The facts... - The Startrekk English Comfort saddle - rider is myself (approximately 5'2 and 140 lbs) - Walk, trot, canter, and some lateral work for approximately 30 minutes. - EDIX merino squareskirt 8 pocket pad in the appropriate size for the saddle - felt full length inlays and felt shims as needed for the horse. - The top of the picture is front of the saddle, left panel is left side of saddle, right panel is right side of saddle.
The first picture is the saddle.
The second picture shows the impression pad when we did a ride with it between the saddle and the saddle pad, as shown in the picture. This is the best way I can measure the weight distribution capabilities of the saddle itself. As you can see, it has significant hot spots along the tops of the panels right underneath me. I have found these type of problems pretty consistently now with treeless saddles that have movable panels.
The third picture is the impression pad after a ride with it between the horse and the saddle pad, which gives us an idea of how the saddle and saddle pad are working together. The sun was a little too over head, but you can clearly see that this pad and saddle worked together quite well. You can see the outline of the saddle panels but there's barely any deviation along the full length of the panels. Impressive!
I am typically not very picky about saddles when it comes to my own comfort. I can feel pretty comfortable in anything for a 30 minute ride so I find it interesting that I found this saddle quite uncomfortable on both rides. My knees hurt, my ankles hurt, etc. I tried both iron ring positions and neither suited me well. The seat is VERY comfortable and soft, and the pommel was relatively easy to change. I know many people very happy in Startrekks, my discomfort isn't the brand, it's apparently just not a fit for my body.
I am using Christina Cross' impression pads. You can find them at https://www.facebook.com/CassySadddleImpressionPads/