In horse racing a variety of equipment is used to manage the operation of thoroughbred animals. The saddle is an important piece of equipment. It is different than the saddle that you are probably used to. A jockey saddle could be considered as a type of treeless saddle. Let’s look closer at these items which allow individuals to sit a horse.
What is a Treeless Saddle?
A saddle tree is a common component of many saddles. This rigid composition of various materials is used to form the base of the saddle. The tree is then wrapped with leather and padding to complete the build. The end result of this is a firm saddle which has a certain amount of rigid stability.
The treeless saddle is one that does not have this somewhat traditional structure. Some riders in specific disciplines use the treeless saddle for a variety of reasons which we shall explore.
Treeless Saddle Vs. Regular Saddle
If you have ever watched a western movie on television, you are probably familiar with the regular saddle. The firm profile of the saddle with a tree is synonymous with cowboys like Roy Rogers and John Wayne. The regular saddle can be a heavy piece of equipment, and it is also uncomfortable for many riders.
A treeless saddle has less weight. It is therefore easier for some riders to manage. This is especially true for young riders. Treeless saddles also have the advantage of sitting closer to the horse’s back in many cases. This can allow for more control on the part of the rider. They may also be a more comfortable saddle for the horse.
Some horses have very wide backs. In this case a treeless saddle could be used to avoid placing stress on certain pressure points of the horse.
Types of Treeless Saddles
Treeless saddles come in a variety of types. They may be found in western, English, and trail styles. The saddles are more substantial than using a simple back pad or otherwise riding without a saddle, but they are less restrictive that many traditional saddles.
Just because there is not a full tree located inside the saddle, there still may be elements such as a pommel and a cantle included. These parts of the saddle are generally made with fiberglass to limit weight and preserve flexibility.
Most of our readers are concerned with the sport of horse racing. Let’s speak for moment now about a specific type of treeless saddle. The jockey saddle is used in professional horse racing. This tiny saddle is little more than a piece of flexible leather which weights but a scant four pounds. The saddle does not have a traditional tree to give it shape or form.
Jockey saddles have to be small to create little weight for the horse and rider. A saddle that is too heavy will mean that the jockey has to be physically lighter in order to make weight. Some of these saddles are also constructed in such a way that they can hold lead pads to add weight when a jockey is too small.
Treeless Saddles and Horse Racing Betting
You don’t really need to have a vast knowledge of horse racing saddles if you are a horse racing bettor. In fact, they are a type of equipment that you will never give much thought to unless you are a jockey. Still, it is fun to know more about all aspects of the sport.
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