View Full Version : saddle suggestions for a petite rider

May. 26, 2012, 01:36 PM
I am adult ammy pleasure rider, I ride out of a h/j barn right now, but I like to "play" in low level hunters, jumpers, as well as eventing and dressage.

I have a close contact jumping saddle right now. I am planning on keeping my jumping saddle, but I would love to invest in a dressage saddle as well. My jumping saddle has a very short foward flap that isn't always ideal on the flat. I am 5'1" with very short legs, so I'm looking for a dressage saddle that wont eat up my whole leg.

I am looking to go the used route and would prefer to stay within my $1300 budget. I sat in some dressage saddles at the used tack store, and found that most flaps came down to my ankle.

Ideally, where should the bottom of the flap on a dressage saddle be on my leg? What brands make saddle better suited to short riders?


May. 26, 2012, 02:03 PM
2/3 up the calf, or at least a hands width below the top of your boot.

Look at Italian brands. I'm your opposite (think gumby amazon goddess lol) and I can't fit into any Italian brands.
You'd probably love prestige

May. 26, 2012, 02:44 PM
Vega (Amerigo) make a smaller fitting saddle (just like their clothing lines :lol: ), eg 17 saddle will have a 16 flap as "standard"

Prestige :confused: IME sits rather more generously than Vega & has a longer flap, eg 17 saddle will have 17 flap as "standard"

County - seat generousity varies between models, 17 saddle will usually have a 16 "standard" flap (the Fusion has a longer standard flap); I have an old 16.5 Competitor with a 15.5 flap (standard at the time for that model)

Most "short" flaps are ~1" shorter than a company's "standard" flap

Beval still has a Natura dressage (http://www.beval.com/Products/Natura-Dressage/4730000.aspx) saddle listed.

Try to find the junior dressage models from a given company - Stubben has the Juventus (but only a single seat size now), Prestige the Lucky (http://www.sportshorseservices.co.uk/prestige-lucky-dressage-saddle-16-436-p.asp) (do read the desrciption :lol: ), Passier the Young Champ (http://www.bahrsaddlery.com/for-the-horse/tack/saddles-1/dressage/passier-young-champ.html) ...

This site (http://www.satula.com/?id=20&l=2)has some interesting photos of saddles on a short backed horse.

ETA Trilogy's Debbie McDonald is made for a smaller rider but unlikley to find one in your price range.

Mad Mare
May. 26, 2012, 03:27 PM
This is the third or fourth time this question has been posted in the past month or so. Twice this week alone.

You didn't specify a seat size, but the Thornhill "Shannon" model is a kids dressage saddle. Might be ideal for you and they are pretty cheap at $349 new.



May. 26, 2012, 05:19 PM
I have an HDR Rivella Paris dressage saddle in a 16.5 that fits me well at 5'3". You will definetly need a 16 1/2 or even smaller depending on the brand.

May. 26, 2012, 05:31 PM
This is the third or fourth time this question has been posted in the past month or so. Twice this week alone.

You didn't specify a seat size, but the Thornhill "Shannon" model is a kids dressage saddle. Might be ideal for you and they are pretty cheap at $349 new.



When shopping at this price level (especially when the saddle is marketed as "youth") ASK questions about the tree & what is in the panels, what is the weight rating for the saddle & expected use????

I've no experience with this particular saddle but having met it's cousins, I'd want answers before using the saddle on my horse ...

As always, make certain that the tree fits your horse properly.

May. 26, 2012, 07:08 PM
I'm not certain but doesn't trilogy make a saddle for petite riders? Of course you would need to find one used.

May. 27, 2012, 11:36 AM
a lot of the petite riders at my barn ride in 16" Prestige 2000Ds and seem to be happy with them. The Trilogy Debbie McDonald is specifically designed for the petite rider (and all their other saddles can be made with short flaps and other options)

May. 27, 2012, 02:33 PM
I love smaller chelderics!! Prestiege is my second. I am 4'10 my thighs are longer than my proportions so depending on the saddle 16.5-18" saddles. I am also plus sized if tgat helps. Now just need the money to match my tastes

May. 30, 2012, 09:56 PM
I have a Passier Grand Gilbert with custom short flaps. I got it when I was 8 years old, and it is a lovely saddle. Passier saddles are great quality and really put you in a good position. My trainer swears by Passier and she has an Antares. They are both lovely saddles.



May. 31, 2012, 09:41 AM
Piadosa -- you have a PM

May. 31, 2012, 10:11 AM
I'm 5'1 and bought an old Stubben Tristen from another COTH member. She's tall, but I'd been wanting to try one and they aren't often up for sale! The flap is definitely longer than ideal - in this pic I'm handily wearing shorts which scrunched inside my boots and my pants pulled up so you can see the bottom of the pants, which is right were the end of the flap hits. It doesn't keep me from using my leg at all, and the fact the flap is a bit straighter is a HUGE help for me.
http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/472641_828097199416_510683_35121328_931171480_o.jp g
Regardless of seat size, typically dressage saddles have flaps which are too far forward for me and put me in a chair seat if they're used saddles. At your price range, I'd suggest a used nicer saddle rather than new and lower quality.

I'm hoping my horse stops outgrowing saddles at some point so I can go up in price range, but since we've been through three in two years because of his topline developing I'm not ready to buy a new one yet. But I still drool over the idea of a new Genesis Special. I prefer no blocks or padding because they never fit me right, but the ones on this saddle at least hit in the right spot so the dip in the saddle from being broken in by people whose legs reach doesn't suck my legs forward to my horse's ears.

May. 31, 2012, 09:23 PM
I'm about your size - depending on how much you have to spend - My first dressage saddle was a Neidersuss symphony to start with, which is about 2K new or 1K used. Their normal flaps are shorter than a normal dressage saddle but they also can be ordered with short flaps. This is a good first dressage saddle, as it's not very deep. Give it a try to see if if you like the saddle and it fits your horse. I currently have a Trilogy Debbie MacDonald Special. These saddles are specifically designed for petite riders. New about 3700 or used about 2500 depending on the condition. See if there is a dealer in your area they will come out and let your try the saddles and you can determine if this is the right saddle for you and your horse. Good luck!

Jun. 1, 2012, 12:45 PM
I'm 4'11" and my Baines Elegance with the 17" seat fits very well with the normal flap. Although they are difficult to find used, its a really great saddle if you can find one.

If you do a search on Ebay and add 'short flap' to your search terms, you may get some hits, like this one.


Jun. 1, 2012, 12:52 PM
I'm 5'3" but have most of my height in my torso. I currently ride in a 16.5" Luc Childeric, which is a monoflap. After riding in a 17", liking it and deciding I needed a 16.5", I found a very nice used one, but it took a LOT of hunting online. Infact, when I did find one, the woman at the tack shop said, "you know this is small right?...like really small."
Personally, as a short person, I like monoflap saddles because they generally have shorter flaps and that was important to me.

Perfect Pony
Jun. 2, 2012, 10:31 AM
A gal at the barn about your size with a large pony has a Stubben Juventus on trial from the Stubben rep and just ordered one. It's a lovely saddle and very inexpensive, I have seen them in like new condition for less than $1000. I think they are pretty inexpensive new.

A Stubben rep can bring one to your barn to try.

Jun. 2, 2012, 10:37 AM
A Stubben rep can bring one to your barn to try.
Except the OP is in Canada so Bonne Chance on that one :rolleyes: