We want you to have a broad and unbiased perspective. So, you’ll want to know that you can research through a huge database about Bob Marshall’s Sports Saddles from unsolicited opinions at www.Endurance.net. Use the words – sport saddle – for your search.
Also, listed below are a few emails we received and used here with permission.
If these comments are interesting to you and you would like to talk with or write to any of our Clients about their experiences, please call us at 614 837-7299 or email Gerri at: Treeless@SportSaddle.com, and we can provide the contact information for you.
From: Kris Hafner
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2003 6:34 PM
Here is my wonderful deluxe trail rider saddle on my parade horse, Touche. We are getting ready to ride in a Mardi Gras parade in this picture. We rode in 7 parades an average of 5 hours in the saddle per parade, and boy, was I glad I had a Bob Marshall saddle!! It was great! We had a blast and are ready to go again next year.
I also love my saddle for just riding around the woods and we also compete in barrel racing and gaming in it too!. So, needless to say,
I LOVE MY BOB MARSHALL!!!
—– Original Message —–
To: “”Infinet”” <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2003 2:23 PM
Subject: Re: Treeless @ First Choice Sport Saddle
Here’s a first photo of one of my horses (Sina) with the new saddle.
(Click the picture to see the larger version.)
She looks rather dirty, I’m afraid as I took the photo when we returned from our first outdoor ride since Christmas. We had frozen ground most of the time or just the upper layer thawd and everything was too slippery. It was absolutely great today – sunshine, fresh crisp air and Sina went along so freely. And when we started to trot she did a beautiful slow jog as she’d never done before. Before we were doing a slow trot, close to jog. But today it was just perfect and I felt as if I was floating along weightlessly on top of my horse. It’s hard to believe what a difference a saddle can make! The first time I tried it, it was indoors and I’d never sat her trot so comfortably, and a friend who watched was impressed how freely and relaxed Sina was moving along. She did not notice that I was using a new saddle. The second time was today and it was absolutely perfect. I think quite a few people in our stable will want to try the saddle on their horses. I’ll try the saddle soon with my younger horse who I’m only starting to ride and I’ll send you nicer pictures (taken before we set off and get dirty) once I have the new pad.
Best regards from a happy Sports Saddle owner,
—– Original Message —–
From: “Vanessa S Waters” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2002 11:30 AM
Subject: Re: Web link
I am getting along great with the saddle. It was truly a god sent when my new horse, Raku showed up from Oregon. He is 16-1 and 1200 lbs. I even had to buy this gorgeous custom bridle made by A&M Tack for his big head.
The saddle went from a 850lb Arab mare to a 1200 lb NSH without a problem. Here is a picture of Raku and I a few days ago.
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2001 1:05 AM
Subject: Cindy Tarver….again :}
Just thought I’d send you a picture of my 4 yr. old guy. This was the 1st time I rode him here in CA (last week)….I did ride him several times in KY this summer. Notice he got the PLEASURE of a treeless saddle for the 1st time! I tried all my other saddles on him…Big Horn Cordura, ortho flex, and a custom made saddle that was for my other horse, Rocky. I got some REALLY dirty backwards glances from this guy. Put on the treeless & he didn’t even look back, ears up…so I said “Well, once again…THIS IS IT!!!!!” I started with a Bob Marshall on my 1st horse 5 1/2 years ago. Somewhere along the line I thought I needed “more” saddle. But everytime one of the other ones started bothering Rocky after a couple of months…we’d be back to the treeless. So, I’m a “lifer” now!!! 🙂 . As you can see from the picture…these saddles are not only close contact…they allow for a good HUG too!!!!!!! So, here is Mr. Morgan….4 yr. old Rocky Mountain Horse.
Re: Bob Marshall Treeless Saddles w/ proper padding
To: “Cliff Fenneman” <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Bob Marshall Treeless Saddles w/ proper padding
From: “Karen Sullivan” <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 23:09:19 -0800
References: <ENDURANCEWWWRaqbC8w00000081@endurance.net> <3BF017F0.firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lynda, I have ridden these for 9 years, successfully. The reason they work (at least for my family) is that they conform to the shape of the back as it moves and changes shape. They are not entirely TREELESS. There are two tree pieces, the pommel and cantle, and are connected between the top and bottom of the saddle by a V shaped rigging. This helps distribute weight evenly. So, if you are standing in the stirrups, the weight is spread out…
Keep in mind, a traditional tree can only distribute weight evenly if it fits the back exactly, and how can this happen when the back changes shape as the horse raises and lowers his head and bends his body?
Anyway, I have 5 sport saddles, and use them on all my 5 horses…. I find them lightweight, extremely well balanced and my horses travel better. I ride with a loose group of 12 or so friends who all have them, on a variety of horse colors and shapes. I have NEVER seen any back sores, pressure marks or white hairs caused by these saddles. I cannot even begin to list the number of people I know that used traditional treed saddles for YEARS, only to find damage; that switched me to the sport saddles.
It’s essential, I believe, to use a Skito pad with Equalizer foam. This pad is shaped to the back and has a small air channel down the spine.
I check my horses backs after any rides; have not found soreness, and at the few endurance rides they do, they are A’s on their backs.
Best example of successful use is Karen Chaton, who has THOUSANDS of AERC miles in Sport Saddles, including Tevis and the summer XP rides, day after day.
I find that the normal stirrup position is too far forward; my saddles have them moved back 2″ under me.
From: “Cliff Fenneman” <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, November 12, 2001 10:41 AM
Subject: RC: Bob Marshall Treeless Saddles w/ proper padding
I thought the point of a tree in a saddle was to distribute weight evenly. So what is the point of the “treeless” saddle. Besides being funny looking… What are their recommendations?
What opinions do you have about the Bob Marshall Treeless saddles?
Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/RideCamp
Sent: Monday, October 08, 2001 6:04 PM
Subject: Sport Saddle
Good evening Gerri,
I just wanted to tell you thanks for all the help with the saddle. I rode in it this weekend for the first time on a 15 mile ride. To my surprise, I had no aches and pains like I usually do in a Western Saddle. Also, my horse had no back pain at all. It was absolutely wonderful. I don’t think that I will ever ride in any other type saddle for the rest of my riding years!!!
Once again, THANK YOU!!!!!
From: “Maureen Radke”
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 12:41 PM
Subject: Re: saddle – its here!!!
Hi Gerri – many thanks for your emails and updates on the saddle-
It came yesterday – just 2 days after your note – finally!!!! I didn’t have a chance to try it on MY horse yesterday – but did try it on a similar shaped and gaited Icelandic horse that I ride frequently with a very good friend of mine. Fenja (the icy) loved it!! No surprise to me.. I rode a SS on a different Icelandic, a while ago, which is what convinced me to go the SS route, because I loved feeling the horse move freely underneath me. We rode out on bush trails, hills and flat last night, and the feeling and contact from her was amazing – my friend tried it on the other icy (different shape altogether) and both of them loved it too.
Maybe another sale – and many of my customers and people I know, will get to try it Maybe, now I can sell all of the other saddles I’ve tried (or most of them). I’ll be trying it on my 2 horses today – with I’m sure wonderful results – especially my soft gaited mare. I’ll let you know how she likes it, after a few rides and tests.
From: Whitlow, Miriam L
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2001 2:31 PM
Subject: Bob Marshall saddles
I ran across your website and found it very interesting with a lot of good information. I have had a Bob Marshall saddle for several years, it is a barrel saddle and I love it. I originally got it for an Arab that I was having trouble fitting but found that it has worked on all the horses I have ridden. A friend of mine in high school rodeo used it for barrel racing. She is now in college and wants to begin barrel racing again and is trying to buy it off me, I don’t want to part with it. I am trying to convince my husband to buy one. He bought another really “good” brand a few years ago and has been having problems with it making his horse sore.
Anyway, I hope you are really still in the distribution of selling these wonderful saddles, and I wanted to ask about a rumor I just heard that “he”, meaning Bob Marshall, is no longer making the saddles and it is changing and all that. I hope the same saddle is still being made, as I said, I would like my husband to try it and I would kind of like to get the square skirted one if I break down and sell mine. But I certainly won’t sell it if something has changed about them.
I also want to add that I bought the saddle for my horse’s back but what I found was it was so much more comfortable for me too. I have a hip joint that gives me some trouble, one hour in a conventional saddle is very painful, I can ride many hours comfortably in the SS.
(Maggie, We are in touch with the saddlery almost daily, and we have been assured that it is only a rumor and there is nothing to be alarmed over. In fact, Bob is currently in the process of designing and has built one new Sport Saddle model for release in late 2001 and he may come out with another in 2002. – N. Rini, Webmaster)
From: Jennifer Judkins
Sent: Monday, September 24, 2001 4:41 PM
Subject: Sportsaddle Feedback
I just wanted you to know how much I love my new Endurance Sport Saddle. My leg has healed and I’m back in the saddle. This past weekend, my horse and I traveled to the Green Mountains for some very challenging trail riding terrain. People were stopping to adjust their sliding saddles, but not me. No sliding, no hot spots, no sores (for me or my horse). My horse just loves it too. His attitude on the trail is so much more cooperative. I think he’s just more comfortable. Thanks again.
From: Deborah Silverstone
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2001 9:01 PM
Subject: Re: trail saddle
Thanks for your speedy reply. I … have always ridden in a 21 inch cut back saddle (on American Saddlebreds), so this western business is new to me. … My husband is thinking of having my 2 year-old Saddlebred filly started and trained for the trail (not really what she was bred for) for himself. He has done jumping in the past and prefers a horse he can post on. Although he will be using her for trail riding, he also prefers an English saddle. Do you think your endurance saddle would be good for this? It looks rather English to me! Please advise. …
P. S. You may be interested to know that I first heard of your treeless saddle while in England. A lady who rides with Prince Charles said she had one and loved it – as did her horse! ___________________________________
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2001 1:30 AM
Subject: Re: “I’m so proud of my treeless saddle”
A few months ago, my sweetie bought a treeless saddle from you. It was one of your “Show” models. I had no idea what a treeless was, and was a little apprehensive about it. However, she did a lot of research on the topic and against my better judgment, purchased it. On her first ride, she raved so much about the comfort, not only for her horse (a Fjord), but her own. After about a week, I could stand it no longer. She saddled up my horse (also a Fjord) and off I went. It wasn’t far before I knew I had to have one too.
Returning to the ranch, I reluctantly gave her back her beautiful saddle. I have not had a more comfortable ride since. This story has a very happy ending. Fortunately for me, her saddle was a little too small for her and asked me if I wanted to buy hers and she would look for another. Of course I jumped (to say the least) at the opportunity. She is now purchasing a Deluxe Trail saddle. You can see both of these saddles at “Saddles in Stock” Ever since my first day of sitting in a treeless saddle, I have become a firm believer in your product.
After reading some of your e-mails, it would be difficult to say it any better than what has already been said. You have a wonderful product that saturates both horse and rider with the ultimate riding comfort that is hard to find or match anywhere. Thank you. As soon as we receive the new saddle, we want to send you pictures (as though you don’t have enough) of two very pleased customers, on two beautiful horses, accented by two beautiful, comfortable saddles.
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2001 1:14 PM
Subject: Deta Miller & Her saddle
Hi Gerri !
Well, I just wanted to let you know that since I picked up my saddle from the Equine Affaire, I have ridden in it just about every day on several different horses & draft ponies. I LOVE IT. I don’t get sore & none of the animals have been sore either. It’s like riding on air. Many people have asked me about it & ridden in it . I tell them every time that I got it from you & it’s just wonderful !
THANK YOU SO MUCH !
P.S. I bought the black 16″ endurance saddle.
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2001 7:16 AM
Subject: Saddle Size
I recently got a Skito pad from you for my husband and found that with it under his Bob Marshall saddle I got one of my best rides ever. I’m planning to get my own Bob Marshall saddle by next Spring at the latest and I’ve been watching your in Saddles In-Stock list. Would you give me some advice on seat size? I’m 5’3″ and weigh 132 (varies up or down a little). My upper thigh is 20.5″, mid-thigh 19.5″. I would probably be ordering an Endurance model.
Rob / Ann
From: P waits
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2001 3:47 PM
Subject: Thank you and…
Wanted to drop you a line to say Thanks to you & the folks at Bob Marshall saddles! I received my saddle last week & I just love it. It’s beautiful. The most important part is how my horse moves in it, she is a sassy flat backed, wide Arab & prior to ordering your saddle I had tried 23 saddles & NONE of them fit, some to the point where she didn’t really want to move with them on her. When I put this one on her she was hesitant at first but after about half an hour she was running free in her corral like there was nothing on her back! Thanks Again!
P.S. Can you make one with a 18 or 19″ seat? If so I may have another order for you. pwaits
From: Carrie Proper
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2001 6:18 PM
Subject: Sport saddles
We just wanted to email and let you know how much we are enjoying our Sport Saddles and Equalizer pads. We have had the saddles for a year now, and we got the pads as a Christmas present this year. We have four horses in our barn, a 17.2 hand Belgian, a 16.3 hand warmblood, a 16 hand Thoroughbred, and a 14.1 Morgan. All are very different horses, with different backs and ways of going, all seem quite happy being ridden in the sport saddles.
We love them too. We ride for hours in the sport saddles and are never saddle sore. My father had made up his mind before he ever sat in one that he wouldn’t like it, and as soon as he sat in it he changed his mind. He borrows my mom’s all the time now. He would like to know when they are going to come up with a cup holder to go on it, he says it’s like riding on a couch.
The pads have been a great accessory. We never had any problems with sore backs, even with my thoroughbred dressage horse, but the contoured pads fit very nicely, and the shock absorbing foam makes it more comfortable for both horse and rider.
Thank you very much,
Carrie and Linda Proper
Sent: Friday, December 29, 2000 11:45 PM
Subject: sport saddle question
I own a Sport Saddle and LOVE it! I ride endurance and have put more than 3000 race miles on my Sports Saddle over the past 4 years. It is still in pretty good shape, too.
In addition to my endurance riding I have started in dressage with both my horses and also ride in hunter shows. I am at the point with my showing that I need to buy an English saddle or a dressage saddle. I know that Sport Saddle has western saddles as well as endurance models and I was HOPING that maybe there was some sort of English model too. There aren’t any on your website so I am assuming that there are none available. Do you know if anyone has attempted making one? Is the company considering it?
I like my sport saddle so much because I can use in on a great variety of horses and the fit is perfect every time. I hate the idea of buying an English or dressage saddle that will only fit one of my horses (each is built very differently). If you have any information about this please let me know. If the saddle maker has talked about it or one is in the works, I’d be a perfect guinea pig. Please write back.
Thank you very much,
Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2000 10:28 PM
Subject: 17″ Deluxe Trail Saddle
I was wondering if this particular saddle is available at present time or if there are any other 17″ saddles available. I just came from my vet today and she says my horse is very sore in his left shoulder and I had been getting dry spots on both sides for a little while now. My horse is getting very agitated being asked to pick up the left lead. My current saddle is a Reiner that I have had only for about 1 year. So, I am financially bummed at having to purchase something else, but my vet highly recommended a Bob Marshall for him. He is a very wide quarter horse with a short back, stands about 15.1 and I am only comfortable in a 17″ seat.
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2000 7:34 AM
I got my saddle yesterday. Of course I rode last night in it. So far, so good. I really like being able to feel the horse so well. I really do like the saddle. It is very comfortable and quite bouncy. I love how light it is. It really fits both my horses well. One horse is 15.3 and the other 15.1. One is broad and the other narrow. I also find the stirrups naturally turn in the right direction for my feet. No strain there. Thanks for your help.
Sent: Monday, October 23, 2000 10:14 AM
I’m totally amazed at how well my daughter’s horse moves in the sport saddle. He’s almost a different horse. We knew he had a big trot from the way he moved about in the pasture but could never get it under saddle. Now he really gets amazing extension. We’ve also seen freer movement at the walk and canter.
Niki likes being able to feel every little move Prinz makes through the seat of the saddle. We would like to purchase the saddle. I would also like to purchase a Skito pad. I would like the color black with 100% wool and the 3/4″ thickness. According to your web site, it should cost around $148 plus shipping. I assume you can put all this on my credit card.
Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2000 5:02 PM
Subject: My Dream Saddle
My friend Mary, who owns the Sports Saddle, and I were at a prize ride recently and I overheard several people we didn’t even know commenting on how gorgeous it is. I have started using her saddle for arena work with my horse. I can’t get over the difference. When I try and describe it to people I sound like a raving lunatic but I don’t care!! I will NEVER ask my horse to wear his old saddle again!
People used to comment that if my horse walked any slower he’d be going backwards, but with the treeless saddle it’s like his shoulders are free and he walks out with hardly a cue. His trot is more open and flowing. When I’m communicating to him he can hear me!! My actions with my legs, feet and seat are so subtle but his reactions are immediate.
I guess the best analogy would be to compare my old saddle with screaming at him through a brick wall and hoping for an answer. With your saddle its like whispering through a screen door. I’m rambling but I can’t get over it. And I KNOW he’s happier!! I’m saving my pennies and my old saddle is getting very dusty!! If anyone wants to verify that I’m not a paid nutcase and I’m sold on the saddle they can call me!!
I was wondering if you could help by giving me an estimate on my dream saddle. My friend just got hers and will never go back. I’m not as rich as she is but I want one soooo bad!! I would like a Deluxe Trail Rider with floral tooling, with matching fenders with a round skirt in light oil with a toast suede seat. I need a 15 inch seat.
My husband will kill me if he knew how much I want to spend, but my horse is so much happier with a treeless saddle. Thanks so much. Someday, I’m going to make this happen!!!
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2000 6:16 PM
Subject: Sport Saddle
Hi — I’ve been meaning to email you before now but have been busy riding!!! I have had my sports saddle for about 1 month now and I have to tell you that I LOVE it!!!!! I feel as if the last two years of riding in another type of endurance saddle, with a tree — have been such a waste! My horse experienced soreness in his back, and I was sore in my knees, and at times my feet would go numb. After riding for hours even my joints would ache!!! I used to think it was just “me”, getting a little older. Then I finally decided to purchase a sports saddle.
Not only am I pleased, but my horse, Beret, is also very happy! No more soreness in his back, and I have also noticed a lengthening in his stride, with a more fluid movement, also his tendency to shy has greatly reduced!!! Then for myself, no more sore knees, I must say I did purchase a pair of Cloud Stirrups to go on the sports saddle, and no more numb feet!!! After riding lots of miles I do not ache. It is absolutely amazing. If anyone had told me how much I would love the sports saddle, I don’t know if I would have believed them —- but now I know!!!
I also purchased a Skito pad for the sports saddle — and it is the best! With Beret’s tendency to get a little sore in his back — I had purchased a lot of other pads — the Skito is definitely tops!!!! I just wish that I had purchased my sports saddle two years ago when I first started riding endurance, but time and experience is a good teacher!!!!
Thank you so much for all your assistance in helping me decide exactly what style sports saddle and options were best for me, and for your professional handling of all aspects of this purchase. I will hope to see you at the Equine Affaire.
Debra & Beret
P.S. Will try to get a photo to you showing me and Beret and enjoying our new Sports Saddle! Thanks again!!!
Sent: Monday, June 29, 1998
I just wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying my Sports Saddle and Equalizer pad. I’ve ridden in many different saddles, cutting saddles to English equitation saddles, and ranging in price from $300 to $3,000. I want to tell you, I like this saddle the best, and so does my horse.
As you know, I bought a horse that had a bowed tendon and I wanted something lightweight and comfortable for him. You should have seen his reaction the first time I rode him. His face kind of said, “What, this is a saddle, but I can move, and bend and breathe.” Not only does he feel good about this saddle, but I used to get the worse back aches and knee pains when I rode. Not now. A lot of people have tried this saddle since I’m the only one in the area with one. They all agree it’s the most comfortable saddle they’ve ever ridden in.
My daughter is currently advertising her saddle, and has taken several babysitting jobs so she can get one too. Hopefully it won’t be long and we’ll be contacting you to order one of the basic trail saddles. If I didn’t believe these are the greatest saddles for both rider and horse, I’d try to talk her out of getting one because her saddle is only about a year old. Guess what. I’m willing to help her out with her effort, that’s how much I believe in these saddles.
The Equalizer pad you sold me with my saddle is a marvel too. They are so easy to keep clean, stay neatly in place under the saddle and my horse has never, ever shown even the slightest tenderness in his back. Of course we’ll be ordering one of those to go under my daughter’s saddle too. Your company has come up with a great combination for both the comfort of the horse and the comfort of the rider. My hat’s off to your guys. Keep up the good work.