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View Full Version : Good Dressage Saddles? Help!



Haltatx17
Jan. 25, 2011, 10:22 PM
I need help picking out a good dressage saddle!

I am looking for a saddle with (like most dressage saddles), a deep seat and a knee roll, or at least some support for putting my legs in the correct position. My price range is $1000 - $2500.

It's been awhile since I have bought a saddle... Anyone have a specific saddle that they would recommend? :confused:

BetterOffRed
Jan. 25, 2011, 10:38 PM
Prestige.

Dharma
Jan. 25, 2011, 10:43 PM
I second that!
I have a Prestige 2000D that I bought about 10 years ago for $2300. I still love it and hope it lasts forever. It fits lots of horses, is extremely comfortable, and positions me well.

dwblover
Jan. 25, 2011, 10:52 PM
I'll go for a triple here and also say Prestige! They are truly lovely saddles that give so much support without any restriction. You should be able to get a barely used one in your price range. If you stretch just a bit you can probably get a brand new one. But they really hold up over time so a lightly used one should be just fine.

Credosporthorses
Jan. 25, 2011, 10:56 PM
My price range is $1000 - $2500.


EBAY :yes:

dwblover
Jan. 25, 2011, 10:58 PM
Yes, ebay, And also check out usedsaddles.com. I think she has two or three Prestige saddles in your price range right now.

countrygal
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:18 AM
I'll be the odd one out here and say Black Country. Prestige didn't fit my horse... I LOVE my new BC- leather is amazing and it fits my horse and I very well.

ClassynIvansMom
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:58 AM
I've never tried a Prestige. However, I ABSOLUTELY ADORE my Passier Grand Gilbert. The darn things retail pretty high, but you can find one used for a rather reasonable price. I'd check tacktrader.com in addition to ebay, and you might do a google search for used tack shops that let you do trials. I managed to do trial runs on about 7 or 8 saddles before finally discovering that the Passier fit all the ponies that I was riding the best. It has fit a very downhill anglo-arab who was kind of wide the farther back you got and also my TWH who needs more shoulder room and surprisingly even fits my skinny OTTB rather well. With every one of the horses I ride, I always have a nice, even, sweat mark under the pad, so no gaps or complications. Hope you find something that works for you!

scubed
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:37 AM
Saddle fit is individual to you and your horse (which doesn't mean you need a custom saddle). For example, Devoucoux and CWD seem similar on surface, but same type of saddle, same size the Devoucoux is pretty good for me and CWD horrible.

I always buy used. I find just googling the saddle I want pulls up ebay listings, used saddles in shops and personally places ads on tacktrader, etc.

Try to sit in a lot of saddles (borrow from friends or go to a big show where a lot of the saddle people are there) and decide which you like.

Po-Po
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:04 AM
I am partial to Amerigo dressage saddles, but that is because they fit my horse and I well...as stated, saddle choices are so personal and what works for one person, won't necessarily work for another.

Good luck searching. It took MANY saddles before I found the Amerigo to be the best fit. :) It's a lot of trial and error sometimes.

Ltc4h
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:19 AM
You need to know what type of twist you prefer-sit on a chair in basic riding position if you can fit a few fingers under your crotch you will prefer a narrow twist, if closer to chair seat a wider one.
Then with that go try as many as possible, try both wide and narrow twists.
Keep a list of the ones you like and shop used.
My sister and I are twins, but hate each others saddles.
I love my older Kieffer Wein & Theo Sommer-although no blocks, for that I have a Marcus Krehan.

WoofNWhinny*
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:25 AM
Anky. I tried a ton of saddles over many months before finding the Anky. Absolutely wonderful! And LOVE that buffalo grain leather!!!!

:yes:

HollysHobbies
Jan. 26, 2011, 09:51 AM
You need to try out saddles and find what works for you and your horse. For example, I loved Prestige on my OTTB, but it wouldn't work on my WB or morgan. If you're in VA, you are welcome to try some of mine...otherwise, ask your trainer to try his/hers. Also, local tack stores that let you try before you buy are great...Dover for example.

PM me if you'd like to try the 3 I have!

Good luck!

ArabDiva
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:56 AM
I would say try as many as you can to find what's right for you and your horse. In your price range there is a lot available so you will be able to find something perfect for you.

My saddle is a Sommer...lesser-known brand but I love it. Very high quality. I paid $1k for a store's display saddle, which new retails for over $2k. It seems to fit a wide range of horses very well--all of the horses i ride are wide or medium wide and they have all been very happy in it so far.

Another saddle i am intrigued by is the M.Toulouse saddle with the Genesis adjustable tree. I liked the feel of the saddle when I sat in it in the store, and the adjustable tree would be very useful. But it was out of my price range when I was shopping.

ridealot
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:04 AM
I would agree that you need to try out saddles that fit both you and your horse but one that you should check out that are really nice are the Thornhill Saddles. I have 3 students who have the Germania Klasse and I am very picky about what I ride in I love my Devoucoux and my Neidersaus and normally will always ride in them but having ridden my clients horses this saddle is really nice for the money. I think they range from $1200 to $1500 new maybe less if you can find a used one and they are very comfortable. I am not into recommending one brand over the other becasue I think it depends on the person but I have to say for the price I was really impressed, all leather and well made and if you are trying to stay within a budget there worth checking out.

Valentina_32926
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:48 AM
For $2500 you should be able to purchase a Verhan - which does everything you want. Just make certain it the Odyssey version - NOT the Hannover.

The Hannover version's tree can NOT be adjusted, and when you pay a good chunck of change you want the saddle to last a while.

cuatx55
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:51 AM
Thornhill. Many models that fit all kinds of horses/riders. I have the vienna 2 which is based off the Passier Grand Gilbert. LOVE it, new about 850.
Been using it several years now and still looks great!

IdahoRider
Jan. 26, 2011, 12:03 PM
My saddle is a Sommer...lesser-known brand but I love it. Very high quality. I paid $1k for a store's display saddle, which new retails for over $2k. It seems to fit a wide range of horses very well--all of the horses i ride are wide or medium wide and they have all been very happy in it so far.

I second this on the Sommer. I bought mine used last year and love it. It fits my wide Arab, and it fit the Dutch Warmblood I had it on this past weekend, too. Great saddle.
Sheilah

Haltatx17
Jan. 26, 2011, 10:54 PM
Thank you everyone for all of the wonderful responses! You have all helped me narrow down some choices :)

I used to have an Avante saddle back in the day... seems as though they no longer make these?

I am looking at the Thornhill dressage saddles... I need a 17 inch seat (if not 16 1/2), and horse is medium tree if that helps with certain brand choices in narrowing it down.

I went on the Thornhill website, and going by looks alone, I am interested in the Zurich, Vienna II, or Danube (although the leg roll looks very different than what I am used to).

Any certain one better than the other? By the way, I only do training level / first level dressage, if this makes a difference in what I am trying to achieve as far as positioning goes. I have a tendency to tense my legs and thighs, and bring my knees up, especially in the canter. I didn't know if a knee roll would necessarily help this habit or not.

I just bought a Sommer dressage bridle! It's very pretty :) I just got a new horse (!!!!), so that is why I am "wishy-washy" about what saddle to look for. I am very happy with the quality of the Sommer though.

Trying to find used Prestige saddles too.. man, those look comfy...

alibi_18
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:10 PM
Then you should go hunt for a Sommer saddle! They are really comfortable and not that expensive!!!

princessfluffybritches
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:15 PM
I sent you a pm, Haltatx.

Ltc4h
Jan. 27, 2011, 10:06 AM
I own an original Vienna pre 1983 when they were still made by Jorge Canaves-You couldn't pay me to own any Thornhill they make now. A huge difference in quality & balance

Kodidog763
Jan. 27, 2011, 10:21 AM
I had a Vienna II but it didn't fit my mare (rubbed her withers) and replaced it with a Danube. The Danube fits my mare better, but I don't like the position it puts me in, and the saddle feels/looks more cheaply made/constructed than the Vienna II (although it cost more). I bought it last fall, and it already looks like crap. It also has very little clearance through the stirrup bars, and it's next to impossible to adjust stirrup length. I've ruined my leathers on this saddle.

I have a Black Country Eloquence for a different horse and I love, love, love this saddle. As soon as I find a used on that is the right size for my mare, I'll be dumping the Danube and switching to a Black Country.

I have a Courbette Bernina JR for my young OTTB. I also prefer this saddle over the Danube.

Good luck.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Jan. 27, 2011, 12:36 PM
A used Custom Saddlery (www.mysaddle.com) saddle! Directly from them! You get the full service like for a new saddle, for less $$$ and a saddle that you and your horse will love!

alto
Jan. 27, 2011, 01:40 PM
Thank you everyone for all of the wonderful responses! You have all helped me narrow down some choices :)

I used to have an Avante saddle back in the day... seems as though they no longer make these?

I am looking at the Thornhill dressage saddles... I need a 17 inch seat (if not 16 1/2), and horse is medium tree if that helps with certain brand choices in narrowing it down.

I went on the Thornhill website, and going by looks alone, I am interested in the Zurich, Vienna II, or Danube (although the leg roll looks very different than what I am used to).

Any certain one better than the other? By the way, I only do training level / first level dressage, if this makes a difference in what I am trying to achieve as far as positioning goes. I have a tendency to tense my legs and thighs, and bring my knees up, especially in the canter. I didn't know if a knee roll would necessarily help this habit or not.

I just bought a Sommer dressage bridle! It's very pretty :) I just got a new horse (!!!!), so that is why I am "wishy-washy" about what saddle to look for. I am very happy with the quality of the Sommer though.

Trying to find used Prestige saddles too.. man, those look comfy...


Have a saddle fitter come out & give you some ideas as to what type/shape of tree & panel would best suit your mare, or do an online consult & wither tracing through Fine Used Saddles or Trumbull Mountain etc.
Of course that is just part of the equation, once you have saddles that fit your mare, then you need to find the saddle that fits you. Unless you are very small, it's unlikely that you need a 16 1/2 in a dressage saddle (this would be a junior saddle), instead try out some 17 & 17 1/2's; some saddle manufacturers are more generous in their sizing than others so that is also a consideration (try to avoid ebay until you know exactly what you need to fit you & your horse as most saddles there are No Return & it's alot easier to buy a saddle than sell one).

A very nice saddle for under $1200 - this is an excellent adjustable tree though you do need a saddle fitter to do the adjustment
http://www.fine-used-saddles.com/catalog.htm?Iit=968&Ict=2