Hand Made in Italy
Most of us love the quality and craftsmanship of beautiful Italian shoes and handbags. So why not have the incredible craftsmanship of a beautiful treeless saddle made in Italy?
After over a decade of selling, fitting and designing Freeform saddles, I always love the opportunity to visit the factory in Italy. I enjoy working with the wonderful craftsmen and women to design new and beautiful saddles for endurance, trail, dressage and now jumping - and to design innovative ways of fitting saddles.
Tucked away in a beautiful small Italian town, the factory is operated by three generations of saddlers. 14 employees work hard making our Freeform saddles, along with the most beautiful treed western saddles I’ve ever seen.Every saddle is hand stitched and hand tooled and is of the finest quality leather you can possibly find. The leather comes in a variety of different colors and textures, all straight from Milan.
It is a joy to experience watching the craftsman with their detailed skills that have been handed down over generations. Everyone at the factory has their own special niche. To watch the guys do the tooling is quite a treat. Works of art almost too pretty to put on a horse.
The women that hand sew the Freeform saddles are true genius in detail. Nothing is left out. I constantly admire their dedication to crafting the perfect saddle.
A Typical Day
The process in the factory starts early in the morning. After cappuccinos of course.
The Freeform saddles are started out from foam injected molding saddle bases and seats. They are then covered with layers of leather to help the integrity and structure. Wonderful care is given to every detail of assembling the saddle.
After all, our saddles are made with endurance riders in mind - we have to distribute the weight and keep these folks going for many, many hard miles. The structure of our saddles is extremely important.
Next comes pressing the leather patterns on big machines. There are so many leather patterns hung on the walls, and big filing cabinets. It’s mind blowing to see all the different patterns. I love all the options we have.
Then the saddles will start to be covered with the beautiful leather. And stitched.
It’s a treat to watch the fantastic women sew together the saddles. What a talent to be able to operate all the different sewing machines. Think about holding a saddle and running it through a edging machine to put the piping on!
Each saddle is hand made and has its own unique characteristics. They are true artisans. I spend days at the factory creating new designs. What a treat to work amongst all these talented people.
Most of the folks making our beautiful saddles have chosen this as a lifetime career. There is even a husband and wife team.
I can’t express how wonderful it is to make the journey to Italy every few years to re-design and create new saddles.
There are treeless saddles - then there are Freeform Treeless Saddles. A true work of art, built to stand the miles.
Helpful Resources to Learn More:
- Fitting Your Horse & You - Choosing the right saddle and pad, factoring in weight, fitting with panels, evaluating cinch/girth length and tips for trying out your saddle
- Overview of Freeform Saddles - Find out what makes Freeform unique, including saddle details; sizing, features and options; and saddle care.
- FAQs - Often when someone is considering changing from something they are used to - like a saddle with a tree, to an unknown - like a saddle without a tree, they have many questions. Find answers in our FAQs.
- Watch Videos - Get saddle fitting tips, saddle spotlights, saddle care & setup tips, plus quick changes with accessories and tips for gaited horses
- Saddle Guides - Considering treeless saddles for your gaited horse? Start here Saddles for Gaited Horses & Tips for You, See also Saddles for Trail Riding and for Endurance Riding.
- Saddle Demo Program - We work with you one-on-one to ensure the best fit for you and your horse. We’re proud to say that our saddle return rate is less than 6%.
- Raves from Riders - Browse the many raves that riders have shared over the years about the benefits of Freeform treeless saddles