View Full Version : What kind of saddle do you jump in?

Jun. 21, 2010, 09:53 AM
I have a Pessoa AMO.

I'll start by saying that while I realize this not an "event" saddle, I absolutely adore it for jumping.

So, a few things:

Do you think that to be an upper level event rider, at some point it's going to harm me to have such a minimalistic saddle? It's close contact... no deep seat, big knee rolls, etc. I'd be curious to see what kind of saddles some of the big time riders go XC in.

And what kind of saddles do you all have? Please share!

Jun. 21, 2010, 10:08 AM
No big time rider here, but I jump in a Bates Eventer. I really like it as I have a long leg from hip to knee and most jumping saddles don't have a flap long or forward enough to take up my leg. This one does.

It's very comfortable and secure.

Jun. 21, 2010, 10:19 AM
Devoucoux Biarritz, love it!

Jun. 21, 2010, 10:22 AM
Black Country Tex Eventer :D.

Jun. 21, 2010, 10:56 AM
Stubben Roxane, which I love. I had a Kieffer close contact (the very flat, cut like a Prix de Nations type) until last year, and I had a lot of trouble staying with my horse's gigantic leaps over fences/ spooks etc. in it. This horse can JUMP, and I never know for sure what's going to make him throw in a huge backcracker.

But I got along at Novice, and then when I moved up and he got a little fitter the Kieffer was sitting too much on his withers, so I asked my trainer for recommendations in the fits a high withered, big shouldered TB, and costs under $1k used category. She recommended the Roxane, the Ainsley (I'd ridden in my boss's and didn't like it) and the Jeffries Flyover. I already had an old Stubben dressage saddle, which fits the horse great and which I love. On the way home I stopped at Bit of Britain and sat in a Roxane and liked it, and then there was one on ebay in my size and his width and the right price, so I bought it.

And it's made SUCH a difference. I always thought the problems I had with the Kieffer were because I was fat and unfit, and that there was nothing an AP saddle could do for me that getting my act together couldn't, but by last summer I was pretty fit--running 25+ miles a week and riding 5-6 horses most days, and I was still struggling. But I also have very short legs and a very athletic horse who does this:
http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0EBK00BW0T0061&po=61&pc=86 and this: http://www.photoreflect.com/store/Orderpage.aspx?pi=0EBK00BW0T0054&po=54&pc=86 to me.

So if your saddle works for you now, great. It might work for you if/ when you become an ULR, or it might not. I wouldn't worry about it in the meantime, though.

Jun. 21, 2010, 11:03 AM
Highflyer, which model of the Roxanne do you have? I'm thinking there are several models for some reason...thanks! :cool:

Jun. 21, 2010, 12:07 PM
Never ridden in a pessoa event, but I think it would depend how the saddle feels when you get up to that level. From looking at it, I wouldnt think the flaps arent forward enough to really shorten your stirrups enough for the bigger fences, but Im super long from hip to knee. My past trainer (rides advanced) goes xc in a devoucoux and my current trainer ( rides prelim and planning to move up soon) rides in a prestige event. Both are the very forward models and really built for xc.

Not sure if this is helpful, but I guess the only way you are going to really know is from how it feels to jump in it when the fences are bigger and the gallops are faster...

Jun. 21, 2010, 12:13 PM
You dont need a monoflap covered in giant blocks to do the upper levels. Lots of riders ride in double flap, more traditional jumper looking saddles. It just depends on what you like.

Jun. 21, 2010, 12:23 PM
I used to ride in my Ainsley (which I LOVED), but when I retired my horse a few months ago, I decided to put it on the market. I currently ride in my trainer's Devoucoux Chiberta, which is absolutely fantastic, even though it doesn't fit me perfectly.

Jun. 21, 2010, 12:24 PM
I'm riding at Intermediate with my Pessoa A/O - I really like the saddle overall. I do find that I pinch with my knee in it more than I do in other saddles, but I think that's a combination of bad habit and having a long thigh (and riding with short stirrups), so the flap isn't quite forward enough for me, rather than a problem with the saddle design in general. If I had unlimited funds, I might look for something more specifically designed for x-c at this level, but I wouldn't say it's strictly necessary.

Jun. 21, 2010, 12:31 PM
I have a Pessoa AMO.

I'll start by saying that while I realize this not an "event" saddle, I absolutely adore it for jumping.

So, a few things:

Do you think that to be an upper level event rider, at some point it's going to harm me to have such a minimalistic saddle? It's close contact... no deep seat, big knee rolls, etc. I'd be curious to see what kind of saddles some of the big time riders go XC in.

And what kind of saddles do you all have? Please share!

I rode for 10 seasons at prelim/intermediate and CCI's in the precursor to the Prestige Nona Garson, called the C'doro. Very minimalistic and flat a true jumper saddle. It did the trick. I did have some trouble kicking my leg forward down the larger drops, but that might be because i am short. I now have a devoucoux chiberta and it definitely makes a difference for me going down the drops and adjusting from gallop position to jumping.

Jun. 21, 2010, 12:49 PM
CWD SE09. love it, its made all the difference in my lower leg and it being monoflap helped get rid of my knee pinching!! I've only ridding in a close contact once and found that its made my hip be angled forward at all time and could not sit up or in the saddle with it so I just didn't look at any more. I had an all purpose I grew out of that I liked and a double flapped specific xc saddle that i liked but the way the blocks were i started swinging my leg to find them and then pinched my knee to keep it still.

I don't think what type of saddle you ride in as long as you can ride well in it.

Jun. 21, 2010, 03:46 PM
RunForIt, I have the Roxane S, which is the non-deluxe jumping one, I think.

Jun. 21, 2010, 04:02 PM
I rode in a Collegiate close contact saddle until after Training level - found a very nice Ovation Four Star eventing saddle on sale at VTO Saddlery two years ago and it's held up very well, very pleased with it and XC took it for a spin and liked it, too and she's PICKY! :)
Oh I've sat in way more expensive ones and loved them but that was what I could afford that fit me and the Loser Herd.

Jun. 24, 2010, 10:40 PM
Ainsley pro national. Fits mare and fits my long femurs.

Jun. 24, 2010, 11:02 PM
I also have an Ovation 4 star event. Love it! I'm tiny, but long from hip to knee so I need a very forward flap and a small seat size, even though I'm not doing upper level stuff (yet). Only had it a couple months, but so far it still looks almost new and is breaking in nicely. Found it on sale from Dovers.

Jun. 25, 2010, 01:19 AM
Thornhill Le Monde! I LOVE IT!

Jun. 25, 2010, 07:34 AM
I just bought a Barnsby Diablo. SOOOO excited about it!

Jun. 25, 2010, 09:21 AM
An Antares close contact. Actually it's Antares on top, CWD on the bottom--sort of a refurbished hybrid.

My trainer rides in the exact same saddle, at the CCI*** level, FWIW. Doesn't impair her one bit. :)

Jun. 25, 2010, 11:57 AM
I learned to ride in a Crosby Prix de Nations (I got it as a kid in the low '80s) and evented at Novice in it. Later I had a Steubban which I got used for peanuts--it had a deep seat and a significant knee roll and I did a little BN and N in that one on the far side of college in the late '90s.

The Steubban did not fit my new mare in 2001, so I got a Berney Brothers Dublin Jumper. Man I love that saddle. I've gone BN through T and used it on several different horses with good fit and comfort for both of us.

Jun. 25, 2010, 12:37 PM
My good ol' Collegiate all purpose takes me through anything and everything. I think there's atleast 4 of them in the barn: mine, another girl's, and my trainer has 2 or 3. We love them! It works great for jumping and you get a nice deep seat for dressage. Nothing to complain about really.

Jun. 25, 2010, 01:53 PM
I rode in a Courbette Derby up through my first season and a half at prelim. Very hard, flat, huntery saddle. But this past year I really felt that the flaps were not forward enough to shorten my stirrups as much as I liked and I was sliding all over the place over the bigger fences. My trainers agreed- suggested that I shouldn't do Intermediate until I got a better saddle. I just bought a used Devoucoux Chiberta and I'm so excited! I rode XC in it at the Lucinda clinic a few weeks ago and I'm looking forward to my first event in it next weekend. Hopefully it is still everything I've been dreaming about!

Jun. 25, 2010, 04:48 PM
Rembrandt Jump saddle - love this saddle, very comfy & well balanced, not sure if they even make them anymore, purchased it in 1999, 100s of riding hours & still in good shape

Amerigo Vega Jump Saddle - ok saddle, nothing special for the $3500 price tag

Prestige Eventer - really like this saddle, better in stadium than on XC, flap not fwd enough for me but nicely balanced otherwise

Devoucoux Chiberta -OMG LOVE this saddle, will probably be loathe to ride in the others now that I have this one. I really land "in the stirrups" and feel perfectly balanced in it. I found a used one in my size on ebay, and just ordered a new one as well with a wider seat (my seat bones hang off the edges of nearly all my saddles!)

Jun. 25, 2010, 09:23 PM
I'm riding in an old Stubben Scandica MF Spezial. It has the elk leather on the seat and the knee roll, HUGE front and rear blocks and a very forward flap.

My trainer is not a fan. She thinks the seat is too small for me (which it really is, but not that bad) but I love it. My horse can do anything and I stay with him.

I have tried some flatter jump saddles in a larger seat size with smaller blocks and just felt naked....and as if my horse could just slide out from under me way too easily!

The saddle also fits my horse very well, though he has become an easier fit since he's gained all kinds of weight and muscle. It's really hard to find something I like as much as this saddle. It got me through a year of YEE-HAW :eek: TB in winter, with only 1 dirt sandwich!

Jun. 26, 2010, 04:17 PM
I have the Pessoa A/O right now while my baby finishes growing up. I agree with an earlier post about pinching with the knees a lot in this saddle. I rode in my trainer's Devoucoux Chiberta and my friends Bruno Delegrange custom and I didnt pinch my knees at all in either of those saddles.

Besides that little quirk I think the A/O is a wonderful saddle for the price, it has pretty nice leather and the tree is really well balanced.

I'm eying the Black Country Vinici Jump saddle, the Prestige DX monoflap and the Amerigo Close Contact Jumping :)

Jun. 26, 2010, 08:45 PM
Black Country Wexford.... I only jump small fences... but I love my saddle. :)

Jun. 27, 2010, 10:44 AM
Right now I have two - both were incredible deals - one off Ebay, one from the local tack store. The tack store one is an Arc de Triomphe, which has fabulous balance over fences and really frees up your hips to release backwards. The newest one, a used CWD, is even better than my AdT, which is hard to believe. The AdT seems to really good at keeping my feet directly underneath me, which is great for flat, but due to my long thigh, I tend to need a saddle with very slight chair seat tendencies on the flat so I can really release my hips over a fence. That's what the CWD does. BOth saddles were bought for under $1500, and both are very nice Frenchies.

Btw, as noted by others on this board, I've tried out just about everything out there - guess I'm a saddle junkie. I'm 5'5, very long from hip to knee (18+"), but pretty evenly divided between leg and torso length. I also have a very tipped pelvis (tipped under, so it's ridiculously easy for me to sit on my pockets like a guy). I must be the only person on this board who doesn't like Black Country saddles - I feel locked into place with them. I prefer the French saddles. I also don't care for the Bates/Wintec line, as they tend to encourage me to pinch with my knee and let my lower leg go slingin' backwards. Albions and Counties do the same thing to me that the BC saddles - lock me into place. I guess I'm a French bucket kind of gal - like the Antares but fight a chair seat on the flat too much; Devoucoux is heavenly for the tush but also puts me into a slight chair seat. The CWD and the AdT are the best for a good, solid lower leg.

Jun. 27, 2010, 11:45 AM
Started in Crosby PDN, then bought a Bates Caprilli jumping saddle. I had it re flocked with wool, and LOVE it. Fits many horses well without changing gullet. It has held up really well, too, and I have ridden it exclusively HARD for about 9-10 years. I would buy another one, it fits me, my ponies and is very comfy.

Jun. 27, 2010, 12:16 PM
(my seat bones hang off the edges of nearly all my saddles!)

Me too! This is why I hated most of the saddles I tried when looking.

I ride in the Prestige eventer and even though I know it probably wont be forward enough for Intermediate+ I love it now and its fared well for me through Prelim. It has this awesome leg lock type of balance without having tons of blocks (I took the calf blocks off) and promotes keeping my balance over the seat rather than some saddles which I feel pull me out of the saddle too much over the fence. I will always keep it for stadium and starting young horse in the lower levels because its awesome.

Jun. 27, 2010, 03:40 PM
Bates Elevation J, affordable and comfortable. It has served me well on a couple different horses now.