality synthetic materials and designed to last.

Features

  • Made with synthetic, washable suede material
  • Has a flexible tree which makes it fit several horses
  • Weighs less than 14 lb.
  • Available in various colors and several sizes ranging from 14 to 18 inches.
  • Comes with stirrups

Pros

  • Ideal for every day trail riding
  • Washable and easy to clean
  • Lightweight and comfortable

Cons

  • Has a flex tree and not entirely treeless

How it compares

This Challenger model is a high-quality flex-treeless saddle with several sizes and color choices. You will love its lightweight and comfortable feel. The Challenger saddle is ideal for daily riding, and its faux fleece lining will prevent sores on your horse. The price is slightly higher but worth the high-quality materials and design features.

Best Barrel Racing Treeless Saddle: Star Trading Premium Leather Treeless Saddle

For barrel racing, the most crucial feature of a saddle is that it fit the horse correctly. At the same time, it should allow freedom of movement to the horse to make those turns and jumps.

A treeless saddle can help in this aspect. Star Trading premium leather treeless saddle is beautiful and functional and prevents pressure points to keep your horse energetic and flexible.

Features

  • Square skirt, rawhide horn
  • Synthetic wool
  • Hand-carved floral design
  • Specially designed cinching and stirrup webbings
  • Available in sizes from 12 to 18 inches

Pros

  • Useful for barrel racing but also multi-purpose (pleasure, long trails)
  • Keeps horses flexible, fast, and serene
  • Eases movement and evenly distributes pressure to prevent sore back on the horse

Cons

  • Expensive but worth the price.

How it compares

The Star Trading saddle is for the serious equestrian. It is well-made and utilizes high-quality materials, and the craftsmanship is superb. Price-wise, it is slightly on the higher side.

Picture of a treeless saddle.

How to Choose a Treeless Saddle?

Some riders and horse owners think treeless saddles are bad for horses but they have many advantages– the main one being that they can fit various horses. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a treeless saddle:

1. Material

Treeless saddles are available in various materials – synthetic and natural. You also get synthetic or faux leather and suede saddles that look like real, traditional saddles. Serious equestrians that ride regularly or participate in shows or events can invest in leather saddles. These are slightly more expensive. 

Synthetic treeless saddles are lighter in weight and also easier to wash and maintain. You also get them in flashy colors.

2. Fit and sizing

The benefit of treeless saddles is that they fit a variety of horse breeds. Still, you will need a smaller saddle for a pony or a miniature horse – about 12-inches. A larger draft horse will need about 18-inches. Most people need between 16 and 18-inches.

Always remember that no two horses (even of the same breed) will have the same shape or type of back. Therefore, always try the saddle. Ensure it is balanced and does not tip forward or move too much.

FAQs

Are treeless saddles bad for horses?

Opinions regarding treeless horses are varied. Some experts believe that they don’t distribute pressure evenly. Some believe they do. Many feel that the saddle’s tree is necessary to support the vertical spine of humans when they sit on the horizontal spine of a horse.
In general, though, treeless saddles fit most horses despite the size and shape of their backs. And often, a treeless saddle can help keep horses more flexible and energetic.

Do treeless saddles slip?

Some treeless saddles slip more than others, to fix this problem you should use a good saddle pad and make sure you keep the girth tight.

Can you participate in horse shows with a treeless saddle?

Always check the rules before using a treeless saddle for showing. Some treeless saddles look rather like traditional saddles – so they should be acceptable. Do note that many old-school judges do not like treeless saddles in horse shows.

Final Recommendation

Treeless saddles are more natural and fit most horses. Some believe that they allow greater freedom of movement to horses and are universally fitting as well.

I recommend the Hilason genuine cowhide leather treeless saddle as it fits various horses and is exceptionally well made using high-quality materials. It also keeps your horse flexible and can be used for a variety of disciplines.

Check out my other recommendations as well.