I’ve posted photos of my Ghost Quevis before — it’s a tiny treeless saddle that’s very close contact and minimal. I recently purchased fenders for it (more about that later), but in the meantime, I came across a screaming deal on a Cavillin Heritage, one of the newest models from Camillo Cavallin, who is one of the original designers of modern-day treeless saddles, including Torsion and Ghost saddles. This newest line carries his name.
The Heritage looks a lot like the earlier Torsion treeless saddles but with integrated panels that create a channel to protect your horses back. Unlike the Torsion, and even the Ghost line, the Cavillan saddles have a narrower twist that give you a feel that’s similar to a treed saddle. Since I’ve been riding treeless to give my ankle some relief, I thought I’d give it a try.
The first thing you notice when you sit on the saddle is that it’s super comfortable. The seat is soft and it’s not too deep, not to shallow. It lets me ride with a longer leg, giving me a good stretch through my hips and also relieving pressure on my knee.
Compared to the Quevis, which feels like it floats above the horse (especially if you use the Ghost treeless pad), the Heritage has a very close contact feel. The saddle feels quite laterally stable, although I wouldn’t try getting on a horse as tall as Zelda from the ground. I always mount from a block.
One of the major differences between the Heritage and the Quevis is the way that the stirrups attach. The Quevis has two settings where the stirrups attach. I prefer the one that’s further under the body as it keeps my legs balanced underneath me. On the Heritage, the stirrup straps attach to a velcro pad that can be moved backwards or forwards under the saddle seat in order for the rider to find the most comfortable position for their riding style. Additionally, on the Cavillan saddles, the stirrups can be attached to buckles at the bottom of the saddle flaps. This is supposed to spread the rider’s weight more effectively. As a heavier rider, that’s important to me as it’s supposed to protect your horse’s back better during work where there’s more weight in your stirrups.
The rigging on the Heritage was designed to be rock solid and make the saddle feel even more close contact. So far, I’ve found the saddle to be very comfortable and secure. I stil haven’t found exactly the right pad and have had a bit of slippage. More on that later.
Have you tried treeless yet?