View Full Version : The great saddle search

Jun. 30, 2011, 05:44 PM
I am new to the CHOS forum. I am currently looking for a used dressage saddle. I am not a competitor, I just prefer riding in a dressage saddle. I'm having a problem finding a saddle that fits long legged, 5"8 me, and my leased horse, a 15.1 Arabian with medium withers and a short back. I have a rather limited budget, while I can afford more than a cheapo saddle, I cannot afford more than 800 dollars for a used one.
Would it be worth my while to have a saddle that fits me reflocked (or have some flocking removed) to fit the horse, or to use shims, as a saddle fitter has advised? The owner of my horse is a stickler for saddle fit, and I believe the same. I don't know if she'd allow me to pad and shim to make the saddle fit.
Currently I am riding him bareback as the only saddle that she has that fits him is a western saddle.
And can anyone tell me a brand that is known for fitting short backed horses?

Thank you!

Old Fashioned
Jun. 30, 2011, 05:50 PM
Niedersuss, Kieffer and Courbette fit many Arabians well and can fit the taller rider. I've found english made ones to generally be a little too tight through the shoulder for arabians and many german made saddles are too long front to back for the short backed horse.

Jun. 30, 2011, 07:03 PM
My Schleese Link II is perfect for my short backed half arabian and my 5'8' self, but it may be hard to find with your budget. Check online. Not only is the Link shorter than most saddles it also has cutback shoulders which my guy loves

Jun. 30, 2011, 08:28 PM
I'm 5'8-1/2" on a 15-2 morgan and use a Duett Fidelio, which I love. My horse has a short back and huge shoulders and is quite a challenge to fit. A used Fidelio should be right around your budget. You might want to take a look at Trumbull Mountain, they fit a lot of harder to fit guys and are extremely helpful.

Jul. 1, 2011, 01:11 PM
Oh my gosh, we are almost identical in shape and with our horses that we're trying to fit! I'm 5'8" with a 15.1 arab as well and am on the hunt for the ideal saddle as well. I'm moving from treeless to treed (I love my freeform elite and it fits my horse well, but want a treed saddle now so I'm selling that one and am on the hunt!)

My budget is more in the 4k range, but I'm just starting out so I'm wide open and need help narrowing the field!

skykingismybaby1 - thanks for the schleese recommendation! I just emailed them to see what they have in their used saddles that might work for us :)

Jul. 1, 2011, 01:50 PM
Esdressage, I had the honor to sit in a Hulsebos. A friend of mine has a lovely Hanoverian under it. USED, Hulsebos run $4K, but wow, I understand why. I felt as if I had been plugged into the seat. It was only after I got online to research them that I realized that there was no way I could afford it.
Skyking, I will look at Schleeses, too.
You all have nailed it..there is such a variety to choose from that I'm a bit overwhelmed.

On the other hand, the more I ride bareback, the better I like it. It has really improved my seat, but when I go trail riding, I want a saddle underneath me.

Thanks, and more comments and advice are GREATLY appreciated!

Jul. 1, 2011, 01:54 PM
OH, and hrsmstr, I have another suggestion for you. Take a look for used Arabian Saddle Company, or Lovatt & Ricketts, Ellipse saddles (they go by both company names for some reason). They fit Arabians very well and you may be able to find a used one in your budget.

I'm riding my arab in one in my profile pic. She really loved it! I did too but the one I'd found used (it's actually in those pics) was a little small for me, and I ended up with that treeless for awhile instead. Now that I'm looking again, I want to get exactly what I like (ha!) and I like a deeper seat, more close contact feel than the ellipse.

Jul. 1, 2011, 02:02 PM
hrsmstrm, I have a Germania dressage saddle on loan from a friend. My horse is an Arabian also, with a short, flat back, round barrel and low-set withers. The last time I went saddle shopping, it took 6 months to find one that fit. So I was surprised this one worked.

Germania saddles are marketed by Thorowgood and are on the low-end of the price scale -- $1200 to $1400 new. But decent quality. So you might check them out. They come in wide and extra wide. I think mine is a Wide, but I'd have to look.

Good luck.

PS -- I'm not as tall as you are, but my legs are long. This saddle feels like it was made for me.