Another saddle search – is there a jump saddle out there that fits like my dressage s
I don’t know if I’ve read every saddle thread, but I’ve read a lot of them. Last year, got lots of good info that helped me find the one true dressage saddle, which is my Albion SLK Ultima. It fits me (short, chubby) great, and fits both my horses (wide pear shapes) with appropriate pads, and best of all, I feel REALLY SECURE in it, which is great because my mare will spook and drop a shoulder in a heartbeat. I also really like the twist because I feel really close to the horse. I can’t feel the stirrup buckles at all, either.
But I haven’t been so fortunate in my quest for the one true jumping saddle this year. I would like to do just a little jumping now and then – maybe be able to go to a local hunter show or do a tadpole combined test or something. I was thinking more of an event-type saddle rather than a close contact because of my security issues.
After all my research I was thinking of the deeper seat more thigh block/knee pad versions of Antares, Devoucoux, or Amerigo, or an Albion Kontrol or Prestige Eventer. Maybe one of the Black Country models. I wasn’t considering the monoflaps because most have very forward flaps and they don’t seem as secure. I was hoping to avoid the $$$ and difficulties of having various saddles shipped on trial. VTO is within driving distance, and they had the Prestige. Sat on it in the store and it seemed to fit my leg really well, so I took one home on trial.
BIG disappointment. How do you people ride in these short billet saddles? I can so feel all that stuff under my thigh – the girth buckles and the cover flap, and the stirrup buckles. Felt perched like a monkey, too, although the balance felt right cantering in a two-point. Didn’t feel secure enough to even try it on the mare – just on her infinitely more reliable little brother.
So, tell me oh wise ones, am I asking too much? Is there no such thing as a jumping saddle that lets my short self stay in balance and feel the horse without causing bruises, but also has soft sticky leather with those big cushy thigh blocks just in case her Highness sees bears in the bushes?
Or is it that I have to suck up it and deal with the fact no jump saddle is going to feel as safe and comfy as my dressage saddle, and hang onto that neck strap?
I have an Albion SLK and an Albion Kontrol. The Kontrol has the short forward flaps and fits my short build well. It's it's very secure and great for riding young horses. I also used to have an Antares and loved it, but it fit my TB well and didn't fit my Connemara cross mare. I tried the Black Country saddles but the balance seemed somehow off for me.
The Prestige eventer comes in a long billet version too. That was the saddle that came to mind as I read your first post, even before you mentioned it. Did the saddle fit the horse? Was it the right size for you? They come in size 16, 17, 18 in regular and long flaps. If the saddle did not fit you or your horse, then it won't feel balanced!
Is there a reason you didn't start with a call to your local Albion rep? If you luck out, your dressage saddle will be built on the same or similar tree to one of the Albion jump saddles. Which means you'll perhaps be able to start there. If it works out with Albion, great. If not, try calling this guy. He's good and he's local to you. http://www.thesaddlefitter.com/
I have an Albion SLK Ultima Dressage Saddle and ended up buying a Prestige Event Saddle for the security. My body type is different than yours, I have a 32" inseam, 5'6", 135 lbs. I don't feel any of what you describe under my leg when I'm riding in it but I purchased a used saddle versus a brand new one. Also, I don't have an extremely long girth on it so I'm using the 3rd or 4th holes from the bottom of the billet straps. I did find that I have to adjust the thigh blocks according to my stirrup length. Having just done a XC Clinic over the weekend, I really thought the saddle lived up to the purpose intended. Plus I still like to have that neckstrap on .
1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
I am short and stumpy, too. I ride in the Black Country Quantum. It has a knee block and a thigh block. I feel very secure in this saddle and it only gets better in time. I am *not* as sensitive as you, so I do not feel the billets underneath me (and the stirrup bar is recessed)....but I am *sure*
you can get long billets added to the saddle.
Sorry I don't know ANYTHING about the Albion jump saddles....but I have an OLD Albion Original Comfort and love it
It sounds to me like part of the story is that you are just not comfortable in the shorter stirrups and the different balance. Might it be possible for you to borrow a saddle for you to ride your steady guy in for a couple of weeks? I think it would help you to get a feel of what a jumping saddle is like. Evaluating a new saddle is hard enough.
You might also consider trying a wintec. They are pretty grippy.
If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket
I have a Wintec Pro Jumping saddle - and I LOVE it. Sadly, it didn't fit my horse, so I went to the Black Country Wexford. It's soft, 'sticky' leather - grippy, beautiful, and comfortable. I would sit in both those models if you can.