Times and technology have changed the way a saddle can be made. Some of the new synthetics used in combination with some of the natural materials can yield some of the most outstanding saddle designs with impressive results. For instance, with the treeless saddle, the stirrup rigging delivers the pressure from the rider's weight to a broader area across the side. Thus, when the rider mounts there is no pain to the horses shoulder blade area.
The Sports Saddle works because it is made of 5 layers of material. The bottom layer is natural wool fleece. The top layer is select leather. The inside layers consist of strong nylon webbing for stirrup and girth riggings, which is permanently bonded between two layers of closed-cell neoprene rubber. This durable rubber is used, for instance, to cover industrial pipes and in the construction of scuba diver suits.
The Sportsaddle skirt is made up of two layers of closed cell neoprene around which the rest of the saddle is built, which does not breath. So it is essential to use a very breathable and highly shock absorbant pad. The Skito Equalizer pad is highly recommended with the Sport Saddles since it is made of open cell foam, which is highly breathable and shock absorbant. These features are a true asset on those long trail rides and the heavier weight riders really appreciate the difference. In this way, there is no more pressure on the horses spine as there would be riding bareback.
Treeless construction designs allow the treeless saddle to be lightweight, as little as 11 to 20 pounds. The pommel and cantle are formed from solid materials. They can be called tree parts, but these parts are not produced as a result of cutting a saddle tree in half. Instead, either wood or plastic is used and fashioned precisely to provide a flat area, approximately 4 inches in diameter, where the pommel or cantle is attached to the skirt. Thus, there are no pressure points created.
The solid pommel and cantle provide a secure seat, yet the seat materials provide a cushy, durable area that conforms to and comforts the horse's back. The stirrups can be ordered either for western or endurance riding, so that the center of gravity is either forward or more underneath the rider for posting. No more sore seat bones as the rider sits between the pommel and cantle on two layers of closed cell neoprene. The top of the saddle is covered in selected leather and the underside in traditional fleece.
The rigging is set securely between the neoprene layers to distribute the riders balance and weight for the riding style. This combination provides the fit and feel of bareback riding but with the actual function of a saddle. The rigging is bonded into the skirt in the form of a fan, spread out between pommel and cantle so that pressure from stirrups and girth are distributed across the skirt into a large area across the whole saddle. This design eliminates pressure points and relieves the horse from pain and discomfort. Riders have reported that they can actually sense when their horse is getting ready to crow-hop or spook.