Raves from Endurance Riders

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See what endurance riders have to say about Freeform treeless saddles and rider/horse comfort.

My Perfect Saddle – Rusty Toth

"Product shout out. Far, through the years, was difficult to find that perfect saddle for. He has an unusually long wither which would rub raw. The Freeform saddle with the correct pad completely stopped this. Truly the only set up that works perfectly for him. He moves free and I love the contact you feel with this saddle. I’m forever grateful to Paulita for her assistance with getting the perfect set up. Also love that I can use one saddle for all my horses. Photo, Scottsdale 100 1st Place.

*not a paid advertisement, simply sharing a product I believe in."

Rusty Toth on his horse, Far, after winning the Scottsdale 100 mile endurance ride in a Freeform treeless saddle.

Best Saddle I've Ever Owned - Tammy Gagnon

From the start, the difference in how my horses moved, responded and developed and felt were extremely obvious. Gone, was the bracing, the choppy strides during the latter part of our workouts, they became softer, more supple, more responsive and I could literally feel their back muscle work under my seat! Read the rest of Tammy's story - Best Saddle I've Ever Owned - Tammy Gagnon

Female endurance competitor Tammy Gagnon riding her horse in Freeform Classic Cutback Treeless Saddle with mountains in the background.

Over 6,500 miles – Terry Bannister

I can say I’ve got over 6,500 miles on my horse in Freeform (FF) saddles. I’ve tried other saddles and always gone back to my FFs. I can use them on various horses and they are comfortable for me on multi-day 50-milers.

Terry Bannister riding her endurance horse along a trail in a Freeform treeless saddle.

Directly Contributed to BC Award – Gerry Cummings

My horse, Bethany GreyC, ran the AHA distance nationals in Indiana this past weekend. We finished 3rd out of 20 entries in the 100-mile distance and won BC (Best Condition) for both AERC and AHA. I believe your saddle directly contributed to the BC award.

2nd Update from Gerry: This is my 100-mile saddle (Freeform Scout). I use it all the time and it just keeps getting better and better. It reminds me of a good ball glove or some work boots; it conforms to you and to your horse. I particularly like how light and durable it is. The saddle never slides on my horses' back. Feel free to call or email me. You can get my vitals from the AERC website.

Endurance rider Gerry Cummings endurance horse, Bethany GreyC, wearing a Freeform treeless saddle.

My Treeless Journey – Bobbie Jo Lieberman

My friend Audrey Hager, who was riding my TWH Jazz on 50-milers, had purchased a Freeform and loved the comfort and security. But over the miles, Jazz developed white hairs behind the withers. Paulita of Freeform came to the rescue. She determined that the Skito pad we were using on Jazz wasn’t quite getting the job done. She sent us a dryback Skito pad with high-density foam and a second layer of laminated foam. It had amazing stiffness yet was able to mold to the horse’s back.

Since switching to this pad and a larger seat, Jazz has completed a string of 50s including two sets of back to back 50s (100 miles in two days). She is the #1 horse in the Middleweight Division of the AERC Central Division and has never looked better. Some folks are encouraging us to aim her for Tevis. Read the rest of Bobbie Jo's treeless story - My Treeless Journey – Bobbie Jo Lieberman.

Former former Editor-in-Chief of Trail Blazer magazine and Senior Editor of EQUUS magazine, Bobbie Jo Lieberman, riding her horse in a Freeform treeless saddle.

This is My Third Freeform Saddle - Suzanne Huff

This is my 3rd Freeform saddle (I've been using them a long time) a Classic with the Ultimate Trail Seat. It was also my saddle for my 5th place finish in 2019 with SD Expressa10 aka “Sessa." I have been using Freeform Saddles since just after they first came out - so for 10-15 years. I used them exclusively with both my homebred 3000 +decade team mares, Sd SzZaphira3 and SD Expressa10. Between the two, they had 14 100-mile finishes (13 of those were Top Ten) and 19 BC's!

Endurance rider Suzanne Huff riding her bay horse on a trail with trees in the background in a Freeform classic treeless saddle with the ultimate trail seat.

Grumpy to Very Fun – Jill Gregorieff

I have been riding in a Freeform since 2006. I got a little half Arab mare named Mo (Domino’s Wildflower) who was to become the best horse I’ve ever owned, but the beginning was very rocky in so many ways. She was 4 or 5 years old, completely wild, and very emotional about everything when I got her, the quintessential chestnut Arabian mare. Training a wild horse was nothing new to me, but I could tell by how her top line was developing, that the saddle wasn’t doing her any favors.

Fortunately, I did TONS of ground work and she proved to be kind and willing, so I had time to find the right saddle. I think I tried 10 different saddles: hunt seat, dressage, western, trail, you name it, before an endurance friend recommended the Freeform. Read the rest of Jill's treeless story - Grumpy to Very Fun – Jill Gregorieff.

Endurance rider wearing a helmet cantering her chestnut Arabian mare in a Freeform treeless saddle on an endurance ride.

Our First 50 Endurance – Mindy Nagy

Legend and I did out first ever 50 endurance ride on September 30 at the Metropark Express ride in Michigan. We rode in our Freeform saddle that we bought earlier this year and it has been a wonderful saddle in training and competition. Legend finished strong and sound with absolutely no back pain! It was a cold and wet day so his saddle stayed on for the whole ride even at the vet checks. While I’m sure Legend was so happy when I took it off at the end, I bet he would agree that he would not want to be ridden in any other saddle. Thank you so much for all your help and advice when it came to purchasing a saddle and fitting it to him! Photo credits: Shannon Weston Photo

Woman riding her bay Arabian horse on the grass after finishing her first endurance ride using a Freeform treeless saddle.
Woman trotting her bay Arabian horse in hand on the grass after a 50 mile endurance ride.

I Don't Ride in Anything Else - Nancy Beirl

I tried treeless (Barefoot – and loved it for myself/my own comfort) and went back to treed for the same reason – concerned about my horse’s back. Now I have a Freeform Treeless saddle. It has firm foam panels that velcro to the underside of the saddle that create/maintain a gullet/spine channel. They stay put, unlike trying to stuff your saddle pad with various support that swims around under your saddle. You can widen or narrow the positioning of the panels to customize fit. You have 3 billet options like an English saddle. The sweat marks are consistent, even under the stirrups which are very easily adjusted to each person/horse. Even if you put a lot of weight in your stirrups while trotting. I am an average size rider ~130 lbs doing 10-35 mile rides with a fair amount of trotting. Check them out at treelesssaddle.com. Paulita is very helpful. I had an expensive custom endurance saddle made which was not what I had hoped for and I am still not balanced at the trot, even though I think my horse felt a significant improvement in freedom of movement. Then I bought a Freeform and I don’t ride in anything else!! Lightweight, adjustable and treeless!! Yay! Wish I had found Freeform first! Would have saved a lot of money. These are not inexpensive saddles but they are worth it, in my opinion.

Female endurance rider trotting across the desert on her brown Arabian horse riding in a Freeform treeless saddle.

Love, Love, Love this Saddle - Kirby

Just wanted to shoot you a pic of me and my saddle at the Ft. Stanton ride, love love love this saddle. I rode two very tough rides, and I didn’t get sore or uncomfortable one time. The saddle was great going up and down some pretty significant climbs. Thanks again for all your help!!

Woman cantering her gray Arabian horse on an endurance ride using a Freeform treeless saddle.

Tevis Cup Winners Ride Freeform

In the well-known 100-mile Tevis Cup, the 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 Tevis Cup winners were riding on a Freeform Saddle and the 2009 winner of the 100-mile AERC Championship was riding on a Freeform Saddle. In 2021, three top-10 Tevis Cup finishers rode Freeform. Photo: John Crandell & Heraldic, Tevis 2010 winners, in Freeform Classic Saddle

2010 Tevis Cup winner, John Crandell riding his bay horse, Heraldic, on California Street in a Freeform Classic Treeless Saddle.

It's a Keeper! - Nancy Sluys

I love it and so does my horse Zanie! With the new panel system, I feel very balanced and secure and my horse is comfortable and free moving. The saddle does not slip when I mount anymore! It’s a keeper!

Nancy Sluys riding her bay endurance horse, Zanie, by a lake in a Freeform Classic shortback treeless saddle.

I'm Loving My Freeform! - Emily Meyer

I’m loving my Freeform! The treeless saddle I had previously used continued to cause soreness and white spots on my horse’s back no matter how much I tried with pads. Since getting my Freeform saddle her back hasn’t been sore and the white spots are going away! The elite dressage seat for me is a great combo of an English feel and an endurance saddle. We have had a long winter here in Minnesota, but my saddle has been great in the arena and out in the snow. I can’t wait to get out and ride some endurance rides with it this summer! Thanks for all your help. Ordering from you was super easy and I really appreciate that I was able to use the seat you sent until my Elite Dressage seat came from the manufacturer. I will definitely recommend you to anyone I know that may be looking for a Freeform. Thanks!!!

Young woman standing next to her sorrel color horse wearing a Freeform treeless saddle.

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