Gallery & Testimonials

Would you like others to know how much you love your Black Forest treeless saddle? Send photos of you and/or your horse with your Black Forest Treeless saddle and any comments you would like included on the site, and we’ll add you to this page!

HannahHannah & Jenny

I got my new Black Forest Ponderosa Town & Country Echo yesterday and I love it! I own a donkey and I have tried many saddles on her, but none have fit her as well as this one! I had heard about you at last year’s Equine Affair. Someone from a local donkey rescue had recommended your saddles to me. I went to your booth and I was so impressed! I had heard from someone that treeless saddles were cheaply made and one of the worst things to buy for a donkey. Now I am telling everyone I know to buy treeless. I am so happy with my saddle. As soon as I got it I went out to the barn and put it one her. She looks so nice with I on! Now I just need to train Jenny, my donkey, to ride a bit better. I rode her today and I could feel her every movement. It was like I was riding bareback! I need to make a few adjustments to it but I am glad I made this purchase!

Hannah and Jenny

SarahSarah & Gaitlyn, British Columbia

I wanted to let you know that I have just recently purchased a black Aspen treeless saddle and the Grandeur Vario suspension pad from Yvonne at Riverbend Tack in Nanaimo. I took another brand of treeless there to sell, and was going to stick with my treed gaited saddle, but when I saw the Aspen sitting on its mount on her wall …I did a double-take and went “wow”! Long story short, I went away, thought about it, visited your website, did all my research and read the testimonials and became convinced that I wanted an Aspen! Yvonne very kindly lent me hers to try out and I have to say I’ve never ridden in a more comfortable saddle. I am also impressed with the amount of research you have done regarding spinal health and protection in horses, and weight distribution etc. And the fact that the suede underside of the saddle “sticks” to the suede upper side of the pad, and the underside of the pad – the Sympa Nova material – makes the saddle truly “stay put” and not slip …even going up and down hills. No breastplate needed …another bonus! I LOVE this saddle …not only is it incredibly comfortable, and obviously comfortable to the horse (“Happy Back”!!) …but it’s wonderful shape makes me feel very solid and very safe atop my horse, even in those occasional hot or spooky moments!

Shasta3Stormy in her Shasta

My Town and Country arrived yesterday. Had to immediately put it together and try it out on both of my mares. Miss Maya was first. She is a 14.3 hand feminine looking black and white paint. She has always been difficult to fit for a saddle. She just seems uncomfortable in about anything and had a tendency to “crab” a bit sideways especially on the right diagonal or lead. With our new Town and Country – for the first time since I bought her we went perfectly straight down the rail. Collected and if she looked anything like she felt – it was a beautiful picture. My cues to her for turns and changes of gait were immediately responded to.

PeakABlue was next. She is a very “bull-doggy” 15.1 hands. (also a black & white paint) She at first was a bit teed at me because I cinched her a bit tighter than I usually do, but she soon relaxed and we had a very nice ride where she was obviously able to feel me quicker and respond quicker.

Now for ME! I was very comfortable. I did notice the bit of “bulge” under the flaps where the stirrup fenders attach, but as soon as they soften and form all will be wonderful.

Thank you for such a nice ride.

Sharon Lybbert

peakblueSharon, Miss Maya, Xanadu and PeakABlue (Paints)

My Town and Country arrived yesterday. Had to immediately put it together and try it out on both of my mares. Miss Maya was first. She is a 14.3 hand feminine looking black and white paint. She has always been difficult to fit for a saddle. She just seems uncomfortable in about anything and had a tendency to “crab” a bit sideways especially on the right diagonal or lead. With our new Town and Country – for the first time since I bought her we went perfectly straight down the rail. Collected and if she looked anything like she felt – it was a beautiful picture. My cues to her for turns and changes of gait were immediately responded to.

PeakABlue was next. She is a very “bull-doggy” 15.1 hands. (also a black & white paint) She at first was a bit teed at me because I cinched her a bit tighter than I usually do, but she soon relaxed and we had a very nice ride where she was obviously able to feel me quicker and respond quicker.

Now for ME! I was very comfortable. I did notice the bit of “bulge” under the flaps where the stirrup fenders attach, but as soon as they soften and form all will be wonderful.

Thank you for such a nice ride.

Sharon Lybbert

SerenaCarol and her Arab

Hi! Carol Crisp in Colorado here. I have had my Blackforest saddles for over a year now. I have logged many many miles on both saddles.
The Aspen and the Town and Country. They have been from Colorado to Arkansas and Arizona. Just wanted to send you this quick note with a photo and tell you they are great!! Thanks again.

Serena-RookSerena & Rook (TWH/Standardbred)

I recently purchased a Town and Country and am ABSOLUTELY in love with it! When I ride, I trail ride alllll day long and it was wonderful from the first time I sat in it! Very little break in time and it was formed to me! My horse, Rook, performed beautifully in it and I am so pleased with my decision to purchase a Black Forest. When the time comes for another horse I will surely being calling you! Thank you for all your help!

Lisa-ArabLisa & Arab Sage, Minnesota

Just wanted to let you know how happy I am with the Aspen! My arabian mare was bucking me in the canter, so went to Nadine, your dealer in St Joseph, MN. We fitted several on her and decided to take a couple test rides with the treeless. After two rides, I did like it quite a bit, so decided to buy it. I took me a couple of months to get the courage to canter her, but when I did, no buck! Her topline has changed and she really engages her hind end, her hind foot coming up in front of her front. I have ridden her up and down steep hills and no slippage! Very impressive. I am very happy with the pad and saddle!

Thanks for keeping the saddle affordable. My English friend said I looked more balanced than ever on how I was sitting in it.

Jerry and “Sam” Yetter, Montana

Thought I’d introduce you to Angel and Ben. Angel is a 13 year old Paso Fino mare that we are working on training. Well, actually she had some training YEARS ago. Since then she has been spoiled something fierce for the last 7 years. It’s not that she means to be mean or anything like that. She just doesn’t know she’s a horse, not a lap dog! We’re working on making an honest horse out of her. She is so different than Sancho. He’s push button and knows what I want before I consciously move to tell him. He’s also lightly built with a very pronounced whithers. It’s amazing that Sancho’s saddle fits Angel. She’s got several hundred pounds more heft to her, and I’m thinking there might be whithers in there somewhere, but we haven’t seen them yet! Only a Black Forest saddle would work comfortably on such extremely different horses. I’ll tell you more about our weekend ride in a minute.

Ben is Angel’s first foal. He’s 5 years old and Jerry started him under saddle last fall. We took him in the hills for one ride only, so he hadn’t had much experience. This weekend was the first time anybody has been on him since Jerry worked with him last year. With Ben, Jerry has been amazed that he seems to have retained everything he learned last fall. He said it’s like just picking up his lessons on the very next day. The guy is smart. He’s willing and very athletic. He likes being your buddy and wants to please. Yes, he does have a stubborn streak, but then what little kid doesn’t. It’s been impressive watching how much he’s learning and how quickly he’s coming along. We had the horses out on the trail both Saturday and Sunday. Ben loves being in the lead and accepts most things without question. Sometimes Jerry has to let him settle and think about it a little, but then he’s game and gives it a try.

Now, more about my fun and games with Angel. On Saturday as soon as I climbed on she was determined that I was going to get off. She immediately started spinning and acting, well, SPOILED. I think that was a trick she’d pulled to convince her novice riders that they really didn’t want to go for a ride after all. She spun herself right into getting her but smacked by a tree that was bigger than she is and about as willing to move forward. Thankfully I was in my Black Forest saddle! I stayed put through all her antics and finally convinced her that we WERE in fact going to for for a ride. She surprised me by showing a real nice gait and quite a bit of desire to really move out. She’s not a slouch. Sure, she pulled the normal hissy fits of a spoiled horse, but we got along pretty well. In fact, she really enjoyed herself! She was in the lead when we got down to a creek crossing that had been pretty chewed up through the years by cattle. She was dead certain that the cow trail that ran straight ahead into the timber was where we really wanted to go instead of crossing that creek. Well, I turned her around and headed back to the creek. Jerry had Ben in the process of crossing by then, so we stopped and waited for them to get through. Then it was her turn. She took a couple strides into the muddy rut I’d directed her to. Then she changed her mind and tried to side step into the next rut. Well, when you’re 18 inches deep in a rut and sinking in some soft muck, it takes a pretty good side step to move over. She didn’t do it. Instead she got tangled up and the next thing I knew we were upside down in the creek! The both of us! And she was on top! Her feet were up on the hummocks and her body was in the water. I was on the bottom of the creek. She kept trying to get up, but was having a time getting her round barrel righted and feet under her. Every time she tried, I tried to get out of the way. There was so much water splashing that I was trying not to drown! If I get beaver fever, we know where it came from – drinking so much of that muddy water! She eventually was successful at getting her feet under her, and she pulled us both out of the mire. We crossed the water and both of us had pulverized granite from the creek bottom in our underwear! Here again, thankfully she had my Black Forest saddle on. It gave her the necessary flexibility to get herself twisted around and out of that mess. It also helped that I wasn’t pinned on the creek bottom under a hard and unforgiving saddle tree. We were none the worse for the wear. It was a nice warm day, though the water was a little too cool for comfortable swimming.

Sunday brought more fun adventures. She and Ben both learned that they can cross creeks by many means, bridges, stepping across the narrow ones, wading, or jumping. We had gone up a little meadow Jerry and I had never explored before. This one turned out to be just another wet meadow. We came back down it, trying to find the driest route. The horses had slogged through some pretty wet stuff without complaint. Well, the driest route took us over a downed tree that was about 24 inches tall. Ben and Jerry were in the lead as Angel was getting tired of slogging through the wet grass and being a little blakish. When we got to the tree I was expecting her to quit on me, but she didn’t! “Good girl, Angel!” She does like her praise. Well, as I mentioned, Angel is rather rotund and her whithers are still missing in action. There were a few times when her cinch started getting loose that I could feel a little sideways motion in the saddle. This was one of those times. We landed and I put a little weight on one side to square up the saddle as we continued down the hillside. We had gone 100 yards of so when I caught some strange motion beneath and slightly ahead of us. What a sickening feeling to realize that it was my cinch flopping free, bobbing in and out of underneath Angel along with our motion! “Say, Jerry! You might want to hold up… we’ve got a problem!” We stopped and he hung on to my saddle as I got down. It turned out that my half breed (the leather on the off side that the cinch hooks to) had broken and the saddle was just resting on top of Angel. Once again, thank Heaven I was riding my Black Forest saddle! It kept me safe and sound right in the channel where I belong for riding. A hard treed saddle would have simply turned over and dumped me for one heck of a wreck. FANTASTIC saddle. This also earned her a “Good, GOOD Angel!” She didn’t freak over all the strange movement right under her. She took it in stride and behaved like a real angel.

So, that lets you know how our weekend went! It was still so good to be back on the horses. Hopefully next weekend will be a little less eventful though!

Belinda Conley, Virginia

I have used my Black Forest saddle 3 times, and my horse must love it because he moved right off without hesitation and didn’t spook like before. He must be pain free!!!! He is even gaiting better. No pinching, no bridging, less weight too. The leather is very nice as you said. Love my saddle. I am 60 and have been riding forever. Best purchase I have ever made.

Thank you so much!

Amy-Hebert-and-TobyAmy Hebert and Toby (half-Arab), WA state

  • Weight. Mine is only 18 pounds including leathers, irons, pad! Yippee!
  • Size. Even though it looks large, it does conform.
  • Comfort. No sore rump or legs.
  • Well-built.
  • Great support from the maker. I’ve emailed & talked with them, both in person and on phone.
  • The style I have (rough seat) makes it very easy to stick the canter, etc.
  • Feel. It’s very easy to feel the horse (mule) beneath you.much closer
  • When you drop the stirrups and ride, it’s heavenly. No feeling ouchy without stirrups and SO much like bareback (which is my absolute favorite anyway)
  • No hurting the horses back when you lean forward to swing down. (I’ve always disliked that feeling of putting all my weight on the front as I dismount. Maybe that’s why I like to swing my right leg over the pommel and hop off)
  • Toby rounded equally both ways when turning. The saddle didn’t get in his way of the shoulders at all. Very interesting movement. He used to bristle turning to the right.
  • Forms to the animal it’s on without needing huge adjustments. If I get a new horse, I can use it on the next
  • Cost. My set-up was $1000 with pad, leathers, irons, girth. Saddle alone is $599. I would recommend talking about which pad to get. You can use any dressage girth. But we were there at Black Forest Stables, talking to them, and my husband said “you need something to hold on the saddle don’t you?” Gotta love hubbies!
  • Ease of switching from English to Western: just trade out the leathers for fenders and irons for stirrups (additional cost of about $100, which I will do at a later date) Lots of options for trail riding equipment, too.
  • Vic and Ursula are SO easy to deal with. They have a ‘trial’ program: basically you buy it and if you don’t like it you return it. Talk to Vic about why this policy.

Sam-SanchoSam & Sancho with their Black Forest Ponderosa Town and Country

At last! After spending way too long with our late winter this year in the living room, our new Ponderosa Town and Country finally moved outside and onto my Paso Fino Sancho’s back! Riding season, when we can finally get into the high, wilderness country, is finally right around the corner. Yesterday I had the first opportunity to ride this fine saddle. Granted, it was just a 14 mile tune up ride in the lower country, but it was a good workout with bank full creeks to plunge through, trees to jump, and hills to climb. I have to tell you, this saddle was worth the wait!

When we received this saddle, my husband and I both went over every detail, every stitch. We love its anatomically correct fit, the craftsmanship, the fine quality supple leather, and the soft bars but with rigid pommel design. This is a real saddle, not just a glorified bareback pad.

After our trial run I’m now sure Sancho is a very happy camper in his new saddle. His stride is so incredibly relaxed, so effortless, and his movement is absolutely free. He is natural, supple, powerful, and fluid in his full range of motion because there is nothing limiting him. There is no longer anything rubbing, bumping, getting in his way, or causing any discomfort whatsoever! He definitely appreciates the difference and it shows in his willing attitude and happy nature. He enjoys his work in this saddle, no matter what I ask him to do.

From my side of the leather it’s also a different world. Riding the Ponderosa Town and Country gives new meaning to close contact, but still having a saddle. We feel connected, completely comfortable, and ultimately secure. This saddle is nothing short of amazing.

Thank you Black Forest Saddles for bringing this wonderful saddle into our world!


“Sam” Yetter & Sancho – Montana

ladiesofCasaThe ladies of Casa K Paso Stables in Kent, WA, show off their Black Forest saddles.

RabbitWAArab Rabbit, WA

My Black Forest Shasta Lite saddle is so comfortable, I can even comfortably pee in it!

RafikiRafiki – yes, a real Zebra!

Jan of Pony Tail Ranch in Kent, WA, with Rafiki in the Black Forest Shasta.

Kim and her Black Forest Aspen

I purchased and received the Aspen saddle last week and promptly took it for several rides this past weekend.

I just wanted to thank you and let you know that I couldn’t be happier with my new saddle. Only wished I would have gotten it sooner!!

Forever grateful,
Irvine, CA

Karen and her Black Forest Ponderosa Town & Country

I just purchased the town and country saddle and I wanted to let you know how much I (and my horses!) love this saddle.

I have a small mare that is built a bit like an Arabian and has a short back. Most saddles bridge on her and even with a good pad, she is never really comfortable. I also have two very big geldings. One is a large, very pit bullish looking gelding that is almost 16 hands and is about 1200 pounds. He is very broad!

This saddle fits both of them beautifully, and they are both very happy and content with it. They both seem to be able to round out and collect much better as well. I just rode both of them over the Holiday weekend on very tough terrain for about 4 hours each at walk, trot, and canter and they did great with it!

I was glad to see it worked so well with them, but entirely shocked to see how good it was for me! I have back issues from a car accident and after 2 days of riding rough terrain, I would have to say that I was almost entirely pain free with my back. (that’s saying a lot when you consider that I am in pain most every day whether I ride or not!). Usually after I ride I have to be careful when I get off because my right leg may fail me at first because of the lower part of my back and I will have a great deal of pain for at least a weak. I didn’t have any issues with my leg at all after these rides and my back is probably not any different than if I had not ridden. Also, I do not have much body fat and normally my “butt bones” are sore after riding (and sometimes bruised). I have a good seat and don’t bounce, but they still normally get sore. After 4 hours of pretty rough riding in the town and country saddle, my “butt bones” didn’t even notice I had been in a saddle!!

Thanks so much…….I recommended you to anyone that would listen on those rides!!!

Jamestown, NY

Tennessee Walker Amy in her Black Forest Aspen

I LOVE my new saddle!! It fit great on my high withered 15 hand Walker and then I put it on big 16 hand rounder Walker and it fit great with the same girth. I sat in it for hours and it was so comfortable, and I could feel the horse so well it was hard believe I was in a saddle at all. When my horse spooked and then bolted I felt much more secure in it than my all purpose English saddle, I didn’t lose my balance at all. I rode in (another brand of treeless saddle) and it was not nearly as comfortable. All the ladies in my barn are jealous of how light it is. The trail pad is great too, but I love things pink and sparkly, so I had to add some flower appliqués and rhinestones to the pockets and now it’s perfect.

Vic is great, he has so much knowledge and information. Thank you for letting me come to your office and check out the different saddles in person, and for being so nice to my cheeky three year old daughter. We really loved your goats and horses.

Thank You,
Kent, WA

Black-Forest-draft-filly-RosaBlack Forest draft filly Rosa (14.2hh) in the Black Forest Shasta Lite

First time being saddled. Good girl, Rosa!

ClydesdaleClydesdale mare Raven in her Black Forest Ponderosa Ranch

I just wanted to write and tell you myself how pleased I am with my new Black Forest treeless saddle. I have had a hard time finding a quality saddle that will fit my 18 hand Clydesdale (Raven), and I definitely didn’t want a saddle that would cause her any discomfort. My wife came across your saddles, and suggested we give them a try. It arrived overnight Saturday morning, just as promised, and I took it straight to the stables. I was amazed at how lightweight the saddle is – it looks much heavier than it actually is. The saddle and pad fit Raven perfectly and looked wonderful! After not riding at all for almost 5 years, I spent 2 hours in the saddle and felt great – it is by far the most comfortable saddle I have ever ridden in. I felt very much in-tune with Raven and her motions, and could feel what she was doing which is something I’ve never felt with a regular western saddle. When I was finished riding, I inspected Raven for any pressure spots from the saddle – there were none at all. Thank you for providing such a great product with superior service!

Tim and Clydesdale mare Raven, Maryland

JasmineArab Quarter mare Jasmine in her Black Forest Aspen

Shown with the Black Forest Quilted Saddle Pad.

Black-ForestBlack Forest Draft mare Waleska in her Black Forest Ponderosa Town & Country and the Black Forest Oiled Leather Bridle – Black Diamond, Washington

Arab Mishka in her Black Forest Aspen, South Africa

I absolutely love riding in my Black Forest Aspen, and it appears that my horses love it too!
I am delighted by the fact that I now have 1 saddle that fits all 3 horses comfortably. I would recommend a Black Forest Aspen to any-one who enjoys long comfy rides in the country side, and if your horse is difficult to catch (like mine) at least you do not have to carry a heavy saddle all over the paddock. The best part about my Black Forest saddle is that not only do i feel very secure in it – but i can feel the horses movements better. So now i can anticipate those little excitement bucks and laugh them off.

Thanks to all the staff at Black Forest who made it quick and easy to send a saddle 1/2 across the world so that we can enjoy the wonderful saddles even in South Africa.

Anita in South Africa

Elizabeth in Illinois

I did a lot of online research to find a treeless saddle I felt was properly made, would fit my needs and that I could afford. I purchased my first treeless saddle from Black Forest in June. It is the Black Forest Aspen and Grandeur Vario saddle pad. It is fantastic! It was comfortable the first time I saddled my mare and rode on it. We can feel each others every move, she is very comfortable wearing it and of course it fits her perfectly.

I didn’t think I would ever find a saddle that was as comfortable as my 30 year old Circle Y saddle. I began to look at the treeless saddles because my mare wasn’t comfortable with the saddle. Nothing negative towards Circle Y it just didn’t fit her very well. When I called to make the purchase, Vic was very pleasant, knowledgeable and tolerant of my endless questions. The saddle was shipped promptly and arrived on the day you said it would. Your Black Forest saddles are everything you said they would be and you can count me in as another supremely satisfied customer.

Thank you!
Elizabeth in Illinois

Morgan-QuarterMorgan-Quarter Shadow in his Town & Country Echo

Black Diamond, WA

Tina-and-PeruvianTina and Peruvian Brinco in their Black Forest Shasta

This is the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever ridden in – I absolutely LOVE it! Besides looking fantastic on my horse (Brinco del Huracan, Peruvian Paso), the treeless design allows him to move naturally, making for the smoothest gait you could ever dream of. The only way I’d give up this saddle is for another Black Forest saddle! And the ‘customer care’ from the Black Forest Saddle company is incomparable. They really take care of you!

Tina and Brinco, WA

Jean and Paint Bingo in their Black Forest Aspen

Thank you for my great saddle. I absolutely love how light it is. I don’t have to heave my old western saddle onto Bingo’s back anymore, I can easily lift and control my treeless saddle. The saddle is so comfortable for both Bingo and me, too. I have tried my saddle on other horses at the stable, and it fits everyone. I love that the seat is soft, no more sitting on a hard saddle and adding a pad to try to make it comfortable. Thanks again — I love my saddle and pad.

Harriet in Alabama

Dear Vic,
I received my saddle, the Aspen. It is so beautiful and so well made! I am very impressed. Even though it is ninety-plus here I gave it a test run on my Arab and it was fantastic. The Aspen puts you in the exact correct form. Thank you so much for such a quality product. It fits my horse to perfection and does not slip. I can even mount from the mounting block without it coming out of balance. All my other saddles on my Arab had to be positioned very carefully and then I had to leap across the saddle and swing over (without landing hard) and not knocking it out of balance. The Aspen balanced perfectly throughout.

Thanks again!!! My Arab Sam thanks you to – he was very forward and I could tell his back was very grateful.


P.S. The saddle is epic – Sam is moving in a whole different way – not constricted for the first time even though I have used as wide a treed saddle as I could find.

Jill & Max in California

I received my Black Forest Aspen today and had it on my horse within the hour. THANK YOU!! What a beautiful saddle! I’m very impressed with both the elegant looks and the quality. The stitching is tight and proper, the leather is very soft and supple and looks very durable. The saddle fits my Peruvian (Max) very well. We spent some time in the arena and he moved through his gaits beautifully. The rest of the afternoon was spent out on the trail and we both returned comfortable and happy. Thank you for providing an excellent saddle at a very generous price, and for answering my thousands of questions. I will definitely be spreading the word about you guys and am sure you will be hearing from others in my area.

Jill & Max, CA