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Ghost Saddle Review: Firenze – Ghost Treeless Saddle Review

Ghost Saddle Review for a PSSM Horse with a Sensitive Back

Originally posted 3/9/16

Ghost Saddle Review: Setup and Pros

  • Used with a toklat pad, inserts were in need of replacement
  • Very comfortable, nice construction and materials for the saddle, pad, and all equipment that came with the demo saddle
  • Naturally good position, even with shorter stirrups
  • Thin leather flaps under the thighs and saddle has a bit of a twist, so much more comfortable for my hips than my previous saddle.
  • Very secure saddle for the rider with the thigh blocks, and did not slip on the horse. 
  • Wonderful customer service
Ghost Saddle Review: very comfortable for me as a rider!

Ghost Treeless Saddle Review: Trialing the Saddle and Cons

I did a 2 week demo on this saddle, and it was as secure as a saddle can be. Extremely comfortable with a decent twist, stayed securely on my horse. I took my horse on a couple trail rides, the first went really well, but after about the third long ride I saw dry spots under the stirrup area. I must admit two faults to my trial:

  • During the time I demoed this saddle, I was very stiff and had to ride with short stirrups (a combination of riding in the cheap eBay saddle, and having tight hips). I could feel when I was riding that I was putting way more pressure on the stirrups than usual, probably a combination of short stirrups and my unfamiliarity with thigh blocks. I believe this was a major cause of the dry spots.
  • My toklat pad inserts were nearing the end of their lives, and maybe this just didn’t work with extra weight in the stirrups.

That said, I chose to try this saddle because of the variability of the girth placement. However, because of this variability the girth kept slipping too far forward and pulling the front of the saddle down. My horse has an unusually forward girth groove, and laid back shoulders with long sloping withers that push saddles back, so he is just a hard fit anyway. Had I tried different padding options I possibly could have fixed the issues (edit: I’ve read several reviews that these saddles may not fit this type of horse, no matter the setup).

Ghost Treeless Saddles Review: My Overall Opinion

Overall, I loved the Ghost saddle.  I would have bought one if I hadn’t gotten dry spots on my horse’s back.  My first trail ride was a Halloween ride with obstacles made to spook your horse, and while my horse did wonderful for most of the obstacles, he had some massive spooking, spinning, and thoughts of bolting for one of the obstacles. 

This saddle kept me very secure, I felt like I could ride out anything my horse had to offer.  I was sad when it didn’t work out.  If my horse wasn’t having other issues at the time of demoing this saddle, I probably would have purchased it anyways to see if I could have ironed out the kinks.  The lady who I worked with for this demo was wonderful and tried to help me through everything, but in the end I decided to try something different.

Occasionally you can find these saddles on eBay, but I feel the best way is to find a dealer and work with them, trial the setup, and make sure it works before you buy!

Ghost Saddle Review: Notes and Possible Explanation For Dry Spots

JULY 2016 – Experiences after writing this Ghost saddle review: After a not so good ride with the above mentioned Toklat pad and my bareback pad, it’s completely possible that the spots above were caused (or at least helped) by friction from the pad slipping on hills, rather than pressure from the saddle. Friction and slipping have always been a problem for Jax, so I think the Toklat just wasn’t a good fit for him.

That said, the saddle I tried still wouldn’t fit him right with other pads (I tried many including the Ghost pad, the Toklat helped saddle fit the most). Overall I’m not sure if my Ghost saddle review would have turned out different with a different pad, but I’m guessing it would not have.

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