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  1. #1
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Default Saddles: Deep vs. shallow seats and fitness: Eq Princesses please make a ruling? #19

    Vbunny-- OMG! You are right and I have tried. I can't tell you how much I have spent having likely candidates shipped to me in the Sticks of NY (and back)! I do need to sit in many more, I suppose, but that's hard in the saddling desert.

    mortabella throws down the gauntlet!....(Man Up via sit ups and ride the flattie)

    And superpony123 takes it back up (Really, the right equipment ain't cheating)

    So I need a form and function ruling from the Eq Princesses. Can you guys break the tie?

    This is an aesthetic game and your pretty saddles are anatomically the closest thing out there to the venerable, hallmark of the American style PdN. Minimalist are the "living fossils" of the saddle world. Don't knock the sharks and crocodiles and turtles of the saddle world. They have been successful species for a very long time. Remember that huge trellis oxer and Touch of Class in the 1984 Olympics? I believe a very little Hermes or some such saddle was part of that picture. There was not bucket-y seatbelt-toting saddle involved.

    I also asked Horseboy what he thought. He said "Well, you don't suck. You did ok in the old Pessoa GenX you borrowed. But see this acre of grass? It's all mine and I don't have time for your questions. Just work it out." He's very little help.

    But he did say that Crosby, Butet and Hermes had no idea how to build a saddle that would fit him. He also let me know that if I spent $4K or more on a saddle that pleased me that could only be with money embezzled from the all-important peppermint fund. "Expect legal action the first time you put that ornament on my back" he said.
    Last edited by mvp; Jun. 10, 2009 at 10:34 PM.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    One more thought in my saddle hunt. Am I doing myself a favor or disservice by choosing a deeper seat?

    I grew up in the PdN era (thank God), but have since spent time riding in some deeper, bucket-like saddles. These do make sitting the trot easier, in part perhaps because the big cantle helps put my booty back in the middle of my horse with each stride. No need for strong abs. But as I buy the new one, The Last One, I want to know if I would ultimately be happier in a more shallow seat, some pilates and/or sit ups in the mix.

    Any thoughts on the depth of your saddle's seat and core strength? How about the reality of converting back from deep to shallow when one is old and employed at a desk job?
    The Last One?

    For sure the deeper seat means you have to rely less on your core to stay centered in the saddle. But, and I know you'd know I'd say this - slacking off with your core is detrimental to the rest of your riding. Dressage folks sit in really deep seats, compared to Hunter folks, but rely almost entirely on their core.

    I think a flatter or deeper seat largely depends on the horse as well. My WB gelding needs a more in-the-saddle ride, and no doubt the TB mare will need a lighter seat ride, so I may find that a flatter seat is better for me *on her*, but not as good for me *on him*.

    In the end I think you have to get whatever puts you in the right position and you feel secure in. Some people HATE feeling "trapped" in even a half-deep seat. Others feel like they're on a slab of leather on a flat seat. But aside from that, your core is the, errr, core of your riding, so you can't ignore that
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2000
    Location
    Dallas, Texas usa
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    Default

    I made a significant investment on my last saddle - thinking it would be "the one" that I would keep forever, etc. Custom Devoucoux, buffalo leather, etc. BEAUTIFUL saddle. The mare I had wasn't "strangely" built or anything, so felt like it would work for any other horses I got. It was a fairly deep seated model - comfy and good for my "getting older by the minute" self.

    One year later, new horse. Saddle isn't a TERRIBLE fit - I could probably get it re-done for him...BUT it rode completely different for me! New horse has a terrific hind end, with a powerful kick - the deep seat of my beloved Devoucoux, instead of adding security - ended up making it really difficult to stay with his jump! After getting launched repeatedly, I started trying other saddles. The difference was amazing. Ended up with a much flatter CWD, ( in fact I was sure I would NOT be able to stay put in it ) but it works much better for new horse's jumping style - I am way more secure in it than the deeper seated Dev. (It also fits new horse perfectly)

    Still, I was sooooo sad to sell the Devoucoux.

    I know I always thought deep seat = more security. Didn't work out that way for me.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2006
    Location
    SoCal
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    Default

    I agree with JB. A strong core is essential for riding. That said, saddles are just a matter of taste. For me, a deeper seat does provide more security on the flat and aids in the sitting trot as well. Over fences, a deep seat for me is hell. It is like sitting in a bucket and I have to fight myself to get out. So, you just need to find that balance. Oh, and what fits your horse. Welcome, to the fun world of saddle shopping.
    Become a Posse and help keep kids on horses and off the streets.
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  5. #5
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    Nov. 23, 2007
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    Wherever Horses Are...
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    Default

    I see your points here. BUT I purchased a New Butet with a FLAT seat and love it . I grew up riding in a flat seat Prix De Nations and this gives me the same feeling.
    I love it over fences and even on the flat it is nice .
    Would not change anything about it .
    "YOU create your own stage. The audience is waiting."



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2008
    Posts
    1,938

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie View Post
    I made a significant investment on my last saddle - thinking it would be "the one" that I would keep forever, etc. Custom Devoucoux, buffalo leather, etc. BEAUTIFUL saddle. The mare I had wasn't "strangely" built or anything, so felt like it would work for any other horses I got. It was a fairly deep seated model - comfy and good for my "getting older by the minute" self.

    One year later, new horse. Saddle isn't a TERRIBLE fit - I could probably get it re-done for him...BUT it rode completely different for me! New horse has a terrific hind end, with a powerful kick - the deep seat of my beloved Devoucoux, instead of adding security - ended up making it really difficult to stay with his jump! After getting launched repeatedly, I started trying other saddles. The difference was amazing. Ended up with a much flatter CWD, ( in fact I was sure I would NOT be able to stay put in it ) but it works much better for new horse's jumping style - I am way more secure in it than the deeper seated Dev. (It also fits new horse perfectly)

    Still, I was sooooo sad to sell the Devoucoux.

    I know I always thought deep seat = more security. Didn't work out that way for me.
    this is a really good point! my own saddle is a medium-deepish seat, which is very comfortable and works great for me, haven't noticed that it ever resulted in a weaker core! however, i've had a similar experience to the above poster when riding horses that really pop their backs o/f in a deeper-seated saddle. it is WAY harder to stay with that type of jump in a deeper seat, i've even gotten caught in the butt with the cantle a few times. so definitely consider pony's movement when choosing seat shape.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2000
    Posts
    76

    Default

    I ride in two saddles on a consistent basis - a wide tree Northrun Ashland II, which is considered to have a "deep" seat, and a regular tree Beval Devon, which has a pretty flat seat.

    Can't say that I notice any difference in the depths of the seats - it's more of an overall difference in the saddles (I'm not sure if it's the saddle or the wide horse that makes the Northrun super-comfy!). I thought I wouldn't like the Beval b/c it seems sooo flat compared to the deeper seated of the cc saddles I'm used to, but I have not even noticed it.

    Buy what feels most comfortable!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2008
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    Default

    I prefer a flatter seat. I've got a long thigh so having a flatter seat gives me a bit more wiggle room without having the cantle hitting be in the behind over fences.



  9. #9
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Default Confession

    So here's the shameful confession that got this started. I tried a couple of County Stabilizers recently and found them way too flat for the sitting trot. Right then and there I knew I was old. I knew I was weak. I knew I was a slacker.

    So what do you buy in this sorry state of affairs? In other words, will I get re-accustomed and re-strengthened riding in without a big ol' cantle to help me, or will I be shamed and reminded of my mortality every damned day by my flat saddle?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  10. #10
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    So here's the shameful confession that got this started. I tried a couple of County Stabilizers recently and found them way too flat for the sitting trot. Right then and there I knew I was old. I knew I was weak. I knew I was a slacker.
    Did you try the Stabilizer XTR? I ask because although they're supposed to be the same saddle with different leather, they were different for me. Not terribly noticable, but here's what I found:
    XTR was a 17.5 but I found it no bigger-feeling than the 17" S
    S was better for my posting, but not as nice for sitting the canter
    XTR was better for sitting the canter, but a leeeetle less than perfect for posting the trot.

    So, there IS something different about them, with, IMLE, the XTR being a smidge better for sitting.

    So what do you buy in this sorry state of affairs? In other words, will I get re-accustomed and re-strengthened riding in without a big ol' cantle to help me, or will I be shamed and reminded of my mortality every damned day by my flat saddle?
    I think it depends on what you *want* to do. I have no doubt that you can get a higher level of riding fitness, but you have to want to. If you just want to have fun and not work so hard, then a deeper seat with higher pommel and cantle might be the better thing

    But to that end, the right saddle should make it easier

    Oh, and it's not shameful! I rode in my Dressage saddle for almost 6 months before sitting in another CC saddle. When the BC came for me to try, I felt comfy, but very, VERY vulnerable, and told my saintly pony there would be NO funny stuff, not even a trip. Very odd, never felt anything like that. But 3 test rides later and I was absolutely at home in the CC again.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  11. #11
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    Jul. 10, 2008
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    Default

    If you are going to have to use the saddle for flat as well as over fences it has to be comfortable for both. If it's not then it's not the right saddle for you and your search will have to continue (Sorry!)



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2001
    Posts
    1,059

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    So here's the shameful confession that got this started. I tried a couple of County Stabilizers recently and found them way too flat for the sitting trot. Right then and there I knew I was old. I knew I was weak. I knew I was a slacker.

    So what do you buy in this sorry state of affairs? In other words, will I get re-accustomed and re-strengthened riding in without a big ol' cantle to help me, or will I be shamed and reminded of my mortality every damned day by my flat saddle?
    It *might * not have to do with seat depth. My sister has a County and I Can Not Ride in that saddle--sitting the trot is disastrous. In my case, it's the wide twist of the Stabilizer that sets my legs wrong and interferes with my ability to wrap around the horse and find a sweet spot. I can ride in a flat seat, narrow twist saddle--like the aforementioned Butet--and am much more stable.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    15,460

    Default Answering specific questions and making sh!te up

    JB (thanks as always for rushing in to help with saddling, sister!)-- I rode in the standard Stabilizer and had my very sad come-uppance in that puppy. Several saddles later, I rode in an XTR. As far as I can tell, the only structural difference between the two is the more forward flap.

    I think that would help at the canter, but not at the trot. (This is where I make up crap about human anatomy and biomechanics). It seems to me that riding with your legs more forward isn't a huge problem for sitting the canter. For very long-strided beast, it may even make that easier for someone who basically knows how to relax and follow with the hiney. You whole pelvis can follow a longer, slower more or less front to back arc.

    For what it's worth, I don't require orthopedic help from a saddle to sit the canter.

    Trotting, my friends, is a different kettle of fish, at least biomechanically. It seems to me that the arc one's pelvis might make here is shorter but much quicker and has jarring points at either end. Think of your butt as the weight at the end of a pendulum.

    I'm a short chick, so if I may whine and seek an excuse, the comparatively little distance from my belly button to the bottom of my pelvis means I have to move more and with that of-so-cultivated combination of strength, feel and relaxation that lets us sit the trot at all than you tall drinks of water.
    Ask the little DQ on the tall, big-moving WB she bought and can't ride what I mean. See the bitching about ammies who cramp their horses' movement just to stay on them.

    By the way, I'm all about the low pommel, hence my derogatory comment about bucket-like saddles. You guys have been helpful, however, in reminding me that it's not fun to be chased over the jump by a tall cantle. I'll actually go to the gym before I chose a saddle that does that just 'cause I want some help at the sitting trot.
    Last edited by mvp; Jun. 10, 2009 at 04:20 PM.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  14. #14
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    mvp, I get a lot of giggles out of your posts on this subject! I mean that in a good way!

    We really do need that dinner. And a bottle of whine, er, I mean, wine

    I fully understand what you mean, and sympathize.

    By chance have you tried a PJ?
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  15. #15
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Default PJ saddles

    I even owned a PJ Light for a while. Wide banana-shaped tree plus foam panels didn't work for Horseling, even in his younger, wider days. Rocking front to back when I posted was a serious and intractable structural problem in the saddle that caused our break up. The sissy french calf on the seat also didn't go with my redneck, jeans-n-full-full-chaps-wearing life style.

    The other big problem here is, once again, my vanity. Horseling isn't fancy enough to really do the hunters in Olympic style, but he is the brokest thing ever, so I want to go to the Old Lady Eq Olympics instead.... That's if my horse's campaign for behind-the-leg-but-otherwise-carrying-himself being added to the Olympic roster doesn't pan out. I do have a faboo western equitation bucket that lets me sit just fine, thank you.

    So my vanity says get a spare, flat saddle 'cause it looks good. Too bad me flapping around on top doesn't complement the pretty equipment.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  16. #16

    Default

    Maybe just try a whole bunch of different saddles and see what works for you? I just bought a new to me Hermes after trying every available saddle I could, deep, flat, in between... I even tried a very nice, and visually very similar seat to the Hermes, Crosby PDN that I almost bought - until I tried hacking out in it. Yikes, it was. I love this Hermes though, it just happens to work better for me. If I were you I would beg, borrow and steal every saddle I could until I found "the one" and then locate an available one.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 29, 2008
    Posts
    1,020

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    Nobody asked for my 2 cents' but that's never stopped me: I think you're not gonna be satisfied til you can get back in your flattie and kick it old school. So get thee to the ab crunches already! Anybody can do it when they're YOUNG, for pity's sake. I'm not impressed by the young at all. Only those who really rock still do this crazy crap when they're old. Ask me how old and pitiful I am sometime, and how much a$$ I USED to kick. But you know what? I'm WORKIN' on it. And I'll work on it til I die, or til Hossifer just finally kicks me in the head one day. Even if I keep getting WORSE because I'm just gettin' OLDER every day. 'Cause after 30 years with no horse, there really is no option to live like that EVER again. So I'll just keep working, even if I suck MORE every day. Now if THAT doesn't make you feel better about YOUR situation, I GIVE UP!!! So get your core strength back and go ride that flat saddle!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Posts
    255

    Default

    MVP - You should consider the Stubben Edelweiss. I bought one a couple of months ago and it is fabulous. It has a half-deep seat, a narrow twist and fits short people. I am just under 5'1" and I bought a 16.5" deluxe version. I had previously ridden in a Jimmy's 20th Century. I can't say enough good things about the Edelweiss. Also, it has turned a really beautiful color using the Stubben conditioner. Hamanol.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2007
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    NJ
    Posts
    3,389

    Default

    trust me--having a deep seat is not "cheating" or not using your core. take note of how dressage riders ride in super deep seats compared to us hunter people, but it's fair to say that they have better cores than us, on average. i have a slightly deep seat on my saddle, but its barely considered deep. i dont want to feel closed in, but it just happened to be the saddle that fit me and my pony when i bought it. i wasn't looking based on seat preference, though i have found that i prefer this much more than anything else i've ridden in. you should be working on your core when riding no matter what type of seat you ride in. and really, on a super bouncy horse, it does help a little, but again that's where the core comes in--its going to be just as bouncy no matter what if you arent developed in the core, so you have to keep yourself in shape in that area
    (|--Sarah--|)

    Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,460

    Default And the Eq-centric ruling?

    Vbunny-- OMG! You are right and I have tried. I can't tell you how much I have spent having likely candidates shipped to me in the Sticks of NY (and back)! I do need to sit in many more, I suppose, but that's hard in the saddling desert.

    mortabella throws down the gauntlet!....(Man Up via sit ups and ride the flattie)

    And superpony123 takes it back up (Really, the right equipment ain't cheating)

    So I need a form and function ruling from the Eq Princesses. Can you guys break the tie?

    This is an aesthetic game and your pretty saddles are anatomically the closest thing out there to the venerable, hallmark of the American style PdN. Minimalist are the "living fossils" of the saddle world. Don't knock the sharks and crocodiles and turtles of the saddle world. They have been successful species for a very long time. Remember that huge trellis oxer and Touch of Class in the 1984 Olympics? I believe a very little Hermes or some such saddle was part of that picture. There was not bucket-y seatbelt-toting saddle involved.

    I also asked Horseboy what he thought. He said "Well, you don't suck. You did ok in the old Pessoa GenX you borrowed. But see this acre of grass? It's all mine and I don't have time for your questions. Just work it out." He's very little help.

    But he did say that Crosby, Butet and Hermes had no idea how to build a saddle that would fit him. He also let me know that if I spent $4K or more on a saddle that pleased me that could only be with money embezzled from the all-important peppermint fund. "Expect legal action the first time you put that ornament on my back" he said.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



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