View Full Version : Your favorite pony dressage saddle(s)

May. 15, 2011, 02:44 PM
So I am in search of a new saddle because my 14.1 hand pony is just not digging my 16.5 wintec Isabelle. Even though its a small seat, the saddle is still too long.

I am pretty small, 5'3 and 110lb, so I think I can still fit in a 16'' saddle. My pony does not have a large barrel, she is built more like a small sport horse, she has a small back, and is built a tiny bit downhill (half arab).

I am currently looking at the Prestige Lucky and Kieffer Wien both in 16''. I only hear good reviews about the Prestige but see mixed reviews about the Kieffer. I'd like to have a deep, comfy, correct seat, large knee rolls, and preferably something that is easily adjustable. Also, like most people, I am on a budget. I am looking at well-maintained used saddles first.

I know, I know, I know the only way to know if a saddle truely fits is to try it, but I'd like to have a good idea already of the ones I want to try and oppinions from others play a vital role in which ones are totally worth checking out or not worth the time at all. :) By the way I live in Germany, so no I'm not interested in buying anyones saddle that they might be selling... the shipping internationally (fees, customs, and wait are not worth it for me) but if you wanna give me your saddle for free I might be interested :winkgrin:

thanks for looking!!! :D Reviews of these saddles and recomendations or warnings of other saddles will be greatly appreciated.

May. 15, 2011, 05:01 PM

May. 15, 2011, 05:09 PM
My Stubben Genesis fits perfectly on my short backed pony who has a sport horse build.

Perfect Pony
May. 15, 2011, 05:18 PM
Honestly, I have a 14.1 pony who is narrow and pretty short coupled and nothing has really worked. My Isabell was WAY too long. I ended up ordering a JRD with a pony tree. I have a loaner JRD that works but still isn't perfect.

May. 15, 2011, 09:17 PM
I just went through this last year with my little Arab. The biggest challenge we had was finding something wide enough for his shoulders, and short enough in the panels to stay within the weight bearing area. We ended up compromising - the back panels go a bit further back than "ideal", but they're swept up, and the wool has been softened in the back so there's nothing digging into his loin.

We ended up with a Smith Worthington, but if you don't need crazy wide, you'll have a lot more options.

Have you done tracings yet? A good online store like Trumbull Mountain might have several options.

Here's my guy in his (very difficult to find...) dressage saddle. He seems very comfortable in it, so it was worth the hunt!


Perfect Pony
May. 15, 2011, 11:52 PM
You know, I totally forgot about this saddle, but it might work. They are actually really lovely. Wish I would have tried one before ordering the custom, damnit!


May. 16, 2011, 12:02 AM
I snagged a Stubben Juventus off eBay a couple months ago. It doesn't have a super deep seat or big knee rolls, but I think it's quite nice. I haven't ridden in it much since my pony turned up with a suspensory injury right around the time it arrived, but I liked it when I did ride in it. My pony is a 14.2hh TBx, so probably built somewhat like your mare. The Juventus fits him very well. I also *love* the brown leather piping on the front edge. Unfortuantely my saddle is used, so the brown has darkened up a LOT and isn't as noticeable.

May. 17, 2011, 09:50 AM
The only thing I've found to fit well is a Spirig.
Those may be easier to fing over there.

May. 17, 2011, 01:24 PM
I never found one for my short-backed large pony. She's going in an older country pro-fit #4 tree close contact saddle in a 16". I am 5'1, but with long thighs and the Lucky was not comfortable at all for me. I have another 16" prestige--not sure the model--on my other mare, but it was too long for this one.

Oct. 7, 2014, 12:11 AM
I am having similar problems with my pony plus in really short. Most dressage saddles look odd on my pony and even more so with me in the saddle. On top of that nothing fits a pony with a sport horse conformation. Narrow trees sit too high on her withers and wide trees gap away at the flocks, the channel ends up being too wide and the panels sit too far back on her. I'm currently riding in a really old stubben but even that sits me really far forward and I feel like I'm sliding down a sliding board into my pommel when I'm riding. I was recommended to try a county and am going to be attending a saddle fitting soon. I have my eye on the drespri. It seems like it could work for dressage because the flaps are shorter even when on the dressage setting and if it works to jump in too all the better. Does anyone have any experience riding in the drespri?

Oct. 7, 2014, 07:59 AM
The Albion SL has shorter panels and I found the one I tried very comfortable - it has a slightly open seat but I didn't feel as though I was insecure in it. Kieffer also has the Inzell and the Amsterdam for shorter backed horses. I think they also make two pony models - one very small for children and one for older children/petite adults. Being in Germany, you might have an easier time finding one for trial. I've had no luck finding one for trial here in the US.

I sat in a Drespri that was in a consignment shop and it just felt kinda weird, same with the Stubben Juventus and the panels on it were too curved for my horse.

Fwiw, I'm 5' 1", 118 lbs and the pony is a pb Arab built like a very petite TB - high narrow wither that flares to larger set back shoulder, almost flat front to back but A frame side to side. All in a 14h package.

Oct. 7, 2014, 08:20 AM
I wrote a pretty extensive post on the common options available in the US: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?431564-Help-finding-quality-youth-dressage-saddle&p=7474833&highlight=pony+dressage#post7474833

I'm envious because in Germany you'll have a lot more "small maker" options that are easier to find than on this side of the pond.

I am a 5'2"/125lb adult with a VERY short-backed mare, and I can ride comfortably in most 16" dressage saddles as long as they aren't crazy deep.

Oct. 7, 2014, 09:09 AM
I too have had a life long challenge with saddle fit on all of my welsh cobs. My section C welsh cobs, both 13 hands, have very short backs. I have had better luck with the older Passier GG believe it or not....and I'm all about finding the proper channel width. I was concerned that the older saddle might have too narrow of a channel but for the way these guys are built that doesn't seem to be a problem. I'm 5'2" and 105 pounds so a 16.5 seat or even the Passier 16 inch Young Champ fits me just fine and doesn't look too long on their backs. Having said that though I also have an Albion SLK that fits my Cs and my section Ds very well. It too is a 16.5 inch seat so it isn't too overbearing even on my very short backed stallion.

Oct. 7, 2014, 11:39 AM
Currently I'm riding my 2 short backed larges in Black Country Eloquence X. It's a 17" and plenty of room for me to sit in so I'm sure with your petite frame you could fit into a 16". Mine has a hoop tree so it fits their broad backs well, nice wide channel, upswept serge panels. I quite like it, nice little saddle.

Oct. 7, 2014, 08:25 PM
I just got a Prestige Lucky for my 13hh pony.
It's a 16" seat on a 34cm tree with XS flaps. I am barely 5' and 110#.

We were both measured and had many photos taken when we ordered it and it took 2 months to arrive. I've only I've only had 2 rides in it - one was our lesson and our Coach highly approved... and so far, I think it is worth the wait.

Up to now the only thing I had that fit him well was a Stubben Eidelweiss Junior saddle which did not put me in a very good position, so we're very excited to finally have this new saddle.

I have a 17" Schleese JES Elite for my 14.2 Connemara/QH that worked really well for him and I. He is now retired, so I'll be selling it....

Oct. 7, 2014, 11:41 PM
I have a Custom Icon Flight with pony panels and short flaps for my wide shouldered, short backed pony. It is working great for me so far!