Solution Saddles Logo

Why Go Treeless?

The page includes some key information about why to choose a treeless saddle. To download the full article, click here

After years of experiencing saddle related problems and experimenting with a wide range of expensive saddles with different flocking on many horses, it was found that although some of the problems could be alleviated, they were not solved.

Two examples of problems that lead to saddle fit issues are:

  • Horses change shape constantly throughout their lives. A weekly fluctuation of 3 kilos in weight is perfectly normal; even small variations in weight will immediately affect saddle fit.
  • A traditional treed saddle may well fit in theory on a static horse, but this becomes a problem as soon as the horse actually moves.

A significant amount of study and scientific research has since been carried out and Solution Saddles Managing Director & SMART™ Saddle designer, Anne Bondi BHSI, a highly successful rider and trainer in dressage and eventing, believes that the natural progression to the RigidFree™ concept is the biggest step forward in horse welfare in her lifetime.

What causes the problems?


a) The tree points
b) The stirrup bars.
c) Scapula push - a. Causing torque b. Causing rolling c. Causing sliding
d) One-sidedness
e) Girthing

Badly fitting saddles can lead to...

  • Resentment of being saddled or girthed
  • Reluctance to stand still for mounting
  • Reluctance to go forward or rushing
  • Pawing, plunging head down
  • Tense or hollow outline, bridle lameness
  • Teeth grinding, poll tilting and tail swishing
  • Crooked, unlevel or stiff
  • Loss of rhythm
  • Above bit in transitions
  • Disunited / breaking canter, or favouring one lead
  • Resistance, nappiness or spookiness
  • Stumbling or stilted going down hills
  • Short striding, or difficulty in lengthening the stride
  • On the forehand, lacking swing in the back
  • Reluctance to stretch the top line or work deep
  • Difficulty with some higher level movements e.g. canter pirouette

One gets used to a wide range of routine problems encountered in the training and development of the horse under saddle. Indeed, many experienced riders who do not believe that their horse is experiencing saddle issues at all, have been surprised at the improvements to performance that working in a RigidFree saddle have demonstrated.

How a RigidFree SMART™ Saddles can help


The revolutionary SMART™ saddle system has absolutely no rigid parts to cause injury to the horse and the fully flexible design allows the saddle to accommodate horses that are difficult to fit, have existing saddle or performance related problems, give young horses a good start or give older horses a new lease of life.

Benefits of a SMART™ Saddle:

  • Flexible fit – Our unique Easy-Fit system combined with the fully flexible nature of the SMART™ Saddle ensures one saddle can be adapted to fit several horses easily and allows for changes in shape through the season. The SMART™ Saddle is designed to flex with the horse through the stride cycle, it is also possible to easily interchange the SMART™ Saddle between horses.
  • Impact absorbing - SMART™ saddles are designed to protect the back from pressure and trauma by using a patented shock absorbing system. The moulded seat ensures symmetry and security for the rider.
  • Allows movement of the shoulder and back without causing tilting, rocking or torque.
  • Eliminate saddle fitting issues from you training goals - Without saddle fitting issues, move forward in training/competition/enjoyment.
  • Scientifically proven to improve symmetry and reduce peak and overall pressures
  • High Performance - SMART™ saddle designs have been thoroughly researched and tested with Tekscan & Pliance pressure mapping systems and state of the art Biomechanical analysis systems. – Read more about our research and development process.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Enter your details here to subscribe and keep up to date with Solution Saddles news, events and special offers.

View Latest Newsletter

First Name:        Last Name:

Email Address:

© Solution Saddles | Privacy Policy |