View Full Version : When do you start using a dressage saddle?

Apr. 16, 2010, 09:14 AM
So at what point do you start riding in a dressage saddle on a green horse? Do you wait until you reach a certain level of competition? Or do you wait for the horse to have mastered a certain skill? Just curious as to what everyone's thoughts are on this. :)

Apr. 16, 2010, 09:53 AM
I started using one when I thought it was worth spending the money to buy one!

Apr. 16, 2010, 09:55 AM
When he stops thinking about bucking me off?

I rode in my XC saddle for the first few months after I started with my recent greenie (he was 3) just for the security of it. After that rode in the dressage saddle some, but we were still just hacking around so it didn't matter. I started him over fences a couple months ago (when he turned 4) so right now rarely use the dressage saddle. Whether I jump or not on a certain day can depend on how the school is going and I'm a whole lot more likely to jump more often, but only a few jumps than have "an official jump schooling day" so I need to be in the jump saddle in just in case.

Apr. 16, 2010, 10:01 AM
If you listen to some of the posts on the bit threads, you should not NEED a dressage saddle if your basics are correct. If you "really knew what you were doing" you could easily ride dressage bareback or in a postage-stamp hunter saddle because that, after all, reflects the purity of training that can only be accomplished with time and skill. :lol: :lol: :lol: :D :D :D

My real answer is: whenever it suits the rider and the horse. :) I find it helps me sit up straighter and stay quieter, so I use my dressage saddle for almost all flatwork except trot sets/intervals.

Apr. 16, 2010, 10:18 AM
When he stops thinking about bucking me off?

Same here!

Apr. 16, 2010, 10:30 AM
Whatever makes you and your horse happy :D

Apr. 16, 2010, 11:19 AM
I'll try both (dressage and jumping) saddles on him, and see which he seems to go better/ feel more comfortable in.

Apr. 16, 2010, 11:36 AM
For green horses, when they have built enough muscle to hold their backs up. I was always told that a dressage saddle was hard on the backs of green horses who havent built up their topline and hind end enough to support the different position of the rider in the dressage saddle.

I rode my young one in my CC until he was working more correctly and I was sitting my trots consistently on him. When it was just about straight and forward, I stuck to the CC.

Apr. 17, 2010, 05:10 PM
I agree with deltawave, whenever it suits the rider AND the horse.
My four year old will probably start getting ridden in my dressage saddle by the end of this year or sometime next year, because he's starting to lift more through his back already, I'm just waiting for him to be consistent so the muscles can build through his topline.
My 15 year old (though he came off the track as a 10 year old) just started being consistently worked in one a couple of months ago. And he just started going training level too