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Haven'tJumpedInALongTime
Dec. 7, 2009, 02:25 PM
Hello all! As my name says, I haven't jumped in a LONG time. I took lessons and was up to 3'3" when I came off one too many times, broke some bones, and ended up being too scared to ride English again. I never lost the desire to jump. I did sell my saddle at the time, bought a new one, never rode in it, and finally sold it as well. Now I am older, and want to try jumping again. I'm still afraid of English saddles, and my horse is no steady-eddie. I would like to find a used saddle that gives me confidence and helps me stay IN the saddle if my horse spooks or does something unexpected. I know I need to ride a ton to regain my muscles that will help me stay in the saddle, but I'd still like a saddle to give me some help! What recommendations do you have for someone who is scared, but wants to try again? I will never jump anything but small stuff again, so I don't need anything like a pro saddle! :)

poltroon
Dec. 7, 2009, 02:29 PM
If your horse isn't a steady-eddie, then I'd strongly suggest taking some lessons on some steady lesson horses first.

If there aren't any in your barn, maybe you should do a riding vacation scenario and go to someplace where you can have an intensive week or weekend on horses that will pack you and give you confidence.

hntrjmprpro45
Dec. 7, 2009, 02:30 PM
Your probably best off going to a tack store and just sitting in a bunch of saddles to see which feels the best. I would suggest looking for some with very generous knee and thigh blocks (these will help cradle your leg a little bit more). You might also want a slightly deeper seat. If you explain your situation to a reputable sales person they should be able to steer you in the right direction.

Haven'tJumpedInALongTime
Dec. 7, 2009, 02:32 PM
If your horse isn't a steady-eddie, then I'd strongly suggest taking some lessons on some steady lesson horses first.

If there aren't any in your barn, maybe you should do a riding vacation scenario and go to someplace where you can have an intensive week or weekend on horses that will pack you and give you confidence.

Great advice! I do know a steady-eddie I can ride. Thanks!

Haven'tJumpedInALongTime
Dec. 7, 2009, 02:33 PM
Your probably best off going to a tack store and just sitting in a bunch of saddles to see which feels the best. I would suggest looking for some with very generous knee and thigh blocks (these will help cradle your leg a little bit more). You might also want a slightly deeper seat. If you explain your situation to a reputable sales person they should be able to steer you in the right direction.

Ah, exactly what I wanted! To know what I should be looking for! Thank you!

poltroon
Dec. 7, 2009, 02:36 PM
When you do buy a saddle, don't buy a new leather saddle. Find one that is used, that you can really try, where the leather is soft, broken in, and grippy. Two you might try are a stubben sigfreid - they're inexpensive and well made, but the seat may be too hard for your taste - or a Wintec.

Haven'tJumpedInALongTime
Dec. 7, 2009, 02:40 PM
When you do buy a saddle, don't buy a new leather saddle. Find one that is used, that you can really try, where the leather is soft, broken in, and grippy. Two you might try are a stubben sigfreid - they're inexpensive and well made, but the seat may be too hard for your taste - or a Wintec.

What do you think of this one? Just using it as an example. It seemed kinda weird that it would use a dressage girth???

http://cgi.ebay.com/STUBBEN-CAVALLERIA-RC-CLOSE-CONTACT-ENGLISH-SADDLE-17_W0QQitemZ230408524312QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Defa ultDomain_0?hash=item35a56b1218

poltroon
Dec. 7, 2009, 02:48 PM
What do you think of this one? Just using it as an example. It seemed kinda weird that it would use a dressage girth???

http://cgi.ebay.com/STUBBEN-CAVALLERIA-RC-CLOSE-CONTACT-ENGLISH-SADDLE-17_W0QQitemZ230408524312QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Defa ultDomain_0?hash=item35a56b1218

For someone in your situation, I'd be inclined to get a saddle with more knee roll and not a close contact. In addition... I'd actually want to see a used saddle with more wear for a rider who needs a grippy, comfortable, secure saddle. And, I would strongly suggest you first try to find one locally, that you can sit in and try, if you haven't tried a lot of different saddle makes. You may sit in one and go "EEEEWWWEEECCKK!" :D Ask your friends if you can borrow theirs for one ride. Saddles are very personal, and what works for others may not be right for you.

When you find the perfect saddle, you can also try a deerskin or grip-tek seat on your breeches, saddl-tite, and something like http://www.nubbygrip.com/ (I haven't tried it, but it looks interesting.)

ExJumper
Dec. 7, 2009, 03:00 PM
I agree in general with what's been said already. Jump some on a "been there, done that" kind of horse to get your confidence up.

Buy a broken-in saddle (or Wintec. I suppose -- they look grippy).

You will probably feel more secure with knee/thigh blocks/rolls.

Perhaps an all-purpose saddle would be better. If you are only jumping small fences I don't think it is necessary to get a close contact saddle.

Haven'tJumpedInALongTime
Dec. 7, 2009, 03:22 PM
All good advice. Thanks, guys! I'll print everything out and bring it with me when I go looking.

Linny
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:42 PM
No brand recommendations but a well broken in used saddle will be most secure.
If you can try a few of your barnmates, that might help you know what you like. (They pretty much all feel good on a stand in the shop.) When I menioned in my barn that I was shopping a few folks offered to let me try their sadles.
If the barn has lesson horses and the tack is reasonably nice, they may let you sample as well.
The Stubben Siegfried is the only brand/model that came to my mind. It's a deep, well padded saddle and it's indestructable. A friend of mine has one thats 30 years old and she'd never give it up.
Here is a pic of one on a for sale site. (I am NOT in any way connected to this saddle, I just did a search for one with a good photo.)
http://www.equinenow.com/english_saddle-ad-1688
Also, if you are looking online, and it says "like new" it's probably not what you need. You want something that you can cling to like your couch.

HenryisBlaisin'
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:59 PM
I agree//used and well broken in-new saddles feel slippery! I would look for an all-purpose instead of a close contact-these have a deeper seat and often a little more knee roll on them. You can jump in one very comfortably.

Also, wear full-seat breeches-these feel MUCH more grippy.

I have a Wintec 500 A/P. It's deep and the knee patches are very grippy. If I ride in it in full-seats it's like being glued in-I almost can't move enough. It's deep, but not so deep you feel like you can't get out of it over a fence.

Try several saddles-you don't want one that puts you in a chair seat, but you don't want one that perches you forward, either. I love older Steubbens-great quality. I also rode one horse in a Toulouse and found it very comfortable and super secure-it's not top of the line, but is comfortable for both flatwork and jumping.

Also, second taking some lessons on a packer...you can overcome your fear more easily if you don't have to worry about your horse doing something he shouldn't. I have been there, and riding some great schoolies really, really helped me regain my confidence.

jen-s
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:00 PM
I actually don't think the wintecs are all that grippy unless you get one that's got the equi-suede instead of equi-leather (the e-l is MISERABLE, slick/hard, in the winter until it warms up to your body). I'm also a weanie who's got a semi-mental green bean and I've found that either pigskin or buffalo leather is much grippier than other types. Plus, they wear like iron so you can wear jeans and not worry or just plain expect them to hold up for years. Take some time and feel different types of leather and compare new leather to broken-in leather.

Good luck with your search. Saddle shopping...ugh... I'm doing it myself right now and I swear I'd rather bathing suit shop surrounded by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models than saddle shop!

norcalammie
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:11 PM
I agree find something used and hopefully you can find something local to where you are where they will let you take it to your barn and try it for a few days on your horse to make sure it fits both of you. I am helping a friend sell some saddles and we let people take them to try on their horse with payment up front - we hold the check until we hear if it is a good fit or not.

Definitely try as many saddles belonging to your barn friends as you can to see what you like. If you find something you like, write down the size, etc. so you know what you are looking for when you look at various tack shops and on the internet but definitely get something where they will let you try it on your horse before commiting to the purchase.

Good luck.

amastrike
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:16 PM
Don't get a smooth Wintec. The ones with the "suede" seat/knee pads might be okay, but the solid smooth "leather" are terribly slippery. And I like being able to slide around a little in the saddle!

If you go with a leather saddle, try something like lederbalsam or Stubben Hamanol on the seat and knees.. Those things are beeswax based and add a nice grippiness to the saddle without making it sticky.

Simbalism
Dec. 7, 2009, 11:59 PM
I have a friend who is in your shoes, one too many injuries and has problems with her back. She got a Bates Caprilli all purpose saddle and she likes the secure feeling of the deeper seat. Another thing you can try is adding (as I call it...) an Oh s**t strap to the front of your saddle. I think any all purpose saddle will help with your sense of security.

meupatdoes
Dec. 8, 2009, 12:05 AM
Many people have given great advice but I think poltroon's is the best.

If your horse is not a steady eddie you can rely on, no saddle in the world will make him suitable for you to get your confidence back on.
He can still be a lovely horse for you to continue your journey on when you have become solid on something else, but spending a couple of months working things out on the steady eddie you have access too will be the best thing in the world to do first.

Ozone
Dec. 8, 2009, 09:13 AM
Try a western saddle. Used of course. Gain your confidence back that way and then make the english saddle purchase later on. get something deeper seated.

Haven'tJumpedInALongTime
Dec. 8, 2009, 10:51 AM
I appreciate everyone's responses - very valuable information.

headsupheelsdown
Dec. 8, 2009, 11:16 AM
Steubben Sigfried!!! Steubben Imperator!!!

Steubben, steubben, steubben. Great price, easy easy easy to fit to horse and rider both, secure and comfortable.

Bank of Dad
Dec. 8, 2009, 11:27 AM
Not only just the Stubben Siegfried, but make sure it has new suede knee rolls, easy to have replaced. Then add a suede seat cover from Dover. Finally, use suede half chaps. Next to my all suede western saddle, theses are my best friends.