View Full Version : Saddle Frustration and position
Nov. 6, 2011, 09:36 PM
Does anyone get frustrated when looking at new saddles? Seems like everyone has a different one they like/don't like. Trying to decided between treeless, different brands, etc. is driving me nuts.:eek:...not to mention price. My saddles are all old and I have to say I was shocked at the prices. I want to try a newer one but am totally lost.
I love the old Crosby but seem to have a problem getting my legs in the correct position. No matter how hard I try, my feet are too far forward. I ride in two different Crosbys on two different horses and have this issue with both. I am wondering if a padded knee roll would help? I think part of the problem is that for a good part of my riding experience I rode a horse that wanted to kill me so I got used to a very defensive position. Now I can't seem to correct it...I am so frustrated at myself!!
Nov. 6, 2011, 10:10 PM
I am continuously frustrated by my lack of a nice cushy saddle haha. I have a FLAT Beval Devon and dislike it intensely. Everyone thinks its a "lovely" saddle but having ridden in a Butet, CWD, and Antares now I can say I would certainly prefer a CWD or Antares with knee blocks and calf blocks. It takes some getting used to though I think. The ride you get in a saddle with the extras is different. Do you have the opportunity to try someones saddle out? I think that will greatly help you decide for sure on if you want the knee blocks or not.
Nov. 6, 2011, 10:22 PM
I just finished saddle shopping! Where I am there aren't any good tack stores. The couple that we do have generally don't have what I'm looking for or anything in a smaller size. That leaves me to have to do my shopping online. I made my carpal tunnel worse while saddle shopping because I spent so much time on the computer looking for the perfect saddle and the perfect price. Shipping back and forth across the country is expensive and a pain in the butt. Not to mention if the saddle comes and doesn't work out I have to send it back. I had found a used Collegiate that I bought from the local store. It was really too long in the flap but I bought it anyway. I ended up fighting with it the whole time I was riding. There was something about it that made it so I just couldn't canter in it. I don't really have a trainer so I have to rely on my friend at the barn that is a trainer. But she just ignored me most of the time and didn't help. I ended up selling this saddle after a couple weeks and ended up with a used Antares. 2 actually. Good deals I couldn't pass up, what can I say. Just got one of the sold. I totally love the Antares. Aside from having had Beval's the last few years the only other high end saddle I have tried is a Delgrange. Sadly for my husband I am now only riding in Antares. Unless I try a CWD at some point and love it too. Either way, they will be expensive, though with those I try to buy used. I always have my eyes out for a nice saddle but I have its kind of the same rule as with the horse, I can get a new one, but have to sell the one I have first.
Nov. 6, 2011, 10:43 PM
First, is this saddle fits your horse?
Second, is this saddle well balanced on your horse's back?
Third, is the saddle fits you?
If not, that is probably why you are having problems with your legs.
Blocks, pads or no pads, that won't change a dime if the saddle doesn't confirm to all of the above.
Save money, get a saddle good fitter!
Nov. 7, 2011, 07:25 PM
Thanks. I notice a lot of saddle dealers will actually offer a trial period too. I have never ridden in any saddles with pads. All my Crosbys are the old style with just a plain leather flap. I have been looking at Tad Coffin as this is what my trainer loves. I worry about it fitting my girl. My understanding is that it fits many horses if you use the pads? I just hate to make such a large investment and then not like it!!
Nov. 8, 2011, 10:37 AM
I'm not a saddle extraordinaire, but I WILL offer that my Prestige jumping saddle puts my leg forward if I'm not careful (I'm not a beginner or an intermediate really). I offered my saddle once for a green bean beginner lesson - DISASTER. TOTAL chair seat. Different saddles DO ride differently.. there's talk somewhere on here about the stirrup bar placement as well if you do a search, might be enlightening/help/insightful.
My advice - research, ask here :) , research, research, research, and if you can do trials, go for it! (or ride in it first before you buy it). And as stated above, once you think the saddle is the one, get a saddle fitter or a very knowledgeable friend out to make sure it IS the one :) . Good Luck!
Nov. 8, 2011, 10:47 AM
I love my bought new Prestige saddle and found it actually helped me get my leg back in the correct position. I suppose it depends on the flap size and body type. I also love that the tree is adjustable so as my boy grows, can keep this saddle...or so I hope.
I went with Prestige after trying multiple Devoucoux/CWD's and could not get my leg in right spot and was fighting my position. And wow are the Devoucoux comfy and so wanted one to work out. Guess it wasn't in the cards.
Like the OP, I was shipping back and forth and at my breaking point and then my Michel Robert arrived. Aaaahhhh.
Nov. 8, 2011, 10:48 AM
Saddle fit is soooo individual that I've found you really cannot use anyone else's feedback on what works for them to extrapolate to what will work for you. Even if the other person is your exact height and weight and riding a similar horse, there are too many other variables at play. I've just finished up what seemed like an endless saddle search (nearly a year). I'd start with determining what general type of saddle you like. I concentrated on close contact saddles with a flatish seat and not huge knee rolls as that's what I tend to feel most comfortable in. Then I rode in EVERYTHING I could get my hands on. Borrowed saddles from other folks in the barn, brought home saddles from every tack shop that allowed trials. Finally brought home an older Devoucoux Socoa that felt great and I wasn't fighting the saddle at all! The flap, however, was too short for my long legs. But, knowing what I liked, I eventually found the same saddle on eBay, but with a longer flap...bingo!
And, yeah, different saddles of the same make/model/size/year may be slightly different, so doing the eBay route is still a risk, I make sure I get a good enough price that I have a good chance of reselling it should it be not quite right.
I don't think there is any shortcut to just riding in as many saddles as you can, even ones that you think you might not like, you never know which will do the trick until you sit in it.
Nov. 8, 2011, 11:13 AM
I just finished and received (after 60 days) my new saddle. I've always been a Stubben fan and people I have noticed either love them or hate them. They do have different seats within their available models and I felt the difference each time I rode in one. Especially with the different tree twists, narrow or wide. My older saddle was a Stubben Artus, now discontinued in US, and I love it. It has a half deep seat but as I ride I have to over compensate to lean back to be able to sit back in the saddle. Necessary when I have to ask my horse to shorten and add strides in between the fences. After trying them all I ended up getting a Roxane with a larger seat than I was accustomed to and a deeper seat as well. It’s fantastic. Probably is it naturally puts me in the right place and I’m so use to forcing myself back to sit deep I have the opposite problem and lean forward....oye. But I definitely recommend Stubben! The leather is super soft and it wasn’t even the deluxe version. But it also really boils down to the type of riding and what fits both you and your horse best!
Nov. 8, 2011, 11:16 AM
I also have an older Crosby. I purchased this saddle specifically because it was the older-style pancake that really illustrates your weaknesses and encourages you to really tighten up and become a better rider.
The problem is, however, that it doesn't do any good if it puts you in a chair seat, like it did to me (and sounds like is happening to you). The reason the saddle put me in a chair seat was because it was too narrow for my horses. My guess, then, would be that the Crosbys might just be too narrow for you horses (or don't fit in some other way).
And as said, saddle fit is a really individual thing. You will really need to ride in several saddles to find what will fit you and your horses.
Nov. 8, 2011, 12:17 PM
I did the same think you are doing, those old school PDNS are flat and tend to run very narrow. I had the opportunity to try several when I finaly bit the bullet and went shopping. Our local tack shop - farm house tack (http://www.farmhousetack.com) has TONS of used saddles, so I got to try everything on my horse at home with the great trial policy. I ended up with the Amerigo DJ and me and my horse love it. Its deeper than the crosby by far, but now that im older and have wrecked a few joints along the way, I relaly like the knee and thigh blocks they help keep the leg that no longer wants to cooperate where it needs to be so I can think about other things.
But if you really really want to stay with the flat seat, and arent afraid to invest some searious $ then I would say a butet flat seat saddle is probably the way you want to go, they feel similar, but the the butet has the padded knee rolls and some small blocks as well. . i kinda think they run a little narrow also, so you might want to think of a medium wide or a wide if you are worried about the tree fit. Plus the butets really hold there value, so if you wanted to sell it after a while you should be able to get a good price for it. I think FHT had a few when I was in there last week for yet another set of bell boots.. - I swear my horse eats those things....
Nov. 8, 2011, 09:22 PM
Ride in everything you can. When you ride in the right saddle you will know. It's frustrating I know and you'll here so many different things from different people but the bottom line is when you ride in the right saddle it is heaven.
Nov. 8, 2011, 10:17 PM
Well, even with different saddle preferences, everyone seems to agree that tying them out is the key. From what I can tell, my current saddle seems to fit my girl who although is an OTTB, could pass for a quarter horse. She isn't extremely broad but more in the middle. If I could figure it out, I'd attach a pic;). There is plenty of clearance at the pomel and I always watch for the dry spots when I take the saddle off. I wish there was a good saddle person who could actually show me and confirm what I am saying. I have watched the online videos but it's just not the same.
I didn't mention it before but I have a metal cage and screws in my spine that have affected my balance from left to right. I am not sure to what degree but I have nerve damage on my left side so my right is much stronger. I refuse to let that stop me but at the same time, I have to admit I have certain things that don't work the same anymore. I have tried to do a lot of posting trot to help but even tonight I can look down and see about half my foot!