View Full Version : Dressage Saddles?

Mar. 27, 2011, 12:19 PM
I apologize in advance, as this sort of thread has probably been posted hundreds of times...

But what types of dressage saddles are you riding in? What do you like about them? What DON'T you like about them?

I'm dressage saddle shopping (sort of) and am looking for a saddle that fits both me and my horse. He wears a medium tree and I go in a 17.5 seat. Would LOVE something long enough for my leg (5'10").

All input is welcome!

Mar. 27, 2011, 01:33 PM
I've ridden in a Collegiate and didn't like it...it told my legs to do bad things.
At one point I had a Wintec. Sold it 4 months later. Enough said.
I've ridden in Schleeses, Rooslis, and Dominus' and I really liked them all.
If it matters, I'm 6ft tall and my new boy goes in a medium tree.
Best of luck!!!

Wee Dee Trrr
Mar. 27, 2011, 01:43 PM
I started in a Wintec Isabel that did nothing for me...

Moved on to a Rembrandt (now called "Classic Saddlery") That I loved for several years. It's a minimal dressage, no huge rolls. It was was VERY adjustable.

Now I'm in a Prestige 2000 D. It's awesome. I'm very happy with it so far (only had it since November).

Luckily for me my horse and I are not hard to fit, so I can get used saddles relatively easily. Good luck! Sit in as many saddles as you can. Rolex is a good place for that. :winkgrin:

Mar. 27, 2011, 01:50 PM
I own a Collegiate Mentor, Kieffer Wein DL, and recently bought a Stubben Juventus. The Collegiate is incredibly comfortable and allows me to sit in a proper position without huge kneerolls to act as a crutch. Everyone who has ridden in it loves it. The Kieffer Wein is more of a "personal preference" saddle. It has a wider twist and the seat on mine is quite shallow, but I really like it. It rides more like a jumping saddle and doesn't "lock me in" as much. The Stubben Juventus wouldn't be a good choice for you because it's a youth saddle with a short flap (which is the whole reason I bought it!). But it is very comfortable and well balanced.

The only dressage saddle I've ever ridden in and REALLY hated was an old County (I believe a Warmblood)? It could have been the way it fit the horse, but it stuck me in a chair seat and was terribly uncomfortable and hard to ride in.

Mar. 27, 2011, 01:52 PM
Tree should fit pretty much the same but look for an 18 - 18 1/2 seat re the depth of the seat in dressage saddles vs jump saddles; then consider your leg length as flap length can vary considerably in dressage saddles - best is if you can find a tack shop with a good collection of various branded dressage saddles & try them out.

This video collection on saddle fit is done with dressage saddles & worth watching (regardless of saddle brand)
9 Point Check list (http://www.schleese.com/9PointCheckList)

There is also a video on fitting the female rider (http://www.schleese.com/Female_Saddle_Specialist)that is interesting.

Mar. 27, 2011, 02:01 PM
*Black Country Eloquence - very comfortable, doe skin seat makes it very grippy, puts me in a good position, serge panels make it lighter and two of my horses seem to prefer the serge to leather panels.

*Courbette Bernina Jr - comfortable for me, was inexpensive (got it on clearance when Stateline Tack moved out of Petsmart), and fits my 5 year old mare. The seat is a little slippery, and the flap leather is a little stiff.

*Thornhill Vienna II - relatively comfortable for me, but didn't fit the horse, I liked the leather on this saddle much better than the Danube.

*Thornhill Danube - fits the horse, uncomforable for me, I am constantly pitching forward, and my mare doesn't seem to feel my leg in this saddle (admitting the flaps are way too long for my short legs).

Cricket's Mom
Mar. 27, 2011, 02:26 PM
I have an 18" (3) Courbette Aristokrat dressage saddle that I LOVE.... BUT.... people have recently been telling me it looks small for me and its throwing my upper body forward. I'm 5'5" and would not consider myself to be large (or particularly small... just average), so this is hugely puzzling. My only thought is that maybe I would sit better in it if my stirrups were longer, because I do sometimes feel like I perch on my stirrups a bit...

Anyway, other than the recent drama.... I LOVE the saddle. It is an older model from before Courbette was bought out by Stubben and back when they were made in Germany (which I believe they are no longer made there...)

Cricket's Mom

Mar. 27, 2011, 02:59 PM
I have an old Lauriche that I absolutely love. The only thing I would ever trade it for is a newer model in black!

Auto Be A Storm
Mar. 27, 2011, 03:12 PM
I have a Schleese JES and I LOVE IT!!!!! very nice leather, fitted to my horse and my short legs!!!

Mar. 27, 2011, 04:45 PM
I heart Hennig. I have an older one that is made for longer legs than mine that will be appearing somewhere on the internet sometime in the near future looking for a new mommy.... :winkgrin:

Mar. 27, 2011, 04:47 PM
May not help I'm short 5'4-33" inseam.
But like narrow twists, my 2 favorites- Kieffer Wein/older before V billets, Marcus Krehan, but also ride in and like Crosby Freestyle, Masion House and Spirig.
Suprisingly HATED Barnsby AVG

Mar. 27, 2011, 04:53 PM
I have a County Perfection and love it.

Mar. 27, 2011, 04:59 PM
Been riding in an Amerigo Deep Dressage for several years and liked it, but when the leather on the seat split decided to go back to a Wintec (which I had before) and also though I'd go to a smaller knee roll. Borrowed a Wintec Pro Dressage, a bit wide in the twist for me but comfortable once I started "working". Found a Wintec Isabell like I had before and am now riding in that, LOVE it. Small knee rolls.

Had a collegiate (Jessica) about 12 years ago, really liked that too except the kneerolls were HUGE. Kind of a knockoff on the Passier Grand Gilbert IIRC.....


Mar. 27, 2011, 05:12 PM
It really helps if you know you need a narrow, med or wide twist... A saddle that one person absolutely adores will cause intense dismay and pain to another. :)

Mar. 27, 2011, 05:59 PM
If you're 5'10, you probably need a bigger seat. It's not related to the "size of your bumm" ala a D-coux rep... but the length of your femur.

Get someone to measure you. Hip to knee and knee to heel. DW is 5'11 and has nearly the same inseam as I do (6'2). HOWEVER, where my lower leg is longer than my upper leg, it changes the geometry of my position and how the saddle fits compared to her. Not to mention all the other anatomical difference, lol.

I'm not a Schleese fan. We considered them, I tried talking to them and decided that they (the reps and fitters) were "too high maintenance for us", lol. Long story short, I tried asking some basic questions, didn't get answers. They do, however have a great article that any tall female rider should read on their website. It's taken us years to get this figured out. I know that bar position isn't the only thing, but for a tall woman, it becomes very important. DW is 22.4" in the femur, 16.6" in the lower leg and she's fought position FOREVER.

http://www.schleese.com/documents/Leg%20Length%20and%20your%20position%20June%2008.p df

I'm currently away from home for work but will be home soon. We're working with Mike Corcoran and should see a saddle from him on trial very soon. He fits a lot of tall women and seems to understand the mechanics of riding better than any fitter we've dealt with to date. Also makes me feel good to know that he designed two of the saddles that DW has tried and liked the best (one Albion and a Black Country).

Mar. 27, 2011, 10:30 PM
As much as people hate on them, I have a Wintec Isabell and I love it!!! I am only 5'3" however and my saddles a 16" so I what I like may not be right for you ;)

Mar. 27, 2011, 10:42 PM
Does anyone here have a Kottas saddle?
My old boss swore by them and used to sell them by loaning them out from the store for a week. I don't think she ever got one returned.

Mar. 27, 2011, 10:51 PM
As Spyder said, it really depends on what twist YOU need -- what works great for a narrow twist rider will be horrible for a wide twist rider, and vice versa.


Figure out what shape tree your horse needs, and figure out what kind of twist you need. THEN ask for advice from COTH, saddle fitters, etc.

I used to love the County I had until I bought a young horse and it just didn't work on him. I now ride in an Albion SL (other Albions I think are wide twist, but this one is a narrow) and love it..but I know people like a pretty long list of brands out there, and it is probably a fairly specific combo of horse fit and rider fit...

Mar. 28, 2011, 01:02 AM
I'm also 5'10'', and ride in an 18'' Prestige D 2000, which I absolutely love! Fit my horse really well and fits my LONG leg perfectly :)