View Full Version : saddles that "shove" your leg back??? DESPERATE

Aug. 19, 2009, 09:12 PM
I am looking for a new saddle. I am short (5'2") and I have a rather short thigh for my height. All saddles seem to allow my leg to be forward and put me in a chair seat. I've tried many saddles and have not found one that would work. (well, I found the windsor elite but it doesn't work for my horse) I also want the saddle to give a close feel to the horse.
Help, I am at my wits end!

Aug. 19, 2009, 09:16 PM
I am looking for a new saddle. I am short (5'2") and I have a rather short thigh for my height. All saddles seem to allow my leg to be forward and put me in a chair seat. I've tried many saddles and have not found one that would work. (well, I found the windsor elite but it doesn't work for my horse) I also want the saddle to give a close feel to the horse.
Help, I am at my wits end!

What have you tried so far? I am built similarly and actually wanted a saddle that would NOT shove my leg back too far, as I have a bad hip and find that very painful. I ended up with an Albion Style. The Albion Original Comfort, as I recall, was one that put my leg well under me and made me say "ouch!" They are not made anymore, but there are a lot of used ones out there.

I have also heard -- and hopefully a tack expert can confirm or deny this -- that us shorter legged people may do better in a saddle with a smaller seat...

Aug. 19, 2009, 09:18 PM
Try a short flap. The thigh blocks are adjusted specifically for shorter thighs and do a better job of helping your leg hang down. Also, try a narrow twist saddle. My favorites (I'm 5'2") are Trilogy Amadeo and Albion Platinum - both with short flaps!

Aug. 19, 2009, 09:21 PM
I ride in a bates innova with extended blocks- my leg is back! I am 5'3". Love the adjustable tree too. Had to get a new jumping saddle for new horse but just switched trees for this one:)

Aug. 19, 2009, 10:09 PM
I have a friend who was looking for one too and bought the Albion Style. Put her leg in a great place, but ha! didn't fit the horse because its a MW and she needed a medium, so now she's super bummed its up for sale.

Aug. 19, 2009, 10:17 PM
Albions are good for that, and the Trilogy as well. But neither of those are, uh, "affordable." lol.
Also, Trilogy worked with Debbie McDonald to make this saddle for petite riders. Worth a try!

Raison d'etre
Aug. 20, 2009, 12:02 AM
I'm a petite rider, and I've found that saddles with a narrow twist help more than anything else. They allow my leg to hang down fromt he hip in a way the wide twists never did. The Trilogy Verago is a narrow twist, but the Debbie M is wide and didn't work for me at all. I've had a Albion Original Comfort forever and it's actually a wide twist, too. I finally decided I was tired of fighting with my saddle and put it up for sale (Quest52, your friend doesn't happen to be looking for a 17" does she? Mine's a medium). I'm very happy withthe Trilogy Verago. Another lady at my barn who's built similar to me likes two of the Custom Saddlery saddles - the ones with super narrow twists, too narrow for me. They've made all the difference for her.

Just a thought.

Aug. 20, 2009, 12:13 AM
Just shows how different people's needs are based on their own conformation! I am struggling with precisely the oppositie problem: based on the fact that I have a long thigh I am having problems finding a saddle that doesn't shove my leg back! :)

Good luck with your hunt!

Aug. 20, 2009, 12:16 AM
Wintec Isabell :)

Aug. 20, 2009, 01:32 AM
I 2nd what Raison said about the twist. I am long-legged and saddles with too wide a twist (or my mare bareback) puts me into a chairseat.

Aug. 20, 2009, 06:11 AM
I'd look into the Hennig'sthrough euroamerican saddlery, they will customize the saddle for you and are wizards at fitting the rider.

Aug. 20, 2009, 07:12 AM
oh you'd love my marcus krehan, its a monoflap with exposed thigh blocks, my leg is absolutely shoved back, I rarely ride it because I can't hardly post in the durn thing. I'm 5'3", but have a short torso and long thighs. If the seat wasn't 1" too big for me, I think I'd be darn near vertical in the thing. :)


if you're looking for close contact, perhaps monoflap is the way to go.

if you're feeling in a chair seat, check how the saddle fits your horse, it may just be too narrow up front, tilting the whole deal back on you - which causes my legs to be thrust out in front.

Aug. 20, 2009, 07:44 AM
I recommend the Isabell too. I have an Albion Legend as well, but I think it puts my leg too far forward.

Aug. 20, 2009, 08:14 AM
I am in the process of buying my trainer's Barnsby and it definitely helps keep my legs back. I have no idea which model it is, but it has fairly big knee rolls.

Aug. 20, 2009, 08:41 AM
Wintec Isabell -
fyi - I am 5'10 and it works for me - when I put kids in that saddle, it works for them also - puts you right into hip/heel alignment.

Aug. 20, 2009, 01:22 PM
The balance point on the seat has a lot to do with where your leg hangs.

Definately look into a saddle with blocks and a short flap that ALSO has a seat that works for you.

Aug. 20, 2009, 01:57 PM
Same as I said to the taller gal.

Often it is the stirrup bars too forward. Once in the centre of you saddle, do your stirrups hang vertical too the ground? If you place your feet in the stirrups and "force" your leg under you, are the stirrups leathers being forced backwards? If so, you will never keep your leg under you, you need extended stirrup bars. ie the leather needs to hang from a location more under your leg, not stuck out infront of your leg. ;)

Aug. 20, 2009, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the replies! Keep the ideas coming!
To answer some of you, I tried Albion (style, slk and a few of the old ones) and they let my leg forward (especially the style) and also feel too thick for me, too much saddle. I tried Trilogy and hated those, mostly because it was too much saddle - the Verago actually put my leg where I wanted it, but the saddle felt rigid and big. I tried Barnsby (my leg goes forward), Prestige(leg goes forward), Kieffer (leg goes forward plus pommel hurts my crotch), Stubben (leg forward), Wintec Isabell (I liked it but it was too pointy in the pommel and hurt my crotch area), Bates Innova - liked the one with extended knee rolls, but the shape of the panels doesn't work for my horse. I tried a few more, can't remember all the names...
what seems to work is Windsor Elite - the seat is good, puts my leg where I want it although it doesn't "shove" it there. But the stirrup bar is too far forward.
I love love love the County Fusion - love how I can feel the horse through it and its supple, light and gives a close feel. But the flap is super long (even their short flap) and I would need it custom made so that they could change the angle of the flap (to make the thigh roll more vertical to cause the "shoving" effect). So that gets expensive as this saddle is already almost $4K, so add custom features of the flap and also gussets for my hard to fit horse and it just gets beyond my price range.
I sat in a Hennig, never rode in one. It seems too rigid and a lot of saddle/leather like Albion/Trilogy. And its too expensive anyways.
I agree about the seat size and stirrup bar placement ideas - I have so far been riding in saddles that are too small - 16 or 16.5 inch or junior saddles (prestige lucky) - those seem to have flaps short enough and the small seat puts me closer to the front of the saddle and helps with the vertical leg position. But I would really just like to find a saddle that will fit me!

I really probably need something that most people won't like - I don't know if its my thigh length or pelvic structure or what but I so far I have not found a saddle that will truly let me sit correctly with a dropped down long leg and not have the thigh block 1-4 inches in front of my leg. I want slight contact!

Ok, please keep the ideas coming!

Aug. 20, 2009, 08:55 PM
Bates or a Hennig

Aug. 20, 2009, 09:56 PM
How about a Karl Neidersuss Symphonie? I'm 5'4", my coach is 4'11". We both like it.

Aug. 20, 2009, 10:04 PM
I have a rembrandt that I loved and just replaced b/c it didn't fit my narrow Tb. So I boughtan Amergio, just this week, which I love as well. I'm 5'4'' and those two saddles are definitely different for twists. Both kept the leg back.

Aug. 20, 2009, 10:16 PM
My mom is petite and also loves her Symphonie, but I don't think it really keeps your leg back. It just has a nice position.

Aug. 20, 2009, 10:18 PM
Haven't read all the relies, but I would never want a saddle that "shoves" my leg anywhere that don't want it to be. Some better saddles have a bar that will let you move the stirrup leather to you desire...front, middle, back.

Lariche is one. I also had an ortho-flex I had Len Brown design for me a LONG time with ago with Passier seat...with the 3 position stirrup leather position. Don't laugh, I know it was not conventional, but I love that saddle and have sold Devoucoux, and other Lauriches, before I'll let that one go!

I have only one Lauriche left, a few Albions which IMO are well made and give a good leg position. for a rider with a good seat and leg..and of course, that old Ortho-Flex that is great to help you figure out where your leg should be on a youngin! :lol:

Aug. 20, 2009, 10:36 PM
My mom is petite and also loves her Symphonie, but I don't think it really keeps your leg back. It just has a nice position.
:lol: Ok, I'm 5'4", but chubby.
I need to consciously hold my legs under me. It isn't automatic.

Aug. 20, 2009, 10:40 PM
Sid, the reason I am saying that I want a saddle that "shoves" my leg back is because most saddles make my leg slide forward - so what will "shove" most people's leg back will be just fine and comfortable for me... but its been difficult to find anything like that!
I heard of "Lemke" saddles recently - anybody have any experience with that?

Aug. 20, 2009, 11:19 PM
Another saddle with adjustable stirrup bars is the Lovatt & Ricketts Berkeley. A friend has one. Well-built saddle, but her 18+ inch seat is too much for me. Would love to try one in a seat size that fits ME some time!

Raison d'etre
Aug. 20, 2009, 11:55 PM
I also own a Symphonie that fits my pony well. I think they're very comfortable and put me in a decent position, but the twist is still too wide.

I'd suggest that while a saddle might feel rigid at first, it might be worth giving it a try to see if you're opinion changes. I hated the hennigs the first time I sat in them because compared to the Symphonie they were very hard and uncomfortable. Then I looked in the mirror and saw how much better my position was so I gave it a few more rides. I ended up loving it simply because of where it put me and how much easier it made everything else. I'd totally buy a Hennig if I had the funds too. The Trilogy gave me the closest feel to the Hennig. It took a few rides to adjust to it but now I can't stand to ride in anything else.

Good luck.

Aug. 21, 2009, 08:25 AM
Depending on your weight and how your seat spreads-sorry no delicate way to put it.
A Passier Junior may work,
also Crosby makes their Freestyle with a 13" flap.
I would seriously have a saddle fitter or a very knowledgeable trainer/Instructor look @ you in some saddles.
I find it odd that that many different saddles give the same problem, it may be that you naturally have a slumped posture and need to correct that first.
Good Luck

Aug. 21, 2009, 08:29 AM
Where do you live? If you're in the NoVa/Md area Susie Coffey is a super saddlefitter (does NOT represent any particular saddle maker) who might be able to help you. She does sometimes have used saddles. She'll make you ride in a few and see what's happening with your leg/position and can make a reco on a brand.

Aug. 21, 2009, 08:36 AM
And why would you want to SHOVE YOUR LEG BACK:confused::no:


Aug. 21, 2009, 09:00 AM
I was going to suggest the County Fusion with a custom flap. I love my friend's- it is the only dressage saddle I have ever felt really secure and able to have a nice, relaxed, long leg in.

Aug. 21, 2009, 09:40 AM
Their flap is standard 16" but it does position your leg BACK!

Good luck!

Aug. 21, 2009, 01:53 PM
I have ridden in a Stubben and a Keiffer Wein forever. Both of these saddles allow my thigh to just hang from the hip down.

Aug. 21, 2009, 03:26 PM
KN Symphonie.

Aug. 21, 2009, 03:39 PM
The Prestige saddles are good. I have a Prestige 2000d that helped my leg position IMMENSELY. .
But, it doesn't fit my horse correctly and no amount of reflocking, etc will fix that. So I have to sell it. :(
I also had a KN Symphonie and it did me no favors on leg position
The County saddles are really nice too. Am riding in my trainer's Connection and my seat is getting better. I think the Fusions, though, have the outer block that might help the leg stay back even more.