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View Full Version : I need Help is my County a flop?



Oliver18
Jul. 14, 2011, 11:08 AM
I need Help .Please dont kill me this is the first time I asked a question I have shown Hunters for 26 years ... Im crossing the line to Dressage . Well one of my horses is . A girl at my barn is leasing one of my guys . She is going to a Dressage show in a couple of weeks . I went out and bought a new Dressage bridle ,pad and picked up a Dressage saddle .
The saddle is a County Connential fits my horse well. I rode in it once and hated it . I rode in jeans and half chaps . My rear- end slid from side to side . I know its not me my fanny does not move in my Hermes . So full seat breeches next time was soooo much better . Now "Stacy" rode in it yesterday and the same thing happened to her I told her and the woman she takes lessons with full seat breeches . She hates it :(.
Did I buy a bad saddle ? I thought and read that County's were good saddles . The trainer also said it was too "old school" meaning seat wasnt deep enough no thigh block , knee rolls werent big enough and the flap was to narrow . Also she made a face cause it is brown . Its dark very dark brown .
Now I started riding in a 13inch Beval flat seat no knee rolls nothing . I rememder asking my trainer how come the big kids got knee rolls . She said when you ride like them you can have it too . At 14 I did .
Is Dressage different ? When I tired saddles i sat in new and old . Everytime I sat in a new one I felt trapped . Now I feel bad and Im thinking i should buy another saddle . The one i have now fits the horse well . Should I just tell her to suck it up .:winkgrin:

AlterBy
Jul. 14, 2011, 11:32 AM
Not all saddles are made for everyone. It has nothing (not that much...) to do with the 'quality' per say of the saddle. It has to fit the horse, it has to fit the rider.

Big blocks, no blocks, deep seat, flat seat...those are personal choices and has nothing to do with one abilities to ride.

County are good saddles and if you like your saddle enough (I understand you have a Hermes too), NEVER rider with jeans as it will damage the leather of the seat.

Is this a saddle like that?
http://gallopinggrape.com/17countycontinental4treewide.aspx

If it is that old and look like that, it might be slippery! And that type of knee pad and flaps are for the long legged rider. This one is quite deep.

If your butt is swinging from side to side, 1. the saddle might not fit your horse that well. 2. The saddle might be slippery. 3. The saddle might be too wide in the seat area if you have a tiny butt! 4. The saddle might be too big in general for the rider. Too wide for the seat, too narrow at the twist, too long flap...

If this girl wants to do dressage, she needs a dressage saddle that fits her too. She can still try to see if she can adjust in this one and make it works if it truly fits the horse but if not I would look for another saddle.

Wayside
Jul. 14, 2011, 11:33 AM
I'll address color first because it's easy. It doesn't matter if your saddle is brown. Fashion in dressage tack does seem to swing back and forth between brown and black, but either way it will not affect your score (or your riding, obviously).

Yes, many of the newer saddles have deep seats and massive rolls and blocks keeping you in place, but that doesn't mean that there is anything inappropriate about using an older or more streamlined saddle. Whatever you are most comfortable with is fine, as long as it doesn't actively work against your position.

I have a County (old Competitor), and it's not the best fit for me, but it fits my horse perfectly so I use it. The seat is comfortable for me, but I have a long femur and a tiny foot, and the County tends to put me in a chair seat because of the position of the stirrup bar. Drop my stirrups and it's great, so I'm reasonably certain it's just the stirrup position.

Anyhow, I've never noticed the seat on mine being slippery. Could be slightly different leather, or the result of a conditioning treatment. If you're comfortable in full-seats, that seems like a perfectly good solution.

Since the saddle fits your horse well, and her main objection seems to be that the saddle isn't fashionable, I'd probably just tell the leasee to suck it up. Maybe suggest she try a little sadl-tite if the seat's really that slippery.

Oliver18
Jul. 14, 2011, 01:05 PM
Thanks so much the feedback !!!Yes it does look like the saddle above the seat is not that deep though. Ok the County is a med spring tree it fits the horse well basic dressgae pad and I bought a black mattes pad to use as well. I really think it is the leather . Full seat and saddle tight it is . AlterBy . I know i am a repeat offender with jeans . I only have TS and it kills me to use them for everyday.. I love my Steinkraus and will not hurt it anymore lol using old TS for schooling and a pair of full seats for my slippery County.
Just one more question. Bit? He loves his copper snaffle its a full cheek no keepers . I was looking around can i use the full cheek or should i use a egg butt.(copper)
Next week I am taking my very first Dressage lesson. I am scared I did the big Equ as a Junior but over the last 8 years or so I have gone very hunter . I am in no way sloppy but have gotten lax in my equitation . Again thanks so much for the feedback !!!! Wayside thank you for the brown / black issue :)

meupatdoes
Jul. 14, 2011, 01:46 PM
http://www.bitofbritain.com/Stubben_Hamanol_p/0214.htm


End of problem.
:)

Wayside
Jul. 14, 2011, 01:56 PM
Full cheek snaffles are fine as long as the mouthpiece is legal. Most smooth single or double jointed mouthpieces are legal. There used to be rules about the copper mouthpieces, but I think they've relaxed those in the last few years.

The USEF rulebook section on dressage is here: http://www.usef.org/documents/ruleBook/2004/Rule-XIX.pdf hopefully that will answer some of your questions.

Hampton Bay
Jul. 14, 2011, 05:54 PM
any trainer who commented on the color of a well-fitting saddle wouldn't be my trainer any longer, but.....

If I were you, I would not feel obligated to buy this girl a saddle. She's leasing your horse. She want to ride in something different from what you own. That's not your responsibility. If she ends the lease, you're still stuck with a saddle you might not be able to use, and might lose money on re-selling.

There are still a lot of people who like saddles with flat seats and no big blocks. I hate a deep seat and huge blocks. No judge is going to comment on that as long as the saddle fits the horse and rider decently, and doesn't hinder the ability to ride well.

I guess I am just way out of fashion with my old-school brown saddle though :)

AlterBy
Jul. 14, 2011, 09:36 PM
Brown is actually the new black in dressage trend now.

Lots of European are going brown.

And match it with navy blue shadbelly!

Oliver18
Jul. 15, 2011, 09:18 AM
She isn't my trainer . I watched her teach a couple of times and agreed that the girl leasing my horse could take lessons with her . There are some awful trainer were I board my horses . I mean I just have to bite my tounge and shake my head sometimes. Her trainer has a great base she takes lessons her self . I just think it was a comment she heard from someone else and repeated it. About the Brown . I bought the most gorgeous brown Dressage bridle to match ! Now the Navy blue jacket we are doing . Basically I just wanted to make sure it wouldnt be like showing in Rust TS doing the JR Hunters you better have a good round lol . Or you will be for ever known as the rust girl. :winkgrin:

Wayside
Jul. 15, 2011, 09:37 AM
Basically I just wanted to make sure it wouldnt be like showing in Rust TS doing the JR Hunters you better have a good round lol . Or you will be for ever known as the rust girl. :winkgrin:

:lol: Nope, not at all. I used to show hunters as well, and dressage isn't nearly as much of a fashion show. Of course it's important to be clean and conservative and follow the attire rules, but other than that it's not nearly as important to be wearing the "in" colors. Though I suspect that rust breeches would be a fashion don't in dressage as well :lol:

I'd also heard that brown was becoming fashionable again, which is good for me, since a lot of my tack is old enough to have been purchased when it was "in" a couple of decades ago :lol: Generally I stick with brown because I keep my tack forever, and brown tack is still brown as it ages even if the shade changes some, but some of the black tacks gets kind of greyish and dingy looking.

carolprudm
Jul. 15, 2011, 10:40 AM
Hey, I LIKE rust....it doesn't show clay stains.

But, without looking at the rules don't breeches have to be a light color, the better to show all sorts of stains?

Wayside
Jul. 15, 2011, 10:47 AM
Hey, I LIKE rust....it doesn't show clay stains.

But, without looking at the rules don't breeches have to be a light color, the better to show all sorts of stains?

I think you're right about the light colored breeches, though I didn't actually wade through the rule book again either.

But I completely agree with you about actually liking the darker colored breeches. We don't have much clay around here, though, so most of my schooling breeches are either "fawn" or "chocolate", so medium to dark brown :lol:

And I have seen people wear rust breeches and polo shirts for some of the smaller schooling shows around here. If it's the kind of schooling show where you don't have to wear a jacket, you can totally wear rust breeches. Same with clinics.

Oliver18
Jul. 15, 2011, 12:02 PM
[QUOTE=Wayside;5720922]:lol: Nope, not at all. I used to show hunters as well, and dressage isn't nearly as much of a fashion show. Of course it's important to be clean and conservative and follow the attire rules, but other than that it's not nearly as important to be wearing the "in" colors. Though I suspect that rust breeches would be a fashion don't in dressage as well :lol:

Thanks I am conservative/old school wow that sounds odd me being 31 :) I want to blend in and be respectful of the new disapline we are trying out .I was using the rust breeches as an example . She is doing starter rider I did some looking around for attire rules via USEF and the local dresage for NJ (ECDSF) I thinK East Coast Dressage .....?

However I am having a very hard time with putting Bling Brow band on lol .My little man is an OTTB 15.3 finding a cav to fit his head was hard some are so wide and so padded . I found one on Ebay and took a chance ! Amazing lovely quality bridle .Again thank you so much for all your Help!!!

alto
Jul. 15, 2011, 01:10 PM
Even at schooling shows, most dressage riders will be dressed in light breeches (green tint, brown tint is fine) & neat overall so if you want to not stand out ... :lol:

Alot of the older saddles (check the serial number as that generally includes the year of manufacture) are less sticky than modern saddles BUT they tend to wear like iron :yes:
- leather tanning process was different in those days as was the quality of the unfinished leather & saddles were built much closer contact so less foam between the rider & the horse (it is easier to feel what the horse is doing in this type of saddle).

Any dressage saddle is going to feel different than your hunt saddle & it will take some time to develop the different muscles: obviously a dressage saddle with a very deep seat & substantial front & back blocks will "lock you in", so is much easier for transitioning riders or recreational riders IF the seat size is correct & the blocks are suited to your leg - if they don't fit, you'll be pushed into a chair seat or forward seat etc.

The older, flatter seat saddles allow the rider more freedom & work better for more than one rider on a given horse BUT the learning curve is alot steeper :)
Give it a couple months (or 6 depending how often you ride) & then see how you like the saddle.
I'm not sure what the twist is on the Continental but if you email County with the serial number they should be able to provide you details on the saddle.


Personally I can't imagine being a leaser & complaining about the saddle after the horse owner bought all this alternate discipline stuff for my sake :eek:

carolprudm
Jul. 15, 2011, 02:10 PM
Personally I can't imagine being a leaser & complaining about the saddle after the horse owner bought all this alternate discipline stuff for my sake :eek:

LOL, especially a saddle as nice as a County, even an older one

Koniucha
Jul. 15, 2011, 03:06 PM
I just wanted to add that I have the same saddle, a 1988 County Continental, and I love it! I adore the color as well. It was pure luck and meant to be, I got it off of craigslist in Maryland (I live in AZ) for $130.00 with shipping. Fits me and my new mare like a glove!

ETA: I also have a navy dressage coat!

Hampton Bay
Jul. 15, 2011, 05:38 PM
For schooling shows at the intro/training level, you will probably see people in close contact and all purpose saddles as well. SO tell her if she doesn't like the dressage saddle, to just use your jump saddle. Most schooling shows don't require a jacket. In FL, many people wore dark breeches and a polo, so even light breeches are optional for a schooling show. Just be neat and tidy with the horse nicely groomed.