Information about treeless saddle pads

Treeless saddles have a flat underside and therefore require specially designed numnahs called “Pads”. They are designed to raise the saddle on either side of the withers and spine, providing a pressure-free zone above the spine. These pads offer great flexibility, allowing one saddle to potentially fit a very large number of different shaped horses and ponies. You may well need a new saddle for every new horse or pony; changing the treeless saddle pad might be enough to adapt your saddle. Take time to ask us about these pads as it is very important to get the right one for your horse.

Some treeless saddle manufacturers offer their own pads that are suitable for their saddles. Others give recommendations. It is very important when choosing a treeless saddle pad to get as much help and advice as possible.

Firstly, ensure that the pad you buy offers sufficient “breathability” to avoid heat built up. A simple test can show if the pad is “breathable”. Just put it right onto your lips and blow through it. If your breath can get through it totally unrestricted, you have a pad that offers excellent ventilation for your horses back.

Secondly, ensure that the padding on either side of the spine is high and supportive enough to keep pressure off withers and spine. This is not to be mistaken with a “look through gullet”. Make sure you get a high wither pad offering extra support that may even let your horse re-grow muscles in those hollow areas between shoulders and withers.

Some pads are called Treeless saddle pads but offer no or very little extra padding.

Treeless saddle pads come in half and full size, special high wither versions or flat backed shape, they also vary in materials and prices.

A good comparison is this one: “The best pair of trainers (saddles) are no good if you have cheap or unsuitable insoles"