PDA

View Full Version : What level do you really need to own a dressage saddle in?



Rescue_Rider9
Feb. 25, 2010, 09:42 PM
I feel like I really need a dressage saddle. I sit very well in my AP saddle, but I am trying to sell it and I will only have my jumping saddle. My goal is to be at Training level next year and I will be riding with LAZ for a year so, I feel that to improve as much as I can I should prbably invest in a dressage saddle.
Anyway, When should you really be riding in a dressage saddle?

Hey Mickey
Feb. 25, 2010, 11:33 PM
I would defintaly be using a dressage saddle by prelim, at training level it isn't such a big deal to not have one, but I think most people do.

Or whenever you can afford one.

KateWooten
Feb. 25, 2010, 11:34 PM
<<slaps head>> I just worked out who you are :lol:

(I make it easy on everyone (mostly me) by choosing a username that is really easy to remember me by .... although, thinking about it, "DaftElderlyEnglishLadyOnATinyPony" would have worked just as well, wouldn't it ? :lol: )

Rescue_Rider9
Feb. 25, 2010, 11:38 PM
haha way to kate!
And i was thinking training too! thanks!

lionstigersbears
Feb. 25, 2010, 11:42 PM
When you can afford one! :) Prelim and above I would imagine... Maybe recognized Training level or for a T3D... my friend did unrec and rec Training and only had a close contact, I did first level in my close contact at schooling shows and was never laughed out of the ring...

ETA - this was 5-6 years ago, so I would imagine with the current "every kid is a star" most people at BN have 3 saddles... :D But just because you don't have one doesn't mean you can't put in a quality dressage test... it's about the training, not the tack (IMHO) esp. at the lower/local levels...

ashessplashes
Feb. 25, 2010, 11:43 PM
training level would be my vote for when you NEED a dressage saddle... now a days you see most at novice even with one however haha

eponacowgirl
Feb. 26, 2010, 12:00 AM
Why not wait until you start working with LAZ and let her help you find a suitable saddle after she gets to know you and your style?

LAZ
Feb. 26, 2010, 12:11 AM
Why not wait until you start working with LAZ and let her help you find a suitable saddle after she gets to know you and your style?

This is what i was going to say (but got sidetracked whilst watching the womens figure skating). I have a wide variety we can sit you in.

It's not the tack--it's the ability to find the independent balance that is important.

Rescue_Rider9
Feb. 26, 2010, 12:16 AM
Sounds like a good plan! If I were smart, I would have thought of that! haha
Im so excited to come up!! Even more so now that it means I may FINALLY get a dressage saddle!

Ibex
Feb. 26, 2010, 12:31 AM
And remember it has to be the RIGHT dressage saddle for both you and your horse. I'd rather do low level dressage in my jump saddle than fight with a dressage saddle that isn't the right fit/balance for me...

yellowbritches
Feb. 26, 2010, 07:36 AM
And remember it has to be the RIGHT dressage saddle for both you and your horse. I'd rather do low level dressage in my jump saddle than fight with a dressage saddle that isn't the right fit/balance for me...
THIS. I had an adequate hand me down dressage saddle that I rode in for several years, but it wasn't ideal. I tried saddles for a couple of years before I finally came across the one I have now, and it was well worth the wait. :yes:

Even with a dressage saddle, I don't ride every horse in every dressage test in one. Sometimes a young green, silly horse just does better in a dressage saddle. Sometimes I've got multiple horses piled up, and someone's got to go in a jumping saddle. I think prelim is a good time to have a dressage saddle, when you are sitting the trot and doing more lateral work, but still don't think it is 100% necessary.

scubed
Feb. 26, 2010, 08:38 AM
I find that a dressage saddle improves my position even at the lower levels, though I still tend to ride the greenies in my jumping saddle, I find myself switching over earlier. I just got a new dressage saddle that I really like after selling 3 that I was less enthusiastic about that I had accumulated over the years

breakthru
Feb. 26, 2010, 09:52 AM
At whatever level it begins to impede your ability to do the movements well. No one is going to laugh at you if you're kickin' butt :) As a general answer, I'd imagine it might become significantly harder to ride in a jump-oriented saddle around prelim level tests.

BigMick
Feb. 26, 2010, 10:15 AM
I think the answer to this question all depends on how well you ride and how well your horse goes in what you currently use. IOW, LAZ hit the nail on the head - can you ride with an independent hand and seat and stay with your horse?

Personally, I am a saddle "ho" but it's also out of necessity. My freakishly long femur, combined with a horse with shark fin withers and tons of suspension resulted in me getting two semi-custom saddles. In particular, my dressage saddle is such a perfect fit that everything in my body just lines up that I can get out of my own way and ride.

This isn't to say that I can't accomplish great flat work in my jumping saddle, but it's a jumping saddle with a really forward flap designed to put me in a slightly different position - so why have to fight it?

Of course, I'm in a much different place in my life so this was something I was able to do (thank you, Capital One card with the ridiculous limit!).

It sounds like you'll soon enough have access to a great trainer and a variety of saddles to try. You'll get there!

Gry2Yng
Feb. 26, 2010, 08:22 PM
THIS. I had an adequate hand me down dressage saddle that I rode in for several years, but it wasn't ideal. I tried saddles for a couple of years before I finally came across the one I have now, and it was well worth the wait. :yes:

Even with a dressage saddle, I don't ride every horse in every dressage test in one. Sometimes a young green, silly horse just does better in a dressage saddle. Sometimes I've got multiple horses piled up, and someone's got to go in a jumping saddle. I think prelim is a good time to have a dressage saddle, when you are sitting the trot and doing more lateral work, but still don't think it is 100% necessary.


Totally agree with all of the above.

Carol Ames
Feb. 26, 2010, 09:12 PM
Asap/ as soon as you can afford one!:winkgrin:






I feel like I really need a dressage saddle. I sit very well in my AP saddle, but I am trying to sell it and I will only have my jumping saddle. My goal is to be at Training level next year and I will be riding with LAZ for a year so, I feel that to improve as much as I can I should prbably invest in a dressage saddle.
Anyway, When should you really be riding in a dressage saddle?

DiablosHalo
Feb. 28, 2010, 08:29 PM
I didn't get my first dressage saddle until I went prelim. I did all three phases in an AP until then. This was ... umpteen years ago and it seems like most all of us did it that way. Good luck!

flabbergasted
Mar. 1, 2010, 03:55 PM
I know someone who rode through the four star level very successfully in 1 saddle, and back in the day that wasn't all that unusual. A saddle for every phase is a relatively new phenomenon, so I wouldn't get caught up in it if you are comfortable and well balanced in your jumping saddle.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with a pretty new dressage saddle if you just can't restrain yourself :)

LOVE THIS SPORT
Mar. 2, 2010, 07:52 AM
Is the opinion that a real dressage saddle would not help the lower level rider or that it is just not necessary?

wsmoak
Mar. 2, 2010, 08:08 AM
Is the opinion that a real dressage saddle would not help the lower level rider or that it is just not necessary?

Oh, it can help -- when a dressage saddle fits well [you _and_ the horse] it just lets your leg drape exactly where it belongs and you can relax and *ride* instead of fighting for your position.

I <3 my Albion. :)

SBClancy
Mar. 2, 2010, 12:27 PM
When I started my green horse at dressage schooling shows I used a dressage saddle and one time I wasn't thinking and brought my all purpose and actually rode much better. I asked a trainer that was there that had seen us go before and she felt I looked much more secure and thus seemed to ride better in the all purpose. After I thought about it I did feel much more secure in my all purpose when he was up to his green horse antics. After that I actually sold my dressage saddle and just rode in my all purpose.

eponacowgirl
Mar. 2, 2010, 01:28 PM
I think you need to BEGIN with a good position to transition well into a dressage saddle- I've read many articles with BNT who don't let kids get into dressage saddles (flap length reasons, too, but) until they have a good solid leg position and can ride with that length of leg.

A dressage saddle will not a good rider make, but a dressage saddle will help a good rider ride better.

As my position got more secure in my AP, I rode better and was able to drop my stirrups a hole in my dressage saddle. No reason to ride in a dressage saddle if you have to jack your stirrups up to quiet your leg.

Heinz 57
Mar. 2, 2010, 01:37 PM
I'd say ASAP.

Yes, I *can* ride a good test in one of my CC saddles, but it is EASIER for me to ride a *great* test when I'm in my dressage saddle. It is much more allowing of the draped, supporting leg than the others. Dropping your stirrups on a jumping saddle is rarely going to achieve the same effect because the balance is not the same.

So, for me - I'd drop the $$ to buy a dressage saddle because I want to give myself every possible advantage. If you bargain hunt and figure out what fits you best - you can find an older used model for less than $500.

Nomini
Mar. 2, 2010, 08:53 PM
I didn't buy a dressage saddle until the first horse I brought up went training. I love that saddle, and I still use it as my competition saddle. But reading this thread made me realize I actually used to flat my young, uncoordinated Novice level TB in my jump saddle all the time without even thinking about it. I tended to just grab it off the rack more often, whether I was specifically schooling on the flat or not. I have only recently started using my dressage saddle on her on a regular basis (and, coincidentally, plan a training move up this spring).

In short, I think you need a dressage saddle when you feel like you need one. When you and your horse are balanced and your horse accepts your leg willingly. I guess, for many (including me), this equates to training level.