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kdow
Feb. 21, 2011, 07:51 PM
I've been horse-store browsing online, looking for a deal on a turnout blanket, and I keep wandering into the saddle section and I finally have to ask - What is the deal with the dressage saddles with the super-deep seats? Some of them look like they should come with seat belts.

How do you move with the horse in such a thing? (I mean, I know you shouldn't be slipping and sliding all over the place, but some of them the cantle is so high it looks like there's one place you can sit on the horse and that's it.)

They just don't look comfortable to me. Admittedly, I have never ridden in one - am I missing something?

(I have the same general reaction to the saddles with a billion and one knee rolls, knee blocks, thigh blocks...)

Bugs-n-Frodo
Feb. 21, 2011, 08:14 PM
What brands are you seeing that you feel are super deep. Just trying to get an idea of what you are seeing.

kdow
Feb. 21, 2011, 08:38 PM
What brands are you seeing that you feel are super deep. Just trying to get an idea of what you are seeing.

Of course, now that I'm trying to find it, I can't find the one that really made me go :eek: but here are a couple that, at least in the photos, look surprisingly deep to me, if not super-deep. (Some of which could be the photo and maybe they look less like they'd lock you in on the horse, I will admit.)

http://www.doversaddlery.com/wolfgang-solo-dressage-saddle/p/X1-15573/cn/94/

http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=8421&cm_vc=Search

I think it's the way the cantle comes up so much - almost like you're expect to lean back against it to brace. Just looks weird to me.

(Now I'm going to have to go hunting for the one that really looked extreme, just to see if I imagined it. But it was fairly high in the pommel and the cantle so it looked like there was really only one place you COULD sit, and if I remember right had fairly decent blocks on the flaps, too.)

onqhanoverians
Feb. 21, 2011, 08:55 PM
I bought a Bates Isabel Werth which is super deep on advice of past trainer. Close out sale and great price but I really don't like that deep feel. Some people like deep like this saddle as it forces a rider into position. Good or bad? Personal preference I suppose but if anyone wants to buy a deep Bates Isabel Werth 17.5 inch saddle with only maybe 10 hours ride time, let me know.

Beentheredonethat
Feb. 21, 2011, 10:06 PM
I think people like them because it "holds" them in. I tried a bunch if saddles like that because it seemed the right way to go to "hold" myself into a better seat. I finally switched to a really flat seat. I like them much better because you can move as needed to do what you need. I think if you have a less secure seat you'll feel better in a deep seat, but I think in the end, you really want a flatter seat.

kdow
Feb. 21, 2011, 11:30 PM
I think people like them because it "holds" them in. I tried a bunch if saddles like that because it seemed the right way to go to "hold" myself into a better seat. I finally switched to a really flat seat. I like them much better because you can move as needed to do what you need. I think if you have a less secure seat you'll feel better in a deep seat, but I think in the end, you really want a flatter seat.

I was wondering if maybe it was something that had kind of trickled down from the top - all those Dressage Queen types buying warmbloods with the HUGE movement that they can't ride very well, and so the deeper seat helps hold them in.

TheHorseProblem
Feb. 21, 2011, 11:47 PM
I was wondering if maybe it was something that had kind of trickled down from the top - all those Dressage Queen types buying warmbloods with the HUGE movement that they can't ride very well, and so the deeper seat helps hold them in.

What's your point, exactly?

Do you think Debbie MacDonald is a dressage queen type? Do think she rides in a flat saddle?

Bugs-n-Frodo
Feb. 22, 2011, 12:22 AM
Well, I ride in a County and it is deep, but I do not feel held in. I do think it is a matter of personal preference. I certainly think Edward Gal can ride, and he rides in a County Perfection. The Trilogy is deep as well and I THINK that is what Debbie MacDonald rides in.

atr
Feb. 22, 2011, 12:29 AM
I'm very comfortable and secure in my deep-seated, perfectly balanced, carefully fitted Trilogy, thank you very much.

But I'm a wretched, lowly amateur and middle aged to boot, so I'll continue to enjoy the fact that it helps me find a good position, and is quite hard to fall out of if horsie decides to have a bucking spree, and tolerate your derision.

kdow
Feb. 22, 2011, 12:42 AM
What's your point, exactly?

Do you think Debbie MacDonald is a dressage queen type? Do think she rides in a flat saddle?

I was asking a question, not making a point. I have no idea what the various upper level riders ride in - I know what some of them have put their names on for marketing, but that doesn't mean that's what they actually use themselves. (Maybe they do, maybe they don't - at that level, I'd rather more suspect that each horse was likely to have a saddle that went best with that particular horse, since they're certainly worth enough to justify a custom saddle, rather than one from Dover/Smartpak/etc.)

If people like them, when I would like to know why. They don't look comfortable to me, but perhaps I'm missing something.

Likewise, if people like flatter dressage saddles, I would also like to know why. It's curiosity, not some kind of 'well, if you need a deep seat you can't ride' statement.

kdow
Feb. 22, 2011, 12:50 AM
I'm very comfortable and secure in my deep-seated, perfectly balanced, carefully fitted Trilogy, thank you very much.

But I'm a wretched, lowly amateur and middle aged to boot, so I'll continue to enjoy the fact that it helps me find a good position, and is quite hard to fall out of if horsie decides to have a bucking spree, and tolerate your derision.

Who said anything about derision? Surprisingly enough, I don't judge people based on their tack choices. (Unless they're using ridiculous gadgets instead of training. Them, I judge, I admit it.)

If it's the comment about things trickling down - well, there is an element of 'fad' in tack choices, in dressage, h/j, and eventing. So I was wondering if the demand for more and deeper saddles is because a lot of people just plain do like them, or if it was because they started seeing them at upper levels and thinking it was the thing to have, regardless of the needs of the rider and horse.

(With all the comments about the 'big' and hard to ride gaits of warmbloods that I've seen right here on COTH, I can easily imagine that perhaps even an upper level rider would prefer to ride in something that assisted with staying in a correct position, rather than something you had to fight with to ride the gait correctly.)

sadlmakr
Feb. 22, 2011, 12:59 AM
I had a Crosby Olympia II wool flocked event saddle. It was a little deeper than I usually rode. I had a Pariani Milano. But I used the Crosby because it fit my Arabian best. It had light blocks but compared to some Dressage saddles it was not that deep seated. But I liked it.
I have seen some Dressage saddles with big thigh blocks and big knee rolls.
If I need to get out of my saddle in an emergency I could not do it quickly.
There must be a need for those saddles or they would not make them.
Is it a matter of personal choice?
I have not tried any of those with the big leg blocks and deeper seat, so I can't say anything bad about them because I have not tried one.
Perhaps we will hear from someone who can explain the reasoning behind the design.
I would like to know also.
regards, sadlmakr
.

kdow
Feb. 22, 2011, 02:18 AM
If I need to get out of my saddle in an emergency I could not do it quickly.

I think that might be part of why they make me go "huh?" - I had to bail out in a hurry when a horse tripped once, and some of the saddles I've seen just look like it would be very difficult to do that, which makes me personally nervous, because of the previous experience.

That said - I've never ridden in a saddle where the saddle was chosen to fit ME. Since I've pretty much only ridden other people's horses or lesson horses, the rule has basically been "you ride in what the horse likes" so maybe there's a level of comfort I'm not aware exists when you get a saddle that fits you just right and puts you in the correct position. :)

(Though I have ridden in one western saddle that somehow managed to make sure that no matter how I shifted my weight, it was horrifically uncomfortable. It had padding, it LOOKED fine - rode like an instrument of torture. I put up with it, but if I'd kept riding that horse regularly I probably would've been looking for alternatives.)

Maude
Feb. 22, 2011, 09:03 AM
I don't follow the fads. I think some saddle makers are in a competition to see who can make the deepest seat and biggest block. I think it has almost gone to an extreme. I think unless the deeper seated saddle with large blocks fits the rider's conformation it actually interferes with and gets in the way of correct riding. IMHO. I ride in a Roosli. It is a minimalist saddle. Close contact, narrow twist and a block that is there without interfering. This saddle hasn't changed in decades. Stubben and Passier are also classic though they have become more modernized. Originally, I think the deeper seats and larger blocks evolved to help the amateur rides stay more securly in position on the bigger moving horses. Not to say that the best professionals need this even if they ride in a deeper seated saddle. Bottom line is that if you can ride in the saddle and your horse goes well in it, that's what is important. Personally, I like more freedom in a saddle with a block as a "gentle reminder" that my leg has slipped out of position rather than feeling locked in. To each her/his own. :)

TheHorseProblem
Feb. 22, 2011, 09:47 AM
Who said anything about derision? Surprisingly enough, I don't judge people based on their tack choices. (Unless they're using ridiculous gadgets instead of training. Them, I judge, I admit it.)

Perhaps you should re-read your posts.

You could simply have asked why people ride in the saddles they ride in.

There is a huge benefit to having more cushioning between you and the horse, especially for the middle-aged people who populate this sport. I could not sit my horse's trot without it, and neither could my trainer, not to mention, how happy the horse is and how free in his movement that he doesn't have to deal with any bouncing. There are many, many riders who would not be riding, and many trainers who would lose the majority of their clients, if the saddle makers of this world had not responded to the fact that so many of the people with money to spend and a horse to ride are also achy and sore, and need a little assist.

What's it to you?

The only riders who have ever ridden my horse, and this is back when I had a hard, minimalist Passier, who felt confined in it, were hunter riders who didn't have a dressage seat.

Maude
Feb. 22, 2011, 09:56 AM
Reiner Klimke was the most beautiful rider I've ever watched and he rode in flat dressage saddles with no block.

Bugs-n-Frodo
Feb. 22, 2011, 10:15 AM
Well, I have ridden in flatter saddles with little to no block as well, and I did just fine. I have to say though, I like the security of the County I am riding in when I am pushing the limit and testing my horse a little bit. He can also be a spook if I fail to keep him busy enough and I like that all I have to do is relax into my saddle and follow his movement.

Velvet
Feb. 22, 2011, 10:20 AM
What's your point, exactly?

Do you think Debbie MacDonald is a dressage queen type? Do think she rides in a flat saddle?

None proclaim their innocence (nor look for BNTs to back up their position) like those who are guilty. :eek:

:lol:

VCT
Feb. 22, 2011, 11:04 AM
Some of the saddles that look really deep, or as if they would lock you in, don't actually feel that way when you sit in them. Of course, some do, too! :)

I like a somewhat deep seat - that said I don't often ride in my dressage saddle, which is not as deep as the ones in the links. But I've never felt stuck or anything.

The saddle I ride in most of the time is a Black Country Wexford. It does not feel like it is in my way at all, but when something goes all wrong it has helped me out. I don't feel the deep seat or knee or calf blocks unless I get jostled out of position by some shenanigans or something. And then there they are, just giving you a little support... but I never feel stuck.

atr
Feb. 22, 2011, 11:11 AM
Reiner Klimke was the most beautiful rider I've ever watched and he rode in flat dressage saddles with no block.

Sadly, I'm not, nor will I ever be, as good a rider as Reiner Klimke.

And I'm about as far from a dressage queen as you could imagine (maybe you don't realize that is considered a derogatory term, OP?)

I've ridden in a bazillion saddles over the past 40 years. I remember the very first time I rode in an old-style County Competitor--that would have been 20 years ago. It felt deep compared to what I had ridden in before.

The reason I ride in the saddle I ride in now is that I rode in someone else's and found it way easier to find a good position in it than in my previous saddle, and I could have it customized and fitted to both my body and my horse's body so we are both comfortable and honestly, it's one less interface to think about.

The way my saddle is designed and fitted, I have actually got very close contact through my thigh, (this may be one of the things that makes the seat look deep, you are actually sitting deep into the saddle,)a comfortably cushy place to sit my bony bum, and a moderate knee roll to remind me where to keep my leg.

We've proved over the past few years that it isn't too hard to bail out of, either, unless you are wearing Sit-Tight breeches :)

It is improtant not to buy this style of saddle too small or you will suffer. It also needs to be balanced correctly so you are sitting on the flat bit, not tipped onto your crotch, or you will REALLY suffer.

I do think these saddles are harder to fit to a human, and a horse, than a flatter, more open seat, which is something to bear in mind if you are looking for a saddle--what fitting resources are available to you and are you prepared to avail yourself of them.

Are they for everyone and every horse? Probably not.

(And for the record, yes, Debbie M does ride in a Trilogy.)

You need to try a bunch of things and see what works for your anatomy. Choice is a wonderful thing.

Bugs-n-Frodo
Feb. 22, 2011, 11:18 AM
The way my saddle is designed and fitted, I have actually got very close contact through my thigh, (this may be one of the things that makes the seat look deep, you are actually sitting deep into the saddle,)a comfortably cushy place to sit my bony bum, and a moderate knee roll to remind me where to keep my leg.



This.

princessfluffybritches
Feb. 22, 2011, 11:35 AM
I love a deep seat. But I have sat in some flatter seats that have held my position beautifully, like some of the Stubbens and Passiers. There are also some dreamy "medium deeps" that are nice.

I think with a deep seat, you may have to go a size bigger to get some more "move room".

Maude
Feb. 22, 2011, 12:44 PM
Not insinuating that everyone can ride like Klimke (don't we wish :) ). My Klimke comment was in response to TheHorseProblem's" post comment:

"The only riders who have ever ridden my horse, and this is back when I had a hard, minimalist Passier, who felt confined in it, were hunter riders who didn't have a dressage seat."

Bottom line, if the shoe fits wear it!

kdow
Feb. 22, 2011, 01:54 PM
I don't follow the fads. I think some saddle makers are in a competition to see who can make the deepest seat and biggest block. I think it has almost gone to an extreme.

That is a bit what it seems like, when you're just browsing through photos at least - it started out as a reasonable idea, or a good fit for a certain horse and rider combination, and then saddle makers kind of ran with it and at some point you do get models where you start going "... really?"

The particular super-deep seat one I saw that started this thread (which I still can't find, though I haven't been spending that much time looking, I admit) almost reminded me less of a dressage saddle than of the saddles you see on people doing jousting reenactments - which is an entirely different sort of activity to riding dressage. (Unless there's some type of dressage I don't know about where people randomly charge at you with sticks and you need to brace against being knocked off.) (There's an addition to the dressage tests for eventing! ;) )

Kadenz
Feb. 22, 2011, 02:52 PM
If I need to get out of my saddle in an emergency I could not do it quickly.
.

Sorry, I call BS on this. I've heard this from EVERY single anti-deep-seat person I've ever met or heard on a BB. :rolleyes: And yet I have never, ever heard of an actual situation wherein an able-bodied rider was physically unable to get out of the saddle in an emergency-dismount situation, due to the depth of the seat or the knee rolls.

I have a Custom Saddlery Revolution - which has a deep seat and - GASP - knee rolls! And guess what? I come out of the saddle juuuust fine, when I need to. Did it about a month ago. WHY do I like my saddle with its relatively deep seat and knee rolls? It's comfortable, it fits both myself and my horse, it gives me stability, and I think it's pretty :p

princessfluffybritches
Feb. 22, 2011, 04:00 PM
Not insinuating that everyone can ride like Klimke (don't we wish :) ). My Klimke comment was in response to TheHorseProblem's" post comment:

"The only riders who have ever ridden my horse, and this is back when I had a hard, minimalist Passier, who felt confined in it, were hunter riders who didn't have a dressage seat."

Bottom line, if the shoe fits wear it!

I think that's my ultimate Dressage dream!

TheHorseProblem
Feb. 22, 2011, 04:04 PM
None proclaim their innocence (nor look for BNTs to back up their position) like those who are guilty. :eek:

:lol:

"Some of us speak from experience, some prefer to speak from other orifices."

Well said.

princessfluffybritches
Feb. 22, 2011, 04:06 PM
I've been horse-store browsing online, looking for a deal on a turnout blanket, and I keep wandering into the saddle section and I finally have to ask - What is the deal with the dressage saddles with the super-deep seats? Some of them look like they should come with seat belts.

How do you move with the horse in such a thing? (I mean, I know you shouldn't be slipping and sliding all over the place, but some of them the cantle is so high it looks like there's one place you can sit on the horse and that's it.)

They just don't look comfortable to me. Admittedly, I have never ridden in one - am I missing something?

(I have the same general reaction to the saddles with a billion and one knee rolls, knee blocks, thigh blocks...)


What do you ride in now?
I went to a tack store last year and sat in about 20 different saddles. It pays to sit in some to know what your butt really likes.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Feb. 22, 2011, 04:31 PM
Lol, I have the Wolfgang Solo (though somehow mine doesn't seem to come up quite as high), and it's fabulous for riding through a talented, athletic, young horse's own ideas of having fun :winkgrin:. Plus it fits me and of course my mare super well. I LOVE this saddle. I never thought of it as having a "deep seat". It just is comfy, secure and fits without being restrictive anywhere. AND it is VERY close contact! :yes: Not to mention affordable. And my Custom rep is great.

alto
Feb. 22, 2011, 04:37 PM
If you want less in a saddle, watch Catharine Haddad's video (http://www.stubbennorthamerica.com/stuVideoHaddad1.html) about the saddle that Stubben designed for her - she's quite entertaining :)

I agree that it's very difficult to find an off the rack saddle - close contact or dressage - that does not have loads of foam between the rider & the horse, & massive blocks/rolls.

sadlmakr
Feb. 22, 2011, 07:17 PM
I can understand the need of a deep seat saddle if one is doing Cross Country and the like.
But for ring work I see no need of such depth.
I will try out one my friend has and see what the seat feels like.
I will not need a saddle with that kind of seat but just for the sake of trying it out I will.
Of course there are pro's and con's about every seat style. I just was hoping there would be more about the seat fit and less picking at each other over it.
I guess I am not being realistic.
Sorry.
sadlmakr

ArabDiva
Feb. 22, 2011, 08:02 PM
I used to ride dressage in a very flat, minimal knee-block Courbette marshall. i have also spent several years in the saddleseat ring, where we use VERY flat saddles...it's like riding a leather bareback pad with stirrups! Then it came time to buy a new dressage saddle and my trainer had me try some with deeper seats. I was opposed to them in theory but once I tried it, I fell in love with my current saddle, a Sommer Nouvelle, which has a fairly deep seat and medium knee rolls--definitely not extreme as some out there but a lot more support than I had before.

As for "moving with the horse", I actually feel MORE in tune with the horse in this type of saddle. I feel like my lower body is one unit with the horse's body...I feel very secure, some may call it "locked in" but i think in a GOOD way...moving with the horse is effortless because my body just goes along with hers. I can still shift my weight around effectively, but I think the saddle actually helps me be more imperceptible. I can still exaggerate it if i NEED to for training purposes, but when I'm NOT trying to exaggerate, the saddle is rather helpful in that regard.

"Different strokes for different folks!"

manentail
Feb. 22, 2011, 08:30 PM
I have a wintec with a very deep seat. It actually helps me correct some bad habits I have, like slouching. You can't physically slouch when your riding in it.

Beentheredonethat
Feb. 22, 2011, 08:42 PM
Besides the offended comments, I think the idea here is to understand what the seat depth does for others. For ME, I tried deep seats, but it didn't work. Maybe it's not so much as holding you in, as a combination of your and the horse's conformation. I wonder if there is a correlation in body type. I'm more a Kathleen Raine type--she's 5'10" and a big, not overweight woman. When I was trying to figure out saddles, my trainer, who trained Kathleen, explained she rode in an 18 inch saddle, not because she's so large, but sometimes because bigger people on smaller horses (Avonteur at the time) need more seat space. It seems to work for me.

I ride in 18" saddles (and while my behind could be smaller, it is not extraordinarily large) that are very flat because that is what I found made me feel secure. I am fairly tall, substantially built, and very long-legged. I wonder if different body types have something to do with seat sizes. Debbie was brought up. She is very tiny and short-legged.

Any thoughts?

citydog
Feb. 22, 2011, 08:52 PM
Sorry, I call BS on this. I've heard this from EVERY single anti-deep-seat person I've ever met or heard on a BB. :rolleyes: And yet I have never, ever heard of an actual situation wherein an able-bodied rider was physically unable to get out of the saddle in an emergency-dismount situation, due to the depth of the seat or the knee rolls.

Well, just because *you* haven't heard of it doesn't mean it hasn't happened. ;) It can take a little extra effort to swing a leg over a huge cantle and dismount, so I can see where it could potentially cause a problem in an emergency dismount situation.

Personally, I can't stand riding in deep-seated/big-blocked saddles because even if they put me in the correct position if I get jostled out of position I feel like I can't get back into position without fighting the saddle, and that makes me feel rather unsafe compared to a flat saddle. They also just feel generally restrictive to me. <shrugs>

I remember when the Isabells first came out. I sat in one at the tack shop and thought I could sit in it all day, even joked that I wanted one to use at my desk at work. :) When I actually rode a horse in one, though I *hated* it. Couldn't move enough to actually ride.

spirithorse
Feb. 22, 2011, 08:57 PM
I have a JRD custom saddle 18" built for me...6ft. 200lbs. 33" in seam.....
It is not a deep seat though it has a somewhat high cantle, it has no knee rolls and no padding in the skirts....absolute leg contact.
What I find intriging is that every dressage rider who has rode in loves it, and it does not matter the size of the person. So I have come to the conclusion that length of the saddle is the most important factor.

kdow
Feb. 22, 2011, 09:22 PM
If you want less in a saddle, watch Catharine Haddad's video (http://www.stubbennorthamerica.com/stuVideoHaddad1.html) about the saddle that Stubben designed for her - she's quite entertaining :)

I agree that it's very difficult to find an off the rack saddle - close contact or dressage - that does not have loads of foam between the rider & the horse, & massive blocks/rolls.

Those videos (there's three in total of her, I think) are really quite interesting. (Of course, I also now want to run out and buy a Stubben even though I have nothing to ride at the moment.)

kdow
Feb. 22, 2011, 09:31 PM
What do you ride in now?
I went to a tack store last year and sat in about 20 different saddles. It pays to sit in some to know what your butt really likes.

Whatever comes with the horse. :) All of my riding is lesson horses, other people's horses, etc. So I go with whatever they have, pretty much.

I should start taking notes on which saddles I've ridden in and if I liked it, hated it, didn't care, etc.

(Though like I said, I can only think of one saddle - a western one - which I absolutely and entirely DESPISED because it didn't matter how I adjusted myself, even though the seat was padded and LOOKED all nice, it was horribly uncomfortable. I could not find any way to sit in it that felt even tolerable.)

atr
Feb. 22, 2011, 10:07 PM
Saddlmkr, I have tried trail riding in my current dressage saddle--which around here means lots of steep up and down grades--and it is wicked uncomfortable. I thought it would be great, but downhill for any length of time, it about rips your hips off as you can't swing your legs forward because of the depth of the seat and the knee rolls (which aren't that huge.) So I bring out my trusty old hunting saddle for that. Seat feels damned hard after cushioned calfskin luxury, however!

kaluha2
Feb. 23, 2011, 05:44 AM
Well, The HorseProblem:

I do have a dressage seat that I have worked long and hard to achieve thank you and I ride in a very old Stubben Tristen that I have had since day one.

Now, thinking that I needed to get with the times, I did try out a few of the modern dressage saddles with the knee block, thigh block, and the cantle up my ass and thanks, but no thanks, I'll stick with my little ole Stubben that at least allows me to ride the horse and not 39 lbs of leather and padding .

Some people like that in a saddle and that's perfectly fine but me and my little ole Stubben well, we just fit each other.

TheHorseProblem
Feb. 23, 2011, 12:55 PM
Well, The HorseProblem:

I do have a dressage seat that I have worked long and hard to achieve thank you and I ride in a very old Stubben Tristen that I have had since day one.

Now, thinking that I needed to get with the times, I did try out a few of the modern dressage saddles with the knee block, thigh block, and the cantle up my ass and thanks, but no thanks, I'll stick with my little ole Stubben that at least allows me to ride the horse and not 39 lbs of leather and padding .

Some people like that in a saddle and that's perfectly fine but me and my little ole Stubben well, we just fit each other.

Kaluha, the OP said: "I was wondering if maybe it was something that had kind of trickled down from the top - all those Dressage Queen types buying warmbloods with the HUGE movement that they can't ride very well, and so the deeper seat helps hold them in."

I and others took exception to this. I mentioned Debbie because she does ride warmbloods with huge movement in a saddle with a deeper seat. Does that make her a DQ who uses such saddles as a crutch because she can't ride very well? I think I made my point that there are ways to enquire why people prefer these saddles without insulting other riders to try and make yourself look superior.

I have found that people who ride hunt seat and then ride in my dressage saddle felt confined because they didn't have a dressage seat; they were used to leaning forward, and not sitting as deeply. How has this offended you?

I had a saddle for many years that didn't help me find a good position or stability. I didn't even realize it until I was horse shopping and rode in other saddles. I have tried a Jaguar, Albion, a Custom Wolfgang Solo, and ended up with a Lemke which has enabled me to continue to ride even with hip pain. It is much softer; the leather is buffalo and more tacky which helps me move better with the horse. I don't think that makes me or anyone else who rides in more of a saddle worthy of anyone's superior attitude.

Valentina_32926
Feb. 23, 2011, 01:39 PM
I personally like deep seats and thigh blocks because if the horse does something unexpected (like bolt, shy, slam on brakes :lol: ) it helps keep you in the saddle for the nano-second it takes to re-establish control.

Really nice for younger and hotter horses.

netg
Feb. 23, 2011, 01:51 PM
I'm very comfortable and secure in my deep-seated, perfectly balanced, carefully fitted Trilogy, thank you very much.

But I'm a wretched, lowly amateur and middle aged to boot, so I'll continue to enjoy the fact that it helps me find a good position, and is quite hard to fall out of if horsie decides to have a bucking spree, and tolerate your derision.

One of my friends has a Trilogy, and thinks it's the most comfortable thing in the world. It doesn't fit me right - and is therefore horribly uncomfortable to me!


If you want less in a saddle, watch Catharine Haddad's video (http://www.stubbennorthamerica.com/stuVideoHaddad1.html) about the saddle that Stubben designed for her - she's quite entertaining :)

I agree that it's very difficult to find an off the rack saddle - close contact or dressage - that does not have loads of foam between the rider & the horse, & massive blocks/rolls.

Her videos make me want one of those saddles. I am a fan of close contact, personally.


Of course there are pro's and con's about every seat style. I just was hoping there would be more about the seat fit and less picking at each other over it.
I guess I am not being realistic.
Sorry.
sadlmakr


:lol: Forget where you were posting? :lol:

I actually would love more info, too. The people I know with deep seats all have customs - and love them, but I wonder if it's because they're deep seats, or because they're custom made for them? I've never ridden in a deep seat which fit me properly, so I can't judge.

At some point in the future I will be getting a custom saddle. My saddle fits me and my horse ok, but I have a hunch I could find one which made everything easier, fit us better, etc. The legs aren't exactly perfect, mostly. If it were a deep seat w/ big thigh blocks the leg fit would be intolerable from what I've seen in other saddles. Mostly, though, I want to feel close to my horse and his movement - if that can happen in a deep seat or in a close contact, I don't care. Whatever works. :)

ThreeFigs
Feb. 23, 2011, 02:20 PM
What Valentina said.

A client has a quick & catty little Arab gelding. She's got a Prestige 2000D with the pretty deep seat and ginormous thigh blocks. It's like sitting on a big pillow. She and I are grateful for the deep seat & big blocks when Mr. CattyHorse decides to swap ends, spook or dance across the ring at warp speed.

I see why someone with a huge-moving horse or a NQR back would love those deep & cushy saddles. You use what works for you, and I'm all for using tack that aids the rider to keep on riding in comfort and safety.

My own saddles are a semi-custom Neidersuss Hippostar and an old Albion Original Comfort. The Albion is sorta deep, the NH, not so much. Smaller knee rolls. Both comfy and work fine for the horses I use them on.

I think you can be a fan of both types of saddles, deep and flat.

I have a student who rides in a deep seated Trilogy, which she loves. It doesn't fit me as well as it fits her, but I can ride in it.

A friend has the L & R Berkeley, 18.5 inch seat. OK, that one is just TOO DANG BIG AND DEEP for me! It is a comfy, well-made saddle, but it's so deep I can't post right. I hit the pommel. The thing's a jousting saddle!

kdow
Feb. 23, 2011, 03:13 PM
A friend has the L & R Berkeley, 18.5 inch seat. OK, that one is just TOO DANG BIG AND DEEP for me! It is a comfy, well-made saddle, but it's so deep I can't post right. I hit the pommel. The thing's a jousting saddle!

That's the kind I meant when I said "super-deep" - like, they really do look like they're designed so you can brace yourself between the stirrups and the cantle and prepare for impact.

(There are a few where the seat isn't that deep, but then the knee roll looks more like a knee cliff, too - I can't picture how you'd comfortably have your knee resting on it, so your knee would have to go behind it and sort of fit up against it, but wouldn't that encourage bracing through pressing your knee up against the block?)

dq for life
Feb. 23, 2011, 03:35 PM
I have custom Regals and a very deep Schleese Link.
The thing is with big blocks, they are not in the way if you don't use them. They are only there for that "nano second" (as has just been mentioned) when you do need them.
Did it take a couple of rides to get used to swinging my leg up higher and over? Yes. About 2.
Does it affect dismounting? No.
I have ridden in old Stubbens for months on end too. I have had Passiers for years.
There are bare bones cars on the roads some with only the essentials. There are also ones with heated leather seats, back up assist, surround stereo, automatic headlight on and off, auto dim rear view mirror cars on the road too.
Does that make me a worse driver to drive one of those?

kdow
Feb. 23, 2011, 04:05 PM
I have ridden in old Stubbens for months on end too. I have had Passiers for years.
There are bare bones cars on the roads some with only the essentials. There are also ones with heated leather seats, back up assist, surround stereo, automatic headlight on and off, auto dim rear view mirror cars on the road too.
Does that make me a worse driver to drive one of those?

I wish people would stop reading it as "you're a bad rider if you ride in a deep seat saddle" - I ASKED a QUESTION as to if that was where the trend developed - it appears the answer is no, since there are pros who prefer the deeper seat and more blocks models also. So obviously some people actually do simply prefer the ride from that style of saddle fit.

(Is it ALSO a trend? Possibly, to some degree. Fads do happen in equestrian sports - look at Hunters, or that one style of eventing breastplate that turns up all over the place, even if the horse isn't really doing anything that would seem to make a breastplate necessary.)

Therefore, I am trying to understand what it is about that type of saddle fit that people like. Some of them look kind of claustrophobic TO ME.

(Then there are some where I just can't figure out how your leg is meant to sit on the flap, like this one: http://www.stubbennorthamerica.com/Images/stuExcaliburDressage250x250.jpg - is that actually meant to be a knee roll/knee padding that your knee rests ON, or is the big bulge of padding supposed to be in front of your knee and prevent it coming too far forward? It looks, in photos, like it's really thick to be something your knee is meant to be on.)

belgianWBLuver
Feb. 23, 2011, 04:07 PM
I'm very comfortable and secure in my deep-seated, perfectly balanced, carefully fitted Trilogy, thank you very much.

But I'm a wretched, lowly amateur and middle aged to boot, so I'll continue to enjoy the fact that it helps me find a good position, and is quite hard to fall out of if horsie decides to have a bucking spree, and tolerate your derision.

Love your responce and I totally agree!! - atr:lol::lol::lol:

Couture TB
Feb. 23, 2011, 04:26 PM
I love my 30+ year old Kieffer but there are a few padded saddles that I like. But most of them don't work for me because I am 5'2 and have the SHORTEST thigh bone ever. I'm just a stocky person :lol:

mvp
Feb. 23, 2011, 06:25 PM
I'm too short and too old to bother fighting with y'all about whether a deep seated saddle is the crutch of the cheating, undeserving DQ. But I'll give you my biomechanical and historical take on this.

1) It takes a lot of core strength to sit on a big gaited horse. If you are a pro, if you ride enough to do upper level stuff, chances are you have this strange, hard to come by fitness. When people choose a deep seat in a bigger size or a shallow seat, I think they are "returning" to a more open seat that's just fine for the kind of fitness they have acquired.

2) IMO, the shorter you are, the harder this sitting the big gaits becomes. I mean, the shorter that vertical distance from the bottom of you pelvis to the point in your belly that holds still.... the longer arc on a circle (forward and back, more or less) your butt will make.

Now think about what keeps you still and from falling off. You need to be able to relax enough to let the horse move your booty. Then you need to be able to softly stop moving in that direction, relax again, and follow his back in another. 'K that takes *a lot* of body control. It also happens too fast for us to consciously control.

Put those together? For the shorties, I think it takes more strength at each "end" of the forward/back arc. It's a greater physical feat for the short, desk-jockey of an ammy with one horse to do that than a pro or even someone taller.

3) Because this happens too quickly for us to control, the best we can do is arrange our upper body directly over our hips, and have our leg turned forward from the hip. If you are doing it right, IMO, you'll get tired in your abs, especially lower abs and deep, but also your hamstrings and the muscles deep in your hip joints.

The historical part. Dressage riding did change, a little bit for the better in terms of teaching people to sit, when we started riding with uber-long stirrups. For most people, that put them in the position that would allow them to relax those deep muscles surrounding the hip joint that we usually can't "find" with conscious effort.

Put this all together, and it means that shorties like me can use a deep bucket of a saddle-- big ol' cantle, big ol' thigh blocks to replace the muscular work of stopping our movement at either end of the forward and back arc. That's GREAT because it's physically harder for us to do that than you tallies or for people on smaller-moving horses. We need to maintain the same level of general relaxation that the tallies do, but to stay aboard, we'd have to contract all those muscles harder at each end of the arc to get that done. Everyone has a hard time alternating between contraction and relaxation, this is why once we get stiff, things go from bad to worse. In a non-bucket saddle, the shorty is set up to fail.

I think Debbie MacDonald-- short on big-- was quite smart to pick a bucket saddle. She has also applied her name to a Trilogy model built for shorties like her.

All you shorties out there, don't buy the hype of the tall. There are no points given for having to work harder to do the same job.

Maude
Feb. 23, 2011, 06:54 PM
Excellent post MVP! As a "tallie" I feel cramped in a deep sested saddle with a large block. I do see where a short person would make out much better with the deep seat/large block saddle. Definately food for thought.

alto
Feb. 23, 2011, 07:05 PM
Is it ALSO a trend?

Some of them look kind of claustrophobic TO ME.

(Then there are some where I just can't figure out how your leg is meant to sit on the flap, like this one: http://www.stubbennorthamerica.com/Images/stuExcaliburDressage250x250.jpg - is that actually meant to be a knee roll/knee padding that your knee rests ON, or is the big bulge of padding supposed to be in front of your knee and prevent it coming too far forward? It looks, in photos, like it's really thick to be something your knee is meant to be on.)

Yes

Agree

It's a block so your leg should always be behind it.

ETA Stubben was one of the holdouts when it came to adding in the big blocks & soft, cushy seats but they were losing sales & have now embraced this modern saddle trend ...

kaluha2
Feb. 23, 2011, 07:49 PM
The HorseProblem:

Here's what I responded to which I felt was your Superior attitude concerning hunter riders.

""The only riders who have ever ridden my horse, and this is back when I had a hard, minimalist Passier, who felt confined in it, were hunter riders who didn't have a dressage seat."

I happen to be an old hunter rider that switched to dressage in the early 70's.

My comment was to inform you that not all hunter riders ride like a monkey on a football. I worked long and hard on longe horses and still do to develope my seat and to keep my seat.

The rest of my statement, "Some people like that in a saddle (meaning a deep seat) AND THAT'S PERFECTLY FINE, (4 very important words which you chose to ignore) but me and my old Stubben we fit each other just fine", was ME stating MY opinion and preference in a saddle which is the Tristen. Please don't try to insuniate anything other.

Finally in closing, if YOU have a problem with the OP and what she may or may not have been referring to which got your pantaloons in such a wad, I suggest YOU take it up with the OP and not read into my post.


TheHorseProblem:

You know, you're right. I have re-read your post and actually I should not have taken offense because I don't believe now that you meant to offend.

So, now that I have pulled out my pantaloons I think I'll turn on the lights and go ride.

TheHorseProblem
Feb. 23, 2011, 09:05 PM
TheHorseProblem:

You know, you're right. I have re-read your post and actually I should not have taken offense because I don't believe now that you meant to offend.

So, now that I have pulled out my pantaloons I think I'll turn on the lights and go ride.

LOL Peace, and enjoy the ride!:)

kdow
Feb. 23, 2011, 09:13 PM
2) IMO, the shorter you are, the harder this sitting the big gaits becomes. I mean, the shorter that vertical distance from the bottom of you pelvis to the point in your belly that holds still.... the longer arc on a circle (forward and back, more or less) your butt will make.

Now think about what keeps you still and from falling off. You need to be able to relax enough to let the horse move your booty. Then you need to be able to softly stop moving in that direction, relax again, and follow his back in another. 'K that takes *a lot* of body control. It also happens too fast for us to consciously control.

Put those together? For the shorties, I think it takes more strength at each "end" of the forward/back arc. It's a greater physical feat for the short, desk-jockey of an ammy with one horse to do that than a pro or even someone taller.

3) Because this happens too quickly for us to control, the best we can do is arrange our upper body directly over our hips, and have our leg turned forward from the hip. If you are doing it right, IMO, you'll get tired in your abs, especially lower abs and deep, but also your hamstrings and the muscles deep in your hip joints.

The historical part. Dressage riding did change, a little bit for the better in terms of teaching people to sit, when we started riding with uber-long stirrups. For most people, that put them in the position that would allow them to relax those deep muscles surrounding the hip joint that we usually can't "find" with conscious effort.

Put this all together, and it means that shorties like me can use a deep bucket of a saddle-- big ol' cantle, big ol' thigh blocks to replace the muscular work of stopping our movement at either end of the forward and back arc. That's GREAT because it's physically harder for us to do that than you tallies or for people on smaller-moving horses. We need to maintain the same level of general relaxation that the tallies do, but to stay aboard, we'd have to contract all those muscles harder at each end of the arc to get that done. Everyone has a hard time alternating between contraction and relaxation, this is why once we get stiff, things go from bad to worse. In a non-bucket saddle, the shorty is set up to fail.

I think Debbie MacDonald-- short on big-- was quite smart to pick a bucket saddle. She has also applied her name to a Trilogy model built for shorties like her.

All you shorties out there, don't buy the hype of the tall. There are no points given for having to work harder to do the same job.

This was a really interesting and thoughtful response, thank you. Given that I'm somewhat short myself, it certainly will at least make me think about trying a ride in some of those ones I think look amazingly deep to see how it goes. :)

(If I ever have a horse to ride with enough of a gait to make a difference, anyway. I imagine most of the schoolies I've been riding just don't have anything like as much power in the trot as some of the nicer horses do.) (Well, okay, except the one Appy mare. And then only if she was annoyed about having to do what she considered too many lessons in one day. :D )

TheHorseProblem
Feb. 23, 2011, 10:25 PM
This was a really interesting and thoughtful response, thank you. Given that I'm somewhat short myself, it certainly will at least make me think about trying a ride in some of those ones I think look amazingly deep to see how it goes.

The goal of any saddle is that it fits you and fits the horse, and puts you in a good position. That is true of any saddle, deep seat or no.

My saddle is not one of those extreme knee roll saddles, but it does help me a ton with my position. My leg just falls in the right place. I would encourage you to be open to trying some different saddles. I never would have thought to ask people if I could try their saddles, so I just never knew what I was missing. If you really want to find out what it's like, and you can afford it, have a saddler come out and fit you and the horse.