View Full Version : What type of saddle do I need?

Jan. 28, 2011, 09:18 PM
Im heading out to the tack store this weekend to grab a bunch, but maybe you could all help me narrow the pick down.

I am currently rising in a Bates Caprilli (older one), I really like it, but its not the ideal fit for my horse.

He is built downhill, and the saddle tips me forward alittle bit. I am looking for a saddle that will sit UP on him, preferably with a deep seat. He has a medium-wide shoulder, but is generally pretty easy to fit...other than he is built a little downhill.

I had a collegiate intellect which I liked, but it was too close contact for me, I really like a more secure deep seat. I have a budget of about $1000 and will be looking for used.

Any suggestions for a saddle with a higher pommel (but not narrow!) and a deep seat?

Jan. 28, 2011, 09:36 PM
you're going to want to look for a saddle that has short upswept panels. Anything that sticks out past the back end of the saddle is going to pry you down. You may also want to look at a saddle that has wither gussets if you can find that, or, at least is thickly flocked in the wither area

you don't necessarily want to compensate for the downhill by a higher pommel, you'll still be down hill and then trapped in the crotch by the rise of the pommel. ouch!

rather, ideally you'd like the saddle to sit more level by virtue of the panels being more appropriate.

you'll likely have most success (just taking a guess not having seen your horse) with thicker wool flocked panels rather than thinner more contoured foam.

I did have a saddle once that would be ideal to what you needed, it was an Ideal Jessica that was custom refined a hoop tree but with wither gussets and short upswept panels, I also paid $800 for it near brand new, but you'd be hard pressed to find it, they're not common in the usa.

Here are some photos discussing the terminology and parts of the saddle, look at the photos and imagine your horse's back, visualize in your mind what might make sense for him and then set about finding that:

off the top of my head, and in your price range, you might have the most success with a prestige or wool flocked crosby if you can find one. you also might find a miller klimke workable, and thornhill might have something for you.

good luck

Jan. 28, 2011, 09:52 PM
because you are riding in an OLDER Bates I'm going to strongly suggest you have some flocking work done before you fork out big bucks for a new saddle. you may find that those front panels have just been mashed down with age, and a good saddle fitter may be able to make your current saddle comfy for both of you.

Jan. 28, 2011, 10:23 PM
Hi, I just went thru quite a few saddles trying to fit a medium downhill mare. The only two that fit her, and sat high enough in front so that the saddle was balanced were a Mansion House medium, and a Hopfner wide. They are older saddles, but they both seem to be more gusseted in the front. The other one that I thought would fit was a Rembrandt Integra -you can adjust the tree with a key. When I adjusted it to sit high enough in the front to be balanced, it was pretty high up front, she stopped, and it slid onto her neck!

One thing you'll probably find is that because a horse is downhill, a saddle has to compensate for that so you don't feel like you're lurched forward. My saddle does sit high on her in the front, but it fits.

So I would probably look for a saddle that has front gussets , but not so much below the cantle.

Jan. 29, 2011, 01:04 AM
You could also have a good saddle fitter (one that actually opens up the saddle as opposed to flocking through a hole under the flap) drop the back a little bit (as long as there's enough wool already in there). I'm a saddle fitter and I frequently do a combo of lifting the front and dropping the back for downhill horses. Good luck!

Hampton Bay
Jan. 29, 2011, 10:28 AM
I tried ll sorts of things with my downhill-built QH mare, and what helped the most was a ProLite adjustable front riser pad. She LOVES the ProLite material, and the front riser gave just enough lift to the saddle to level it out. She moved very nicely in that combo (though I recently sold that saddle since it didn't fit the young horse).

But if you have one that fits you and is only just a touch downhill on your horse, try either some reflocking or a front riser for now. You might find that you don't need a whole new saddle.

Jan. 29, 2011, 02:03 PM
So went to the saddle fitter today (who also has a TON of used dressage saddles), he was pretty honest and said 99% of the used saddles he had wouldnt fit. I need something flatter, with no gussets.

So, I have on trial an older Passier (not sure how I like it yet), a Barnsby Crown (ok) and an Amerigo close contact seat....god Im in love. Was hoping to keep the budget lower since Im still a beginner, but wow, the amerigo is nice. I have them for a week, and will probably take a few others on trial next week.

Does anyone have a Amerigo dressage saddle, how do you like them?