I played around with a few searches but didn't come up with anything in the dressage arena so I thought I'd ask even though the saddle question is so ubiquitous. **&@!! saddle shopping!
I have a large pony Arab cross with the "banana" type back, fairly prominent withers, not a whole lot of topline yet. I just found a jump saddle that fits him well, an Amerigo DJ, and I was hoping to be able to use it for flatwork but I'm fighting it more than I expected to (he seems happy - I can't seem to stay back!), so I think I'm going to need to start a dressage saddle search for him.
The two big challenges looking for the jump saddle were his back shape and its length - certain panels hit pressure points too far back or with a distribution that bothered him. I'm a small adult (5'4" 105lbs) and long hip to thigh, so I don't ride in a tiny seat size. My other horse has a 17" Albion SL.
Has anyone had success with well fitting brands or models in a similar situation? Appreciate any suggestions - thanks!
Cannot say that I've had any experiences with a "banana shape." However, I attended a saddle-fitting clinic given by a Master saddler from England. He said that fiberglass trees had the tendency to be "banana shaped." I believe that the Prestige saddle uses that kind of tree, but don't know from experience.
You describe us to a T! I'm a few pounds heavier but have 17.5" saddle. The Black Country Eden with serge panels fits pony perfectly, and I love it. When I'm riding, I forget it's there. It's extremely comfortable and puts me exactly where I need to be. I worked with Trumbull Mtn. Their customer service is outstanding.
Be careful with Passiers. Depending on how dippy your pony's back is, they may bridge. We have an Optimum and can't use it on Pony A but it perfectly fits Pony B who has a very level back. The older Passiers that don't have the gussets may work, but I have never found one of those to try.
Old 80's County competitors or continentals, w/o the gusseted panels. They are awesome, awesome, awesome, wide-ish, a bit cutback and perfect banana shape, fit my banana Morgan very well till he outgrew it. Lovely to ride too. and very easy on the wallet, tons come up on ebay well under $500.
I too have a bridging problem with any and all passier, gusseted or no, but I'm holding out hope that my non-gusseted gg can be modified to fit. Passier is lovely for accommodating a wither though.
I also had a goedicke, and it is true, it did not bridge on my horse at all, infact the reverse, it was too banana shaped. Also, my upswept paneled Barnsby Raven, rocked on my curvy-backed horse. Both the Goedicke and the Barnsby accommodated withers.
My black country gpd bridged badly on my boy and I just recently sold it, it was also not for a high wither, it was for a mutton wither. But BC offers a near infinite array of fit possibilities.
Finally my robert dover crosby freestyle II is a wonderful banana shape, a healthy cutback for a wither, wide in the shoulder and tented along the panels for a roofy back. Lovely lovely lovely saddle to ride.
Hi, I just finished a saddle search. We ended up with the Klasse, but the Windsor Elite was very much liked by the 5 year old Oldenburg boy here, as well as 5 year old Missy Arab mare with not much wither yet and my stocky 8 year old Arab with the long sloping shoulder and high wither. Too bad I don't ride a 17 1/2 or it could have been the winner this round. The leather is English and it has flexible points. The tree had the right amount of banana. You can see pictures of the one we tried at usedsaddles and there are a bunch on Ebay.
For the small one in the group, I used the new Thinline half pad with one set of shims in the front to take up the extra room in the head. Good luck in your search!