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Enhance Your Speed and Agility: Embracing Treeless Barrel Racing Saddles

treeless barrel racing saddles

Are treeless barrel racing saddles the best choice when it comes to the sport of barrel racing? When it comes to barrel racing, a rider’s choice of saddle can significantly influence their performance in the arena.

Over the years, treeless barrel racing saddles have emerged as an innovative and popular option among riders seeking a closer connection with their horses and improved overall performance.

Below, we explain the features and benefits of treeless barrel racing saddles, while shedding light on how they can positively impact a rider’s experience in the saddle.

Close Contact Feel: Enhancing Communication

One notable advantage of treeless barrel racing saddles is the close contact feel they offer. The absence of a rigid tree allows the saddle to conform closely to the horse’s back, creating a seamless connection between rider and horse.

This heightened connection enables riders to feel the horse’s movements more accurately, facilitating clearer and more precise communication during high-speed maneuvers in the barrel racing course.

Improved Balance: Stability During Turns

A treeless saddle’s flexibility contributes to improved weight distribution, promoting better balance for the rider. With a more balanced seat, riders can navigate sharp turns with increased stability, reducing the likelihood of losing their position or compromising their performance during critical moments in the race.

Enhanced Freedom of Movement: Agility on the Course

The lightweight and flexible nature of treeless saddles provide the horse with increased freedom of movement. This agility allows the horse to execute turns and transitions more fluidly and efficiently.

As a result, riders can experience a marked improvement in their horse’s performance on the barrel racing course.

Reduced Pressure Points: Comfort for the Horse

Unlike traditional saddles with rigid trees, treeless barrel racing saddles do not create pressure points on the horse’s back. The even distribution of weight helps minimize discomfort and potential soreness, making the horse more willing to work and perform at their best.

Customizable Fit: Optimal Comfort for Both Horse and Rider

Treeless saddles often come with padding and shimming options, offering riders the ability to customize the fit to suit their horse’s unique conformation.

This customizability ensures a snug and comfortable fit, reducing the risk of discomfort and enhancing overall performance during training and competitions.

Versatility: One Saddle, Multiple Disciplines

treeless barrel racing saddles

Treeless barrel racing saddles showcase their versatility, making them suitable for various riding disciplines. Riders who engage in multiple equestrian activities can utilize the same saddle for barrel racing and other riding endeavors, saving time and effort in saddle switching.

Comfort for Long Rides: Endurance and Focus

The close contact feel and lightweight construction of treeless saddles provide exceptional rider comfort during long training or competition sessions. Riders can maintain focus and endurance throughout extended rides without the added fatigue that can arise from using a traditional saddle.

Enhanced Communication: Fine-Tuning Maneuvers

With the rider’s seat and legs in close contact with the horse’s back, treeless saddles promote clearer and more subtle cues. This enhanced communication allows riders to fine-tune maneuvers and transitions, leading to faster responses and smoother performance on the barrel racing course.

Before You Buy Treeless Barrel Racing Saddles, Consider This…

When purchasing a barrel racing saddle, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that you get the right saddle for you and your horse. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

SEAT SIZE AND COMFORT: The saddle should have a comfortable and secure seat that fits you well. The correct seat size will depend on your body size and riding preferences. A proper fit will help you maintain balance and control while racing in a cloverleaf pattern around the barrels.

TREE SIZE AND FIT: The saddle’s tree is the rigid framework that gives the saddle its shape and distributes the rider’s weight evenly on the horse’s back. It’s essential to choose a tree size that fits your horse properly, as an ill-fitting tree can cause discomfort and back pain.

Saddles come in various tree sizes, such as semi-quarter horse bars, full-quarter horse bars, or wide bars, to accommodate different horse conformations.

WEIGHT: Barrel racing saddles should be lightweight to reduce strain on both the rider and the horse during fast and agile maneuvers. A heavy saddle can limit your horse’s performance and may be uncomfortable for extended riding sessions.

SKIRT LENGTH: The skirt is the part of the saddle that covers the horse’s back under the rider’s leg. In barrel racing, shorter skirts are common because they allow for greater freedom of movement and reduce weight.

MATERIAL AND CONSTRUCTION: Look for a saddle made from high-quality materials that are durable and easy to maintain. Common materials include leather, synthetic materials, or a combination of both. Pay attention to the stitching and overall construction to ensure it is sturdy and built to last.

RIGGING STYLE: Barrel racing saddles typically have in-skirt rigging or a close-contact rigging design. These rigging styles help keep the saddle securely in place during quick turns and acceleration.

HORN SIZE AND SHAPE: The saddle’s horn is an important feature for barrel racing, as it provides a grip for the rider during tight turns. Horns come in various shapes and sizes, so choose one that suits your hand size and grip preferences.

STIRRUPS: Barrel racing requires a stable base, so stirrups are crucial. Look for stirrups with a comfortable tread and the appropriate length for your leg.

FLEXIBILITY: A barrel racing saddle should have some flexibility to allow your horse to move freely and comfortably. Rigid saddles can hinder your horse’s performance and cause discomfort.

PRICE: Barrel racing saddles can vary significantly in price. While it’s essential to stay within your budget, it’s also crucial to invest in a well-made saddle that meets your needs and provides comfort for both you and your horse.

BRAND AND REVIEWS: Research different brands and read customer reviews to get an idea of the saddle’s quality and performance. A reputable brand with positive reviews can give you confidence in your purchase.

Among the various options available, treeless barrel racing saddles have gained popularity for their unique design and benefits. Finding the perfect saddle is crucial for both the rider’s comfort and the horse’s performance.

In this section, we’ll explore the pros and cons of purchasing a treeless barrel racing saddle to help riders make an informed decision.


CLOSE CONTACT AND FLEXIBILITY: Treeless barrel racing saddles offer a close connection between the rider and the horse. The absence of a rigid tree allows the saddle to conform closely to the horse’s back, promoting communication and balance during high-speed maneuvers.

LIGHTWEIGHT: Compared to traditional saddles with a tree, treeless saddles are generally lighter. This reduced weight is advantageous for barrel racing, as it minimizes the burden on the horse and allows for quicker movements.

GREATER FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT: Treeless saddles enable the horse to move freely, promoting natural muscle development and reducing the risk of soreness and back issues.

ADAPTABLE FIT: Treeless barrel racing saddles often come with customizable padding and shimming options, allowing riders to achieve a better fit for different horse shapes and sizes.

COMFORT FOR HORSE AND RIDER: Many riders appreciate the increased comfort of treeless saddles, especially during long hours of training or competition. The absence of a rigid tree reduces pressure points, resulting in a more comfortable ride for both horse and rider.

VERSATILITY: Treeless barrel racing saddles can be used for other disciplines, such as trail riding or endurance riding, making them a versatile choice for riders engaged in various equestrian activities.


LESS STABILITY: The flexibility of treeless saddles might lead to a less secure feeling for some riders, particularly those used to traditional saddles with a sturdy tree. It can take time for riders to adjust to the close contact feel of a treeless saddle.

LACK OF SUPPORT FOR HEAVY RIDERS: Heavier riders may find that treeless saddles do not provide enough support or structure to distribute their weight effectively. In such cases, a saddle with a tree might be a more suitable option.

FIT AND SADDLE PAD CONSIDERATIONS: Achieving the proper fit with a treeless saddle can be challenging, and it often requires experimentation with different padding options. Improper fit can lead to pressure points or uneven weight distribution, potentially affecting the horse’s performance and comfort.

DURABILITY CONCERNS: Some riders have expressed concerns about the long-term durability of treeless saddles, especially for intense barrel racing activities. It is essential to choose a well-constructed, high-quality treeless saddle to ensure it can withstand the demands of competitive riding.

Below, we will compare two saddles that fall into the category of treeless barrel saddles. Through this comparison, we will examine their unique features, materials used, construction quality, seat comfort, rigging style, and additional benefits they offer to the rider.

By evaluating these aspects, we aim to provide valuable insights into which saddle might best suit the needs of barrel racing enthusiasts seeking an optimal blend of performance, comfort, and support for both horse and rider.

13.5″ to 16.5″ Circle Y Tammy Fischer Vintage Daisy Treeless Short Horn Barrel Saddle 1304 w/Free Pad

treeless barrel racing saddles


  • Stunning vintage design with intricate tooling details
  • Comfortable and secure deep-padded seat
  • High cantle for added stability and confidence
  • Accommodating fit for various horse shapes and sizes
  • Versatile enough for various equestrian activities


None identified during testing and use.

My thoughts on this saddle? the Circle Y Tammy Fischer Vintage Saddle is a true gem that seamlessly blends style, comfort, and performance. From its top-tier craftsmanship to its rider-focused design, this saddle offers an unmatched experience that can enhance any barrel racer’s journey. Whether it’s in the arena or on the trail, the Circle Y Tammy Fischer Vintage Saddle is a reliable companion that will leave you feeling confident, comfortable, and ready to conquer any course. This saddle has undoubtedly earned its place as a must-have for riders who are passionate about their sport and value timeless elegance in their tack.

13.5″ to 16.5″ Circle Y Fischer Treeless Daisy Barrel 1309 w/Free Pad

treeless barrel racing saddles


  • Unparalleled comfort and connection with the horse
  • Innovative design for enhanced balance and stability
  • Lightweight construction for freedom of movement
  • Top-grade leather for durability and aesthetics
  • Customizable fit for various horse shapes


None identified during testing and use.

My thoughts on this saddle? The Circle Y Treeless Barrel Daisy Saddle stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation and rider satisfaction.

Its innovative design, rider-focused features, and top-quality materials create an exceptional saddle that sets a new standard in barrel racing performance.

Without a doubt, the Circle Y Daisy Saddle is an integral part of an exceptional riding experience and we are confident that it will continue to impress riders and elevate any barrel racing performance.

My Final Thoughts on Treeless Barrel Racing Saddles

Treeless barrel racing saddles offer a host of advantages that can significantly impact a rider’s experience and performance.

Buying a treeless barrel racing saddle comes with its share of benefits and considerations, from improved communication and balance to increased freedom of movement and reduced pressure points.

While the close contact, lightweight, and comfort aspects appeal to many riders and horses, it is vital to also consider potential challenges related to stability, fit, and durability. These saddles provide an effective and comfortable option for barrel racing enthusiasts seeking a closer bond with their horses and greater success in the arena.

Riders should carefully assess their own preferences and their horse’s needs before making a decision, and if possible, test ride different saddle options to find the one that best suits their barrel racing needs.

With the right fit and proper maintenance, a treeless barrel racing saddle can be a valuable addition to a rider’s tack collection, enhancing the overall riding experience for both horse and rider.

As the equestrian world continues to evolve, treeless saddles have firmly established themselves as a game-changer in the barrel racing community.

Are you looking for reviews on more barrel racing saddles? Read my review on Martha Josey Ultimate Cash Barrel Saddle.


  • Leahrae says:

    My mother-in-law is a professional barrel racer, so I asked her about these. She says it also depends on how the horse is built? So these must have to be a great fit for the horse as well as having all of the benefits of using a treeless saddle for barrel racing? I’ve not barrel raced, but I know that my mother-in-law does not use one. So I was curious why. And from what I understood, it just wasn’t a good fit for the horse?

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Leahrae. Thanks for your questions. Treeless barrel racing saddles, like any saddle, should be chosen with consideration of the horse’s confirmation. While treeless saddles are designed to provide a more flexible and adaptable fit compared to traditional saddles with rigid trees, the horse’s confirmation is still important for a proper fit and the horse’s comfort. I hope this answers your question.

  • You have given a very detailed review of the advantages of BARREL RACING SADDLES. With so many pros and no cons, the decision is a no-brainer. I always believe it is important to buy the best and have high quality, especially in an activity such as this. Thanks for this information that I will share with my friends who own horses.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Joseph. Thank you for commenting. Yes, barrel racing saddles are made from the highest quality materials, depending on who the manufacturer is. Circle Y is really one of the best Western saddle makers on the market. Yes, please spread the word. I’d love to help your friends pick out a saddle.

  • John says:

    Wow, this blog post provides such valuable insights into the world of treeless barrel racing saddles! As an avid barrel racing enthusiast, I’ve always been curious about the benefits of using a treeless saddle, and this post has certainly shed light on the subject.

    The close contact feel of treeless saddles and the enhanced communication they provide between rider and horse seem like a game-changer for improving performance in the barrel racing arena. The flexibility of these saddles, which allows for improved balance and agility during turns, is another enticing feature.

    I also appreciate how treeless saddles prioritize the comfort of the horse. The reduced pressure points and customizable fit options show that they truly consider the well-being of our equine partners. It’s great to see that treeless saddles can also be versatile enough for other riding disciplines, saving riders time and effort in switching saddles.

    The comparison between the two Circle Y saddles is especially helpful for those of us who are considering investing in a treeless barrel racing saddle. Both saddles seem to offer exceptional features, and it’s fantastic that they have received such positive reviews during testing and use.

    In conclusion, after reading this comprehensive article, I’m seriously considering trying a treeless barrel racing saddle. The benefits they offer, combined with the expert craftsmanship of the Circle Y saddles, seem like a winning combination. Thank you for providing such valuable information to barrel racing enthusiasts like myself!

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi John. Thanks for your comment! If I can help you pick a saddle, please let me know. I’d be happy to help you.

  • Louise says:

    These saddles sound amazing. I love the idea of improving the comfort and communication for and between the horse and the rider! That Circle Y Tammy Fischer Vintage Saddle is incredibly beautiful too. I really like the design of the Circle Y Daisy Saddle too, just the Vintage has that added extra!
    I can’t wait to share your site with my daughter! She is crazy about horses, and has been ever since she was a little tot.
    Thank you for sharing your insight about these treeless saddles, for me, anything that creates a more comfortable experience for both horse and rider, can only be a great contribution to any equine sport.
    Many thanks again.

    • Shalisha Alston says:

      Hi Louise. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Treeless barrel racing saddles really do provide the necessary qualities for winning a barrel racing contest. The two highlighted saddles in my post are really beautiful. I’m so glad your daughter is a horse lover. Maybe she’ll get into barrel racing one day or some other rodeo event. Either way, I hope you’ll share this site with her. Thanks again for stopping by.

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