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Invite
Dec. 26, 2007, 01:33 PM
I'm looking for a saddle that will basically suck me in and hold me in place. Before anyone jumps down my throat, I should tell you I have a medical disorder that causes extreme weakness, numbness, and pain in my left hip and leg. When I am in remission, it doesn't cause much of a problem and I really don't need a super influential saddle. Unfortunately, when I'm in a relapse, my balance is slightly off (enough to cause some insecurity), along with my leg/hip problems I mentioned earlier. I suppose the easy answer would be "don't ride when you are having a relapse," but I don't want to let this problem get the best of me and I want to try to remain as normal as possible. When I am having bad days, I usually just walk on the horse, but I'm afraid if there was a spook, bolt or buck (even one that wouldn't be a problem when I was 100%) I would be off in a heartbeat. I realize everybody falls off, but I really need to take extra precautions. The fact is I might never see remission and I need to prepare for this.

What saddle(s) have you found to strongly influence correct position in the rider? Would a deep seat and large blocks help? I would like something with a tree that can be adjusted by a saddler as I have a young, growing horse. I currently ride in a Theo Sommer Esprit. I have tried the Wintec Isabell, but it kills my back and puts painful pressure on my left seat bone. I have not had luck with Stubben or Albion, either. I need to stay in the $3K or under range.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

WWGeorgeMorrisD
Dec. 26, 2007, 01:37 PM
I have heard great things about the County saddles.

seeuatx
Dec. 26, 2007, 01:50 PM
I 2nd the county. I ride a horse that goes in one, and I don't move when I am in that saddle (which on the hardest horse I have ever sat to.... it's great);)

lizathenag
Dec. 26, 2007, 01:52 PM
When I started my rehab after shattering my ankle, I rode in my trainer's Devoucoux. It is not real padded (like a Klimke) but just fits so well. I ended up buying one (used for $2500 with girth, irons and leathers). I believe it has kept me in the saddle on a few occassions when my horse has jumped sideways.

Can't recommend it highly enough.

Hope you see some remission.

~Freedom~
Dec. 26, 2007, 02:00 PM
I like the Legend. I don't know the original maker other than it is made in the UK and I have had mine for many years. Not cheap but you feel like you are part of the saddle.

see u at x
Dec. 26, 2007, 02:37 PM
I have a Sommer as well, but I ride in the Magnus. To me, it seems to hold me in pretty well and put me in a good position. Everyone comments that the cantle is really high on it, but I like that, because I feel more secure, especially since my horse is still getting used to her new barn, etc. and has been a little spooky lately. I'm not sure if bigger kneeblocks would help you or not, but the ones on my saddle seem to be moderately sized, if that helps any.

TBrescue
Dec. 26, 2007, 02:43 PM
I agree, the county saddles are great for locking you into position. The Bates Isabell is also a good 2nd choice, less $$ than the county, but not as nice

class
Dec. 26, 2007, 02:47 PM
i don't think i'd buy a whole new saddle when sticky pants would work instead:

http://www.kerrits.com/w_eq_p_tight_sittight_2007w.html

Cougar85
Dec. 26, 2007, 03:04 PM
You're definitely looking in the right direction. The deeper the seat, and the more correctly fitted the thigh blocks are the more "held" you'll be. then your only choice will be finding one of these that you and your horse are comfortable with. I personally like the Albion slk line.

atr
Dec. 26, 2007, 03:10 PM
You might look at the Trilogy Amadeo and Varago (?) as well. I rode in my trainer's Amadeo in my lesson last week, and I was amazed by how easy it made sitting in the correct position. I hadn't realized how much I was fighting with my saddle. I'm told that the Varago has an even deeper seat and a wider twist. I guess I'll find out when the saddle fitter comes next week. (Yep, it really was an expensive lesson!)

Fitte
Dec. 26, 2007, 03:14 PM
I have a Lemke Elite, which doesn't exist anymore, but is similar to the Euro and the Delux. It has a supper deep seat and big blocks. I've used it extensively on squirelly horses for their first outside hacks, and I do some gnarly trails with it to as well as competitive dressage. The only fear I have with this saddle is that it would be hard to get out of it if I really had to (ie. falling horse) but it hasn't been a problem yet. My horses like it too :)

The Lemke saddles are very reasonable and there are a couple different "seatbelt" models.

Eclectic Horseman
Dec. 26, 2007, 03:16 PM
Sounds like you are looking for a saddle with a deep seat, knee rolls and thigh blocks? Personally, that is the opposite of what I like to ride in (:lol:) so I can tell you my least favorite is a Prestige.

http://www.prestigeitaly.com/elenco.php?cat=2

I feel like I can't move in these saddles!

Whatever you do, make sure that the saddle fits you both in terms of seat size, but also the length of your thigh. When you are sitting in the correct position with your stirrups the right length, your knee should rest in the knee roll comfortably. Having the right fit is probably more important than the type of saddle.
Good luck!

kahjul
Dec. 26, 2007, 03:16 PM
I love my Lemke. They run a bit more than you're talking about new, but you could probably find a used one. I went through several issues (extreme discomfort and just godawful body position) when I got my youngster several years ago. The switch to the Lemke made all the difference for me. You can email Sheryl @ Lemke or lemkesaddles.com. She's very helpful and knowlegeable-even about other saddles.

pintopiaffe
Dec. 26, 2007, 04:55 PM
It would be worth sitting in both versions of the Bates Innova. If the first one you sit in is awful, keep sitting. Try different sizes and both types of blocks. I found the large blocks to be AWFUL, but the smaller ones to be lovely. Seat size matters too.

The other thing to think about is either a Spanish or Portuguese saddle, or a good Australian saddle.

I just came in from riding the young'un's first 'friskies' in the snow. I was in an Alta Escuela, which is sort of a cross between a dressage saddle and a Portuguese saddle... and I felt lovely secure, even when he was seahorsing through the snow drifts.

There are many different types and models, from the VERY secure Doma Vaquera saddle, to an almost-dressage-saddle Portuguese type. (sorry, forget the name). I would think an Alta Escuela might be ideal though. And it's 'classical' enough for the SRS, the Portuguese school, etc. (Dunno about Cadre Noir, but I think there too!)

The nice thing about the Spanish or Portuguese saddles is they are made to allow a very correct, classical position (unlike some western--a GOOD western is fabulous for an elegant, balanced, effective position, but a bad one is worse than nothing) You can't just get the cheapos off Ebay, you have to do a little searching and such, but I have a few contacts I could hook you up with in the UK if that's the direction you decide to go in.

A plus, many of the models are designed to be used with a full sheepskin cover. I have a degenerative hip and sciatica, and can tell you, there are days sheepskin feels like heaven. None of the new high-tech materials are quite the same.

An Aussie--again, you have to get a good one, not a cheapo Indian made--might also have just the security and help you need. Some really encourage a chair seat, which I'm sure you want to avoid... but others are nicely balanced, and the poleys are excellent for keeping you 'in' the saddle when the unexpected occurs.

You could always keep your current saddle for good days--being optomistic--and have an Aussie or Spanish/Portuguese for bad days.

Finally, it is very affordable and worthwhile to have nice big cushy thigh blocks added to a 'favorite' saddle if it fits. I did the blasphemy of having them added to an Anciet Passier PT for my stallion--he's wiiiiide on top, but narrow in the body, so I really need big thigh blocks on him to 'dig into' if there is a spook or shy etc. Otherwise my leg goes right forward off the flap into thin air--the saddle is wider than his shoulder, if that makes sense. For around $100 or so, you can get thigh blocks of the size you want put where you want. I had GINORMOUS blocks on my Fhoenix, and loved them. If you try saddles with velcro blocks, try putting them up as high as you can get them--sometimes that means the top of the block is off the velcro completely--don't worry, it'll stay put. It can make the saddle feel COMPLETELY different and far more secure.

Good luck. Keep riding. :yes:

Equibrit
Dec. 26, 2007, 05:03 PM
Check out this site http://www.freedomrider.com/

xQHDQ
Dec. 26, 2007, 05:08 PM
My Hennig really changed my position for the better. It has large knee rolls/thigh blocks and a deep seat that sucks you in.

Good luck.

Invite
Dec. 26, 2007, 05:29 PM
Thanks for all of the responses. I love my Sommer and it's great on my old saint of a gelding, but it does not work for me when it's on my mare...it just doesn't fit her quite right. I had been riding the mare in a close contact while I saved up for a dressage saddle, but the CC doesn't offer me enough support and hurts me. Emily(the mare) can be a little squirrely at times, so short of suction cupping my butt to the saddle and duct taping my legs to her sides, I want to be as "sucked in" as possible.

I will look into all of the saddles you guys have mentioned. I really appreciate your advice

Ride On
Dec. 26, 2007, 05:37 PM
I just bought a Black Country Minuet sold by Advanced Saddlery and it has really helped me a lot. I can sit the trot better and my seat is very balanced. They are only $2750. :)

kacey'srider
Dec. 26, 2007, 07:47 PM
I have found the Bates Isabell to be just that saddle that locks you in place and keeps you in the correct position. Plus, you can adjust the knee rolls to where they best suite you at the time. You can pull them closer to your knee when you need more or move them further away on the days that you are feeling good.

I bought mine to use on my youngsters. When they act up, I want to be locked in!

sublimequine
Dec. 26, 2007, 09:00 PM
I will second the ideas of a Bates or Wintec saddle, especially the Isabell.. if you get the Wintec Isabell, it is covered COMPLETELY (not just seat and knee rolls, the entire saddle) in equisuede. You stick to it like glue. :lol:

I also will second the idea of an Albion. I rode in one once, and while I admit I found it to be most possibly the ugliest saddle I've ever seen (HUGE monstrous cantle, massive knee blocks, etc), it was extremely secure and actually very comfortable.

Also, for just hacking around or maybe on you're really bad days, an australian or portuguese saddle would probably do you good. They both REALLY hold you in, and there's plenty of 'stuff' to grab onto if you're about to lose your balance.

One more suggestion! Do you have a bucking strap on your saddles? They're wonderful little inventions, and have helped me through many sticky situations. :)

CLB15
Dec. 26, 2007, 09:31 PM
I knew someone who had a physical issues and because of it they wanted a "safety saddle"- she went with a County and last I heard, was very happy with it.
I've ridden a friend's horse in a Luc Childeric and the horse could've done back flips down a mountain and I don't think I'd have been ejected from that thing!

STF
Dec. 26, 2007, 09:33 PM
I have a county and a schumacher, both I love and help me keep a better lower body and open seat.

sabby
Dec. 26, 2007, 10:01 PM
You are not going anywhere with this saddle:). Love this saddle!! Very comfortable for me but mine is for sale now because we're not sure if the horsey likes it. Flat backed horse and curved saddle tree or what they call a "banana tree" do not mix....

Stacy

friesian4me
Dec. 26, 2007, 10:10 PM
Instead of spending money on a new saddle, try a pair of sit tight breeches. That way when you are feeling less fit you could wear them. They glue you to the saddle in a scarey kind of way.

RubysMom
Dec. 26, 2007, 11:01 PM
Surprised no one mentioned Custom Saddlery saddles...My friend has a Wolfgang Solo with a buffalo leather seat and flaps and that thing is STICKY!
The Solos are usually made with leather seat and buffalo flaps, but this one was a custom made demo model and it's quite secure.
Very deep seat, and cushy, too. With full seat breeches, you're just about glued in.
I think new they run about $2800 give or take, but they're worth checking out, IMO and you may be able to find a demo model for less, (that's what my friend did, I think she paid $2300 for hers).
Good luck on your search!

Sabine
Dec. 27, 2007, 01:33 AM
more like 3500 and they are definitely good saddles...and helped me a lot but...

my brand new Schleese- with the new fiberglass tree and the buffalo seat/flaps- no flaps actually and very soft knee rolls is amazing....really amazing because it reteaches me how to sit more deep on the rear- and it just happens to work great for my horse....engages the rear end- without me constantly asking for more forward- can only highly recommend- and yes its a custom saddle but worth its money in spades- because what is it worth if you can't ride your horse properly...~~???:(

editted to add: no more constant prodding for more forward- more off the seat riding facilitated by the saddle- and very perfect for the horse- total freedom and great movement guaranteed...!

hanohorse
Dec. 27, 2007, 12:17 PM
The Jaguar XKC has a deep seat and large blocks, and is heaven to sit in. Pricey but very well made.

indyarab
Dec. 27, 2007, 12:58 PM
Try a Windsor Greenline. Deep seat with outer thigh rolls. And they're very realistically priced.

Bogie
Dec. 27, 2007, 01:49 PM
Albion Original Comfort? I used one when I first started in dressage. Over time I found it too restrictive.

WWGeorgeMorrisD
Dec. 27, 2007, 02:09 PM
Invite, I just want to say "good for you" for riding despite medical problems.

jnel
Dec. 27, 2007, 03:37 PM
I have back problems and found my friends Duett dressage saddle very comfortable and secure. I ride in full seats and with that saddle felt velcroed into place.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Dec. 27, 2007, 05:26 PM
I second the use of removable thigh blocks and knee rolls. This way, depending upon your balance and strength, you can switch around. Velcro is a wonderful thing. And I would say, stay away from a treeless! Because most of those don't offer that kind of support.

I also second the bucking strap - they're maybe $15 or so.

I hope the more you ride, when you are having problems, the better and stronger you will feel.

Sabine
Dec. 27, 2007, 09:04 PM
I second the use of removable thigh blocks and knee rolls. This way, depending upon your balance and strength, you can switch around. Velcro is a wonderful thing. And I would say, stay away from a treeless! Because most of those don't offer that kind of support.

I also second the bucking strap - they're maybe $15 or so.

I hope the more you ride, when you are having problems, the better and stronger you will feel.

Agreed 100% with every statement here. Riding correctly (if needed with the help of a trainer) will make you stronger and alleviate pain. I have a pretty bad sacrum injury that gets very bad when I don't ride. Actually riding and regular correct dressage riding strengthens the weakened parts and makes me close to painfree. A recent layup of my horse for 9 weeks totally messed me up and I can only say that if the saddle places you correctly and comfortably- the rest can actually be like therapy...(note to self: claim for tax purposes....LOL!)

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Dec. 27, 2007, 09:08 PM
ME TOO!!!

For real, I have explained, it's in his best interests to stay sound. Because I definitely need to ride (read: ride correctly!) to keep myself sound. So, if I have to pay Ted's board, and board for another horse that I can ride, there's that fewer peeps to go around,a nd no Uncle Jimmy's Hanging balls for Christmas.

petitefilly
Dec. 27, 2007, 10:18 PM
I just bought a Black Country Minuet sold by Advanced Saddlery and it has really helped me a lot. I can sit the trot better and my seat is very balanced. They are only $2750. :)

Trumbull Mountain Tack also sells them. This is the second thread I have advocated this company, I think I may have to write them and demand a kick back soon. :):):):)

I LOVE mine, it makes all the difference in the world to my leg, it drops it down more than any other saddle I have owned, and believe me I have owned more than a few. I'm a saddle guru. LOL

Kyrie
Dec. 28, 2007, 04:30 AM
I have heard that the Isabel will hold you in position - just watch that your horse doesn't develop a sore back from the pressure from the stirrup bars (set too deep into the saddle)

Invite
Dec. 28, 2007, 09:20 AM
Thank you for all of the suggestions and all of the kind words. I do my best to ride whenever I am up to it. The winter is a hard time because of the lack of circulation and lack of feeling in my leg...I've had a few bouts with frostbite and I need to be careful with my "outdoor exposure"especially since I'm currently slow moving and my daily barn chores take me twice the usual amount of time. Also, my beautiful, soft perfect riding snow has turned to ice :(Spring, summer, and fall I ride daily. On bad days, my grooming and tacking lasts longer than my ride, but it's worth it even if I can only walk for 15 or 20 minutes.

As far as a bucking strap is concerned, it is a permanent fixture on my saddle!!! It really helps when my balance is a bit off.

Thanks for the suggestion of sticky full seats. While they do help with sticking, they don't hold my leg in place enough on the days when my leg is just, for lack of a better term, floppy and useless. Also, I need to purchase a new saddle for Emily, as I don't have one that fits her and I figured I might as well get a "seatbelt" saddle.

akor
Dec. 28, 2007, 03:33 PM
If your leg is your main concern, I'd suggest saddle tite or some of the sticky spray. It really does work. That combined with a deep seated saddle and a buck strap should help!

molliwog
Dec. 28, 2007, 06:30 PM
I love my Luc Childeric.
Although the seat is fairly deep, it doesn't have monster thigh blocks. They're just located in the right place so it's easy to sit correctly- I have never had a saddle where I just felt like I was melting into it until I had this one.

Warmbloodmom
Dec. 28, 2007, 07:37 PM
LOVE my WOW!

Ride On
Dec. 28, 2007, 07:42 PM
Petitefilly, it is amazing how long the Black Country allows your leg to be. I have lowered my stirrup 2 holes and am never reaching for them. I really love this saddle. :)

Kiljoywashere
Dec. 29, 2007, 08:39 PM
For a sometimes weak left hip and leg - have you considered possibly riding aside? It is *Dang* hard for a horse to get one off of a sidesaddle - I sneer at their attempts at bucking and bolting, spooks left and right, no problem. The one time I got a bit scared on a sidesaddle was when a horse started spinning under me, if they catch you right they can kind of put you "down in the well" through centrifugal force. See if you can find someone nearby who has one that you could try sitting in, to see if it helps or hinders you when your leg is acting up.

tollertwins
Dec. 29, 2007, 09:11 PM
It's hard to get somebody off who's on sidesaddle?? REALLY? How come?

:eek::eek::eek:

jn4jenny
Dec. 29, 2007, 10:07 PM
Petitefilly, it is amazing how long the Black Country allows your leg to be. I have lowered my stirrup 2 holes and am never reaching for them. I really love this saddle. :)

Well, to be even MORE fair to Black Country, they are fully customizable from the tree up as part of the retail price. So if the OP orders one new, she could have literally anything she wanted built into the saddle for $1800-$2800 (depending on the model she orders).

I also love my Black Country (a very customized Quantum jumping saddle) and dream of the day when I can afford a Black Country dressage saddle too.

But for lock-in purposes, I also put in a plug for the Wintec Isabel. You might also check into a Duett Fidelio with custom nubuck seat (Duett only charges $50 to customize and the Fidelio retails for around $1450).

Kiljoywashere
Dec. 29, 2007, 10:29 PM
When in a sidesaddle, you have two heads or crucks on the saddle, one curving slightly over your right thigh, and one just above your left thigh. When Horsey decides that the plastic bag blowing across the arena is going to eat him, you just press down on your left stirrup, drive your left thigh into the lower head (the jumping head), and clamp the two heads between your thighs. You have a much better angle for leverage than you do grabbing with your thighs around the horse, and you have the leverage of your right thigh lying along the horse's spine to keep you from being flung forward. The worst things that can happen are, you torque your back *because* you stayed on during a move that normally would have had you off, (done that once or twice...) or horsey falls down with you still in place, which is why women who foxhunt sidesaddle should know how to "throw" their horses, so that they fall onto their right side rather than their left side, where your legs would be trapped.

kansasgal
Dec. 29, 2007, 10:30 PM
Has a nice deep seat, holds you in, is SOMEwhat adjustable, and is budget friendly.
Make sure you get the proper seat size, though, so you aren't completely stuck. Also, no need for full seat breeches, the fabric on the saddle is super grippy, and very comfy.

I rode in my friend's a couple of times, and it felt like I was being held in by a seat belt.
Great feeling of security. Nicely balanced saddle. Defintitely worth trying out.
Trumbull Mountain Tack has a great trial policy. I don't know of anyone else that lets you really ride in Wintecs before you decide to buy. Fantastic customer service.
I prefer the Wintec Pro dressage, though, because of the slightly more open seat.

Good luck!

Kelly G
Dec. 30, 2007, 03:28 AM
Having been an instructor for a few years and having had to ride in all different 'school' saddles when I was doing that I've ridden extensively in and/or owned a huge variety of saddles, including kieffers, stubbens, passiers, counties, bates, wintecs, ect and more recently max benz and hennigs, and although I always thought wintecs were the 'stickiest' saddles in the world [especially when paired with 'sticky' jodphurs] I can now say that nothing I've ever ridden in is anywhere near as 'sticky' as my hennig. And it wasn't particularly expensive either really, $2,000 US on ebay. I've seen a few for around that same price in the US on ebay lately too. Plus, of course, the gullet is adjustible on hennigs which would be a plus if you've got a growing youngster.

Kelly.

Invite
Jan. 10, 2008, 06:38 PM
Well, I have started the saddle search and here are the results thus far:

Lemke Saddles - I went to the website which is under construction. I really liked the looks of the Elk Buffalo Delux. I have emailed Sheryl twice with no reply. I am very disappointed! It looks as though I will not be getting a Lemke.

Prestige- I tried my friend's 18" and it was a little too big. I don't know if the 17" would be too small or if the VTO website is right and the 17" fits like a 17.5". It was too narrow for my mare, but the shape seemed to fit her back well. ( I didn't ride my mare in the too narrow saddle. I rode my friend's horse who the saddle fits)

Custom Saddlery- The buffalo saddles are a bit out of my price range, but several of the models come in smooth leather. There are a lot of different ones to chose from, so I may have to try a few demos.

County- My local tack shop has several used "warmbloods" and "competitors" that I will try out. I have ridden in some County close contacts and they were not comfortable for me, but maybe I'll like the County dressage saddles better.

Thank you for all of the suggestions :)

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Jan. 10, 2008, 07:21 PM
Just wanted to add another vote for Custom Saddlery. They were the first saddle I ever sat in that automatically put me in the correct position. I own a Lemke and it's not nearly as, ummm, good.

Good luck!

rothmpp
Jan. 12, 2008, 07:49 PM
I have an "old school" County Competitor, and I am surprised at the number of people that say it locks you in. Perhaps a newer one rides different? That is not how I would describe it, tho have not ridden in any other County. In fact I was just looking at mine today and thinking that I need to start a saddle search as this one does not fit the boy now that he has put on some muscle.

fiftysomething
Jan. 12, 2008, 10:03 PM
I will second the ideas of a Bates or Wintec saddle, especially the Isabell.. if you get the Wintec Isabell, it is covered COMPLETELY (not just seat and knee rolls, the entire saddle) in equisuede. You stick to it like glue. :lol:

I also will second the idea of an Albion. I rode in one once, and while I admit I found it to be most possibly the ugliest saddle I've ever seen (HUGE monstrous cantle, massive knee blocks, etc), it was extremely secure and actually very comfortable.

Also, for just hacking around or maybe on you're really bad days, an australian or portuguese saddle would probably do you good. They both REALLY hold you in, and there's plenty of 'stuff' to grab onto if you're about to lose your balance.

One more suggestion! Do you have a bucking strap on your saddles? They're wonderful little inventions, and have helped me through many sticky situations. :)

I will second that bucking strap, and the Wintec Isabell. And...when you are flush with cash, Hermes has come out with a suede version of the Corlandus!! Now, THAT is my lottery win saddle!!!!!!!!!!!!

leslie645
Feb. 17, 2010, 04:19 PM
Interesting thread. So what was the verdict?
I had posted on the Eq with disability but dont think anyone menton brand names...good to hear the various seatbelt saddles.

sdlbredfan
Feb. 17, 2010, 04:28 PM
Someone mentioned the Bates Isabell, however I found when I rode in a friend's saddle, that it pitched me forward onto my pubic bone rather than allowing me to sit on my seat bones. That tendency of that saddle could be a problem for the OP? (causing tipping forward)
Edited to add, since Invite mentioned liking the Prestige but that the one she tried was too narrow, that those saddles come in different width trees.

Invite
Feb. 17, 2010, 05:15 PM
I found that the L'Apogee saddle worked great for me. It's a monoflap with big blocks and a deep seat. I was very lucky. The owner of the company was on vacation in my area and she did a fitting on my mare. The saddle was supposed to take about 8 weeks to get to me and I got it in more like 4 or 5 weeks. It fits my mare like a glove and allows for her massive shoulders. The website is www.lasaddles.com

sbp
Feb. 17, 2010, 05:21 PM
Saddle fit is very individual....having said that, I love my Passier Optimim. It allows my leg to drape, and does not 'lock' me in. I have ridden in countless other saddles, some were ok, others down right horrible for me.
I am so glad that I rode in many different saddles before I bought my Optimum :)

buck22
Feb. 17, 2010, 05:53 PM
What saddle(s) have you found to strongly influence correct position in the rider? Would a deep seat and large blocks help? I would like something with a tree that can be adjusted by a saddler as I have a young, growing horse. I currently ride in a Theo Sommer Esprit. I have tried the Wintec Isabell, but it kills my back and puts painful pressure on my left seat bone. I have not had luck with Stubben or Albion, either. I need to stay in the $3K or under range.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

custom saddlery
prestige
schleese
laser

all offer big block'd models with deep squishy seats, high cantles, and all are adjustable.

surprised by all of the county suggestions.

Equi88
Feb. 18, 2010, 08:16 AM
There is an older beginner rider at our barn, and she just bought a new Wintec with contour blocks. Says she really likes the way the material and the blocks keep her secure!

HorselessInClinton
Feb. 18, 2010, 08:57 AM
I'd suggest the County Fusion. That one "locks in your seat" the most. The Competitor/Connection not so much and even their newest model still allows for plenty of freedom.

However, if you're not ready to ride with your legs down and your seat is not supported by your upper body you may not be comfortable in the County Fusion or any of those type of saddles. They might be comfortable and helpful to a rider who has his/her seat together already quite well but very uncomfortable for a rider who's still struggeling with his/her seat.

A Hennig would probably a good choice, too, but very expensive.

paintlady
Feb. 18, 2010, 09:18 AM
I like the Legend. I don't know the original maker other than it is made in the UK and I have had mine for many years. Not cheap but you feel like you are part of the saddle.

Albion sells a model called Legend.

paintlady
Feb. 18, 2010, 09:20 AM
It would be worth sitting in both versions of the Bates Innova. If the first one you sit in is awful, keep sitting. Try different sizes and both types of blocks. I found the large blocks to be AWFUL, but the smaller ones to be lovely. Seat size matters too.


Try the new Wintec Pro with the Contourblocs. It's the synthetic version of the Bates Innova. I bought one used from a fellow COTH'er. It really holds you in position. I actually didn't like that about it and just sold it on eBay a couple of days ago. Still, it might be a good choice for the OP.

Personally, I love my new-to-me Albion SLK.

paintlady
Feb. 18, 2010, 09:32 AM
I found that the L'Apogee saddle worked great for me. It's a monoflap with big blocks and a deep seat. I was very lucky. The owner of the company was on vacation in my area and she did a fitting on my mare. The saddle was supposed to take about 8 weeks to get to me and I got it in more like 4 or 5 weeks. It fits my mare like a glove and allows for her massive shoulders. The website is www.lasaddles.com

Great news! My friend has one of these and loves it. The owner is a local here too. Very nice saddle, but expensive. Dressage Extensions has a few listed under their Super Closeouts for $2,800.