top of page

Hybrid saddle in western look 

Roots Westway

  • A hybrid saddle is characterized by the combination of modern and traditional materials that adapt to the dynamic shape of the horse's back. During its development, the horse's interests were the focus. The needs in terms of load-bearing capacity, the anatomical requirements and the changes in shape over the course of, for example, an annual cycle were explicitly taken into account.

    The history of the saddle shows us that up to now the saddlery trade has primarily had the rider's interest and needs in mind. Essential to the development was the use of horses for mounted work (Western horses, Camargue horses, Spaniards), for battle (warhorses existed from ancient times to modern times) or for top sporting performance.

    Nowadays, there are more and more people who see the horse as a mentor who balances out the stresses of everyday life and revitalizes their relationship with nature. Appreciative interaction is therefore a given. Optimal saddle and bridle care, hoof care and husbandry conditions are just as much a part of the symbiosis as working on your own mental and physical posture and fitness. A hybrid saddle helps horse people to constantly optimize and check their riding qualities. A symmetrical, balanced seat with dynamically stabilized alignment of the torso and shoulder girdle not only enables independently controllable arm and hand actions, but also promotes the rotational abilities of the spine. Riding becomes a profitable feedback between horse and rider.



    Why we are rethinking the saddle philosophy:


    Since humans established a relationship with horses over 5,000 years ago, there has been a search for the optimal balance between human pelvis and horse back. The convex/concave horse body poses great challenges to the aid, which on the one hand makes the rider's seat safe and comfortable, and on the other hand optimally protects the horse from stressors such as pressure and shearing.

    The history of the development of the saddle is part of human history; the indigenous peoples already developed cushions that relieve the pressure on the spine, which protected the sensitive spinous processes of the horse from the pressure of the rider's pelvis under the blankets or skins lying on them. With the use of the horse as a means of transport, the conquest of new living spaces became possible for peoples and the maneuverability in combative conflicts presented new challenges to the saddle, which shaped its development until the beginning of the 20th century. The breeding of the horse was always adapted to the conditions of use. Horse breeds emerged with biologically different requirements in terms of agility (Spanish breeding for bullfighting), endurance and speed (Arabians, Western horses and other work horses), strength, size and obedience (warmblood lines resulting from the breeding of military horses), powerful, enduring pulling and Carriage horses that, however, are only partially suitable for riding loads due to their connective tissue laxity (e.g. Friesians).

    These specific services are now used primarily in equestrian sports; the demands on horses and people lead to stress in borderline areas.


    In our numerous measurement analyzes of horses, their riders and the saddles used, the unphysiological stress on the horse's back stood out again and again. This results in negative chain reactions in both biological systems, which provoke real structural changes up to lasting damage and mental reactions such as depression, anger and giving up. The fixed gullet-heel connection in saddle trees is particularly critical. The inner skeleton of the saddle is completely rigid in tree saddles; only an adjustable gullet width can be found in the saddle industry today. The connection between the gullet iron/front cantle, known as the fork in Western saddles, and the side heels is, on the one hand, susceptible to breakage and is therefore relevant to safety and, on the other hand, critical for the load in the area of the horse's sensitive shoulder. Hybrid saddles with 4D frame technology have changed this concept and rely on targeted mobility with freedom from the withers. The forward-downward loads with dynamic and compressive components take into account the tensegrity principle of the horse's musculoskeletal biological system.

    Today there are a large number of riders who, above all, want to enjoy the feeling of well-being with and on the horse, and for whom the health and physical and mental fitness of their partner is above all else. A new generation of so-called treeless or skin saddles emerged, which were intended to bring the horse's gaits closer to the rider and thus required more precise sitting behavior.

    The attempt to protect the horse's back from the rider's weight and the selective support points of the pelvis was unsuccessful. Measurements clearly show that there is a significant increase in pressure on the sensitive withers and trapezius muscles in the anterior cantle area, as well as on the spinous processes of the spine caused by the rider's weight. . Riding with stirrups is irresponsible; punctual pressure peaks appear especially in the area of the stirrup attachment.


    We noticed these adverse effects on the horses while developing a tandem saddle for therapeutic riding. The demonstrable developmental progress that can be seen through the riding-specific movement in children with cerebral abnormalities is immense/striking/impressive: the therapist's body movement is transferred to the child sitting in front of him, so that the child is kinesthetically stimulated. Neurogenic information enables the brain to generate new connections that promote the development of underprivileged brain centers. In this system, the therapy horse is a partner who, just like the therapist, has to be energetic and in a stable mental and physical condition; it is the gateway to success in the therapeutic setting. A pinching, restrictive saddle and painful pressure points cannot be tolerated under these conditions.






    The mystery between horse and rider – medical solutions ensure optimal conditions


    The Les Truffiers Roots saddles form a symbiosis of tried-and-tested materials in combination with modern stabilization and relief elements that can be molded three-dimensionally and relieve pressure, but remain adaptable at any time thanks to their reversible molding quality. Hybrid saddles with 4-D frame technology combine the advantages of the tree saddle in terms of stability with the dynamic component of the treeless saddle.

    In the front cantle area, the selection of inlays (gull irons) enables optimal adaptation to the individual withers.

    The V-belt on the rear girth strap prevents the front cantle from tipping forward.

    The cantle made of solid polyurethane provides guidance for the rider's pelvis, and the straight seat allows the ischial tuberosities to nestle optimally. The unphysiological gap seat, which increases the anatomical lordosis of the spine and compresses the sensitive vertebral joints, as well as irritates the sensitive soft tissues in the anterior pelvic pubic area, is optimally avoided.

    By using the Seat Optimizer, the Les Truffiers Roots saddles can be ridden even with very narrow hip joint distances. With classic saddle types, this anatomical peculiarity otherwise poses the risk of wear and tear in the area of the rider's lateral hip joint socket.


    Roots Recado

    The Roots Recado is a saddle in the tradition of the South American gauchos, who looked after huge herds of cattle together with their horses in the vast savannahs for days and weeks. In addition to their own comfort, the well-being of their animals, as a valuable possession, was also of considerable importance. This saddle is a reminder of the close connection between humans and animals and their valuable social relationship.


    Roots Westway

    This hybrid saddle has all the advantages of the Recado - with a western look it will suit lovers of western riding. Measurement-proven overloading of the horse's body caused by the classic Western saddle, including in the fork area, can now be avoided without any loss of appearance, and the weight of the horse and rider's body has also been significantly reduced.


    Protected and stimulated by the therapist at the back, the child looks at the world with all its receptors: hearing, feeling, smelling, seeing, moving, all of the senses are integrated. The rider's optimal body movement is transmitted sensitively and imperceptibly to the child; he gradually reflects these patterns and the brain's movement traces lead to valuable connections between the different areas of the brain. Children should always be supported very carefully based on their individual competence, so that overloading is avoided at all costs.

    The therapeutic team of horse and human needs excellent conditions, the annoying element is always the saddle! Due to its social evolution, the horse is the perfect therapy partner as it always treats the weak and needy with special care. An unsuitable saddle disrupts this innate natural behavior. Many conversations with hippotherapists, measurements with barography, thermography and posturometry and a wealth of experience showed how much a reformation of saddle philosophy is necessary. The pseudo-adaptation of conventional tree saddles as well as treeless saddles or pads are demonstrably out of the question in terms of animal welfare.


bottom of page