I can’t imagine a better way to take the pain out of saddle fitting, nor a better way to make one into a better, more balanced rider. All of my students first learn to ride and then go on to compete in endurance with Freeforms, either on my horses or their own. We use different pads on different horses to support the saddle-though typically we wind up using Skitos. I owe my Tevis buckle to the mare who carried me through that ride but also to my Freeform!
As a Dressage trainer and instructor for more than 35 years, I've ridden in many saddles and on different breeds of horses. Within the past 10 years I've been focusing on the Iberian breeds, such as the Lusitano, Andalusian, Friesian, and other Spanish breeds. Typically, these breeds are more difficult to find a good saddle fit because of their physique being large shouldered, broader and shorter backed with an up-hill build. The typical saddle did not work and was pinching the shoulder area. I went on a mission to find something more flexible and saw Freeform saddles in an ad, which included a dressage style saddle they called the Tempo. So, I went on a limb and had one shipped to my house to try. Instantly my must fussy saddle fit horses were so much happier and moving freely. I love the Mono flap which takes your leg closer to the horse. The leather is of quality and beautiful with color and leather options. So many other features such as the adjustability of the seat and leg position, and seat sizes can be changed out. Most importantly, I can use it on any of my horses and it can be ordered in a "short back version". The underside of the saddle conforms well to all my horses. Skito pads work very well with this saddle and can be customized to each horses' needs. A big Thank You to Paulita Neff and Freeform saddlery for an excellent product!"
Owner, Trainer and Instructor
Angel Wings Equine Center LLC
I couldn't be happier with the Pathfinder saddle. The seat is the most comfy saddle seat I've ever sat in, I can ride for hour with no more pain. The fitting options for the horse is great also. I have several horses I use the Pathfinder with. A WIN WIN for our herd and myself too. thanks Paulita for the great service.
This saddle is super comfy and light weight. I got the ultimate trail saddle and love it. I am balanced and my horse Judy and I are a good team using the freeform treeless. Judy has broad shoulders and this saddle is wonderful. My teacher got in it and said it feels like riding on a couch. It feels like that and it's only 10 pounds!!! It fits my pelvis perfectly and also my hard to fit draft cross horse. Tried and true. Whitney & Paulita worked with me to make sure I was happy and comfortable. They even let me return the Pathfinder, my first choice, in exchange for this one... Truly I feel this company just wants the customer & especially the horse to be happy, for the long haul. I am blessed to have purchased such a beautiful and well made saddle. Good people, exceptional quality saddle.
I purchased the Ultimate Trail saddle almost a year ago and I am still as happy with the saddle today as I was when I first received it. With the addition of panels and a supportive pad with inserts as recommended by Paulita, I have a winning combination that performs well for the horses I have used it on. I was absolutely amazed to look down while riding and see the horse’s entire shoulder free and moving. It was quite odd at first because most saddles cover up the shoulder area and I kept thinking the saddle was too far back. The seat is comfy and despite the minimalist style of the saddle it provides a great deal of security. I use this saddle for riding trail with lots of trotting, mountain obstacle courses, and mountain trail riding. If I had to replace this saddle today I would buy exactly what I have again. Dawn Keeler - a satisfied customer.
Great lightweight saddle. This is the closest I have found to feeling like a treed saddle with the narrow twist. My horses move out comfortably in it. The high cantle takes a little bit to get used to.
I love saddles, especially Freeform saddles! I already had five saddles (three Freeform) for one horse, but I was curious about the new Pathfinder PJ Freeform. So I sold two of my plain black saddles and special ordered a custom-colored PJ straight from Italy. What fun! The PJ is beautiful, and I especially love it for slow, all-day rides where my butt is in the seat the whole time. It feels like I’m riding a sofa! I also appreciate the raised pommel for attaching bags and water bottles so they don’t bounce on the horse’s shoulders.
I had a tough time fitting my Icelandic gelding. He wasn't a fan of the treed saddles we tried, but really moved well with the Freeform PJ. Paulita spent so much time watching how he moved and experimenting with padding to get us an option that fit his downhill conformation and major shoulder movement. He and I both love it! It is by far the most comfortable saddle I've ever sat in. And the knee rolls are great for going down hills. We've put hundreds of miles on this saddle together now, and the rigging has kept it secure through even the most rugged terrain. I highly recommend the PJ!
I was looking for a saddle for my young and flighty Arabian that was secure and comfortable. Despite having been professionally fitted to her she developed small white patches from another saddle. The PJ fits her great, no more white patches and is VERY secure even when she does some crazy spook and buck maneuvers! She is slowly growing into her body, but is still mildly downhill so I usually ride with a breast collar and crupper, but I've been experimenting without them and the PJ stays in place perfectly! Thanks for making an awesome saddle!
Just want to say how much I love my PJ! I use it on both my recreational/trail bred paso finos. I have a ton of trail miles and hours on the saddle now. No sore backs and spines are dry. Perfect sweat pattern every time. The saddle is secure and oh so comfy. Most businesses these days need customer service lessons from Paulita. Her customer service is top notch. She responded quickly and spent A LOT of time answering all of my questions. She also created and sent a couple of different saddle pads for me to try until we found just the right one to work the build of my horses. The investment in a PJ or any of the Freeform Saddles is worth every dime. Thank you Paulita.
Hi Paulita, I purchased a saddle from you a couple of years ago and I have been meaning to tell you how much I love it! It is amazingly comfortable and has significantly reduced the aches and pains I get when I trail ride. -Sandy
I have 2 Freeforms - love them both. Adding my review to both saddles!
I am a veterinarian and utilize animal chiropractic, acupuncture and laser therapy in my practice. Up until recently, I have always ridden in treed saddles. I currently have a horse that has never been happy in a treed saddle, even when they seemingly fit her. So, I began looking at treeless saddles and I have tried no less than four different brands. When I tried the Freeform treeless saddles it was obvious from the first moment that my horse was happier. She was much more relaxed, forward and moving better through her back. I have had the Freeform Ultimate Trail Saddle and the Pathfinder for 5 months now and both my horses are very comfortable and happy. I'm so pleased to have found Paulita and the Freeform Treeless saddles and to recommend them to my clients.
Just a few words about my ‘happy ass’ saddle. It’s been a year since I ordered my Ultimate Trail saddle. I initially went looking for an alternative to my bespoke County saddle when my horse Blanco finally started coming back into work after a long bout of lameness. Blanco suffered from under run heels when he first came to me, and things only worsened when he shredded both DDFT’s. It took a year to even begin to recover, and during that time of decreased activity I noticed symptoms that led to a diagnosis of HYPP. So now we were dealing not only with lameness but also with a genetic muscle disease. So now we were ready to begin the slow road to rehab, but what to do with a saddle that was no longer even close to fitting his changed musculature. That’s when I discovered the treeless saddle. After much research I contacted Paulita. We talked a bit about what I wanted and what Blanco needed and we have never been happier. I’ve had the saddle and Freeform pad for a year now and we’ve come so far. Blanco’s back is still changing, but through it all the saddle has fit both of us perfectly. I recently contacted Paulita as I thought maybe I needed to ‘upgrade’ to a Skito pad. After looking at photos of my boy, Paulita convinced me not to ‘fix’ what wasn’t broken. She was right. My issue proved to be a training and balance issue and not a tack issue.
I’m in love with this saddle and what it has done for my horse during and after a very rough stretch. Thank you SO much for your insight and support. I know I can always ask for help and it will be there. Can’t wait until we can get back on the Colorado trails again :)
This is by far the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden on. It has just enough knee roll to keep you in place going downhill and over jumps and just enough behind you to keep you secure. The seat is supporting and cushy for long rides. Well worth every penny - and i could fit the base to my hard to fit Arab and the seat to me. Neither of us has to compromise. Totally recommend this one!
Paulita is great to work with too. I had to try a couple of different sizes to fit and she was so laid back helping me out. Mailing saddles back and forth for trials with other companies has been painful in the past, but Paulita made it easy as can be. She is awesome!
I like to lightly jump my horses for cross-training and have had fun taking them to shows or on rides where jumping is involved. We’re also blessed with several horses, and we live in an area where many people ride hunters, jumpers, or event and I wanted to have a saddle that friends could ride in the style they were used to. I considered getting a treed jumping saddle for just one horse, but I really wanted to be able to jump with all of our horses, and not be on the saddle-fitting merry-go-round that personally I’ve had in the past with treed saddles, even trying to fit one horse. I’m able to weigh my horses regularly, and they commonly gain and lose over 100+ lbs a year! I want my horses to be comfortable. Enter the Freeform AP. This is our FOURTH Freeform, and the seat in my opinion, is the BEST. I have no idea how they did such a true narrow twist with a treeless. The cantle is also nice, without being too sloped-it really is an English seat on a treeless saddle. The saddle is very close contact, since it’s a monoflap and treeless. I ride in it with English irons and have a safety open-stirrup bar. Ask Paulita for help setting this up. My friends and I really enjoy this saddle; it’s the one our college-age friends ask for when they want to ride.