If I had my way I'd be showing (schooling shows) in my borrowed Wintec western saddle this year. Yep, you heard me right.
Last year I expended a lot of time and energy finding a dressage saddle that fit my hard-to-fit shark withered guy and that was within my budget. The saddle I found fits him as well as any off the rack saddle does, and I thought I could live with it for me, too. However, after several months I've concluded that I can't, so it's back to the drawing board. On the same--or perhaps even a tighter--budget.
So what's wrong with the current saddle? I feel like it tips me slightly forward, and I've really decided that I don't like the super deep seat.
What do I like about the borrowed western saddle? I like the less deep, more open seat that allows me to easily sit upright.
So, can anyone recommend a dressage saddle to me that has a seat like a Wintec western? Seriously, what saddles out there might have a less deep seat yet still accommodate my horse's shark-fin withers and slightly curved back?
And, FWIW, I read that the new Wintec Pros have a flatter tree and panels than the old ones. But I also read another post that said they were relatively the same and not good for high withers. Do the older Wintec pros have a more curved tree yet still have a less deep seat?
I've not found anything that beats the fit of the old Passiers and Kieffers for this type of horse, personally. And the Passiers seem to be universally liked, even if they are FLAT with no real thigh block. The Kieffers have a very steep pommel, so YOU might not like it if you really prefer the Wintec Western.
xrmn002, I have never tried a Schumacher, but I'll keep my eyes open to see what they look like.
Hampton Bay, I have also heard many people swear by the old Passiers. Hmmmm. I truly thought I'd like the security of the very deep seat, but I find I prefer not feeling locked in. I know I need to go somewhere and sit in a bunch of saddles, but you're right, I may not like a steep pommel.
I'm quite happy to school in the Wintec western. My horse likes it, and I just post (and sit) in it. The problem only arises when I want to go to a schooling show. Too bad they wouldn't really allow some "cowboy" dressage.
it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
Cmdr, I replied on *my* thread...
If you want to try a couple of Ancient Passiers, we could try to hook up.
Those and Kieffers are my recommendations too. And yes, the Thorowgoods are worth a peek.
Don't discount the new Wintecs--they are definitely more open in the seat (and going up a 1/2" can help that feeling too!)
Also, you might peek at the HDR Rivella, Buffalo and "D Ring" models. I have students in them, and I really like them for fit for horse & rider as long as the horse is not too wide. You'll find the tree shape similar to the Passiers.
stubben stubben stubben! go look at a tristan! just beware the panels aren't rock hard or lumpy, etc. Same with passier & kieffers, great suggestions, just pay attention to the panels. Some of those saddles can be 30 years old and still look amazing topside, but underneath the panels are like bags of riverrock. if the panels are really really dry or cracking, you might not be able to get it restuffed.
Thanks for all the great suggestions, guys! I'm going to have to save all this info somewhere in case I forget any of these. My saddle is heading off to Pelham Saddlery to hopefully sell quickly. Then I can dig in and try some of these saddles. As with my western saddle fitting, perhaps I'll plan a day to haul my guy somewhere with a lot of saddles to fit.