When I got my Gypsy Vanner four years ago little did I know that finding a saddle for him would be such a long and challenging road. The first year and a half we tried 9 different saddles and I ended up riding him bareback most of the time because they just weren’t wide enough, dug into his shoulders and rolled. It was like putting a saddle on a propane tank and expecting it to stay put.
We eventually started down the treeless route which improved things for him but for me many of the treeless saddles lacked proper structure and twist which exacerbated my back and hip issues. They were comfortable but did not provide any structure. They mostly felt like I was sitting atop a pile of pillows. And with him being so wide my hips felt split in two.
Enter the Freeform. I was reluctant to try yet another saddle and be disappointed. But Paulita was very optimistic that the Freeform would work both for my beach ball of a horse and for all of my back & hip issues. She sent me lots of choices and walked me through the process of swapping out bases and seats to get the perfect fit.
Once I sat in the Ultimate Trail Seat it was all over. I had recently had back surgery so I was the definition of princess and the pea. Riding in the Ultimate Trail all of my back pain and hip pain was gone. I rode my horse pain free for two hours for the first time that I can remember. It had a great twist, lots of support for my hips and my feet were perfectly underneath me for the first time ever. My horse was super happy as well.
If you have a Gypsy, Fjord, Haflinger or super wide beach ball horse I would recommend trying a Freeform. They are the perfect option for these super hard to fit horses.