Lest you all think I've gone over to the crazy side, let me reassure you: I still love treed saddles. I love how they look, love how they ride, love them. I am not one of those who's into treeless saddle, natural horsemanship, barefoot shoeing, and holistic healing. Frankly, I think if you're in to all those things and keeping the horse as naturally as possible, your best option is to move to the mountains, buy a couple thousand acres, and turn the ponies loose. Obviously, that's the most natural choice for them. Riding is inherently unnatural for a horse. I didn't say unpleasant or unfortunate, just unnatural. So. I love trees.
Izzy, however, goes better in a treeless saddle than I have ever seen her go before. I have been told, and I suppose I believe, that a horse will go just as well in a well-fitting treed saddle. I think that's wonderful. It must be amazing for people who have saddle fitters in their area to have this option.
I do not. In Idaho, we kinda do things the cowboy way. There is a small (and growing) english contingent, but that hasn't expanded to saddle issues yet. There is one tack store in Boise that even sells english stuff. There is no one who does saddle fittings or reflockings or anything of the sort. As such, the most economical way for me to take care of Miss Izzy is to go treeless. As I said, I've ridden that way before and I do enjoy it, but that enjoyment is with the appreciation of a tree as well. It's not one without the other. It's one because the other isn't feasible for us right now. I can ill afford a nice treeless saddle, but my other option, to continually cycle through quasi-fitting treed saddles until Izzy's size stabilizes, is even more expensive.
All that said, I'm super excited for a new saddle.