The saddles I recommend and why...
At Holistic Equine Saddlery & Tack, you won’t find any rigid tree saddles. My experience as an equine sports therapist, has shown me that the horse will always be more comfortable and able to perform at his peak, when the saddle is flexible enough to accommodate the movement of his back in motion.
An often used analogy is shoes: for human's not horses. If you are going to partake in some form of physical activity, be it going for a jog or taking a leisurely stroll in the park, 9 times out of 10 you would choose to put on your runners. And if you didn't, half way through your physical endeavor, you'd be wishing you had! You would most likely decide to leave your wooden clogs (rigid tree ;)) back at home as you know that you will not be able to perform your athletic endeavors comfortably in those!
You only have to watch a horse playing and running around his pasture, to see how much oscillation and flexion there is in his back. It just makes sense that the saddle should allow for this movement to continue when we are on their backs.
Did you know that wooden trees were invented for military saddles? Soldiers needed to tie heavy packs to their saddles so needed a rigid frame to attach very heavy items to. Take a look back through history, saddles were pretty much treeless for many, many, years before horses were used in battle. Thankfully, those days are over!
The weight distribution question! Basically, the more flexible the saddle, the lower the rider weight limit and/or time in the saddle, is my rule of thumb. But don't just take my word for it, see what my customers below have to say...
scroll down to see the range of saddles on offer
Dressage, Western, Trail, Endurance, Kids, All Purpose.