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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2006
    Posts
    529

    Default Saddle advice: long-femured rider w/a chair seat issue...

    I'm looking for recommendations on what brands might work for myself and my horse.

    Me: A little over 5.7, 18+" femur (thigh bone). Moderately ample behind...

    Mare: 15.2ish Paint. Level build. Average withers. VERY broad backed. Generally needs a saddle with an XW tree.

    I have been trying to find a saddle that works for US for some time now. The best saddle I've tried was my XW Thornhill Vienna II. LOVED the position it put me in - but alas my mare grew too wide for it. I also loved riding in my trainer's Ansur - but YIKES they are pricey.

    My AP 34cm Duett Largo fit my mare well but I just didn't care for the style. Now I'm in an older Ernst Goedecke (sp) dressage saddle. XW tree w/a cutback. Fits my mare quite well but puts me in a significant chair seat. I can PM a video for those interested in seeing exactly what I'm talking about.

    Money IS an object so the "latest and greatest" saddle probably won't do. I'm hoping to find some makes/models that are readily available in used condition.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you might have!
    We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,953

    Default

    I am 5'6 with long legs and also have a chair seat issue, and ride a wide horse - Perch/TB.

    I just bought a used Rembrandt Integra (with the adjustable tree) They are not made any more, but similar models are....

    I LOVE the position it puts me in. Now the only thing holding me back from a nice seat is tight hips!

    And my horse loves the freedom in his shoulders.

    I found the saddle at a tack shop up in the mid west. It was listed for just over $1000, but I paid less. It really looked as if it had been ridden in maybe once - not even any marks on the billets.

    L



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2006
    Posts
    529

    Default

    Excellent info! I will keep an eye out for that brand. Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by lorilu View Post
    I am 5'6 with long legs and also have a chair seat issue, and ride a wide horse - Perch/TB.

    I just bought a used Rembrandt Integra (with the adjustable tree) They are not made any more, but similar models are....

    I LOVE the position it puts me in. Now the only thing holding me back from a nice seat is tight hips!

    And my horse loves the freedom in his shoulders.

    I found the saddle at a tack shop up in the mid west. It was listed for just over $1000, but I paid less. It really looked as if it had been ridden in maybe once - not even any marks on the billets.

    L
    We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2009
    Location
    Warrenton, VA
    Posts
    443

    Default

    Balance International makes a GPD model that is pretty nice. For a long legged rider it is a forward enough flap to work (with out being in a chair seat.) AND it is really, really wide so fits any horse. You can find used ones on ebay, tacktrader and the balance site has used ones also....

    good luck!!!!!
    owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
    Posts
    601

    Default

    If you look hard enough you can find a nice Schleese in a lower price bracket. They are very very adjustable to the horse, and for 400 bucks they will put extended sturrup bars on your saddle (unless you can hunt for one that already has them!) That will help the chairseat issue some.

    Luck!
    http://dressageesquire.blogspot.com
    "The ability to write a check for attire should not be confused with expertise. Proficiency doesn't arrive shrink-wrapped from UPS and placed on your doorstep."



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2001
    Posts
    11,522

    Default

    I am about 5'9" with a femur that is almost 20".
    I have found that saddle fit for me and my horse is very important. I struggled with my position for years before I understood this. The bummer is that slight angle problems get significantly magnified with length.

    For optimum fit, start with a properly fitted tree for your horse. Any saddle imbalance on the horse's back will amplify a mal-positioning of your leg and seat.

    To accomodate a long femur, flaps need to be set slightly forward of what most would consider normal so that the rider can maintain appropriate lower leg positioning. This seems a bit counter-intuitive if you are struggling with a chair sat, but believe me, it works.

    These issues don't necessarily mean that you need to go custom, but you probably do need to work with a saddle fitter who really knows their stuff.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    14,817

    Default

    I'm short, so take this as you will, but I have found that I have to ride with shorter stirrups on a wide horse
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2009
    Posts
    776

    Default

    I'm tall and leggy. Another saddle to consider is the Albion - very good for long legs. Albion is very popular, so there are lots of used saddles out there. They fit the horses really well.

    As far as the chair seat, I would suggest working on it (lunge line, riding without stirrups, studying videos of yourself) rather than trying to find a saddle that "holds" you in - I am sure that you realize this



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2008
    Posts
    1,207

    Default

    If you've been riding a long time without a chair seat and suddenly you're having a problem with it, unless you've had an injury of some sort, then it's the saddle. I'm guessing you know that because you started this thread, so I'm not sure I'd go with the above poster's advice to exercise/lunge lesson your way out of it. Seems unnecessary and counterproductive in the long run. Nothing to add re: type of saddle but do look at the placement of the stirrup bars.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2010
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    225

    Default

    I'm 6' and my horse wears a 34cm tree. I found the Barnsbys to fit us both well. I have the Barnsby Richard Davison AO (N-Gage only nubuck leather) and am very pleased. 34cm is a #4 tree and they come up to a #5.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Posts
    1,861

    Default

    The brand of the saddle probably isn't as important for your fit as the size. I have a very long femur and ride in a 19 inch Trilogy. It's not all about the size of your rear-end ... Put me in any smaller saddle and my knee is out in front of the flap.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2001
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    299

    Default

    Because women tend to have longer upper to lower leg ratios, it's important to find a saddle that has an extended stirrup bar - so that the leg hangs properly. Check out the Schleese Youtube channel - they have a really good informative video on exactly this topic when they discuss the female saddle design implications.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2007
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,712

    Default

    I have a long femur also and struggled for a long time to find a saddle to fit me and my horse. I ended up getting an albion saddle. It fits both of us perfect. My leg is in the right spot not on/over the knee area.

    In my hunter saddle I ended up with a berney saddle

    Both fit me well an I don't have my knees in my face.
    OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane AKA Bubble boy
    Boxer - Tugger's - outlasted my marriage



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2006
    Posts
    529

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NCRider View Post
    If you've been riding a long time without a chair seat and suddenly you're having a problem with it, unless you've had an injury of some sort, then it's the saddle. I'm guessing you know that because you started this thread, so I'm not sure I'd go with the above poster's advice to exercise/lunge lesson your way out of it. Seems unnecessary and counterproductive in the long run. Nothing to add re: type of saddle but do look at the placement of the stirrup bars.
    Yes, it is definitely only an issue with certain saddles. I had a great leg/seat with my Thornhill and Duett but my mare outgrew the Thornhill and my Duett was just, well... Kind of ugly. (And an A/P style rather than dressage.)

    I really appreciate everyone's suggestions. I have a lot of name brands to keep an eye out for now. Thanks so much everyone!
    We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Ocala, FL
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by caddym View Post
    As far as the chair seat, I would suggest working on it (lunge line, riding without stirrups, studying videos of yourself) rather than trying to find a saddle that "holds" you in - I am sure that you realize this
    THe reason I bought a new saddle was that it fought against my attempts to fix my leg. With the Rembrandt, my leg just naturally falls more correctly. I think it has to do with stirrup bars that are slightly farther back than my previous saddle(s).
    L



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2003
    Location
    Back in the 9A
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    2,779

    Default

    I'm in your situation as well. I'm 5'11", with a long upper leg, and was getting chair-seated in my Courbette Aristokrat. Tried my trainer's Albion, et voila! No more chair seat, leg hung beautifully, and it opened my hips. Sat in a barnmate's new Albion SLK Ultima and loved it even more. So I'm on the lookout for that model.
    Drop the pebble and trust in the ripples. -- John O'Leary



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
    Location
    it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
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    12,079

    Default

    Have you tried the other models of Duett? They are made by Thornhill. Your Thornhill CAN be widened a few cm, between that and padding, would that be enough?

    The different dressage models of Duett sit quite differently.

    I might try a ride in the Fideleo. The stirrup bars are set back. Or, I think it's the Tango that has a more VSD Flap.

    Agree with much said above... you might need a larger seat than you would first suspect. It's not so much about the glutes.

    I used to find I needed a REALLY set back stirrup bar, like a Wintec Isabelle, or the Heather Moffett saddles... then I went to an 18.5" seat, and while the bars are more back than many, they're not as dramatic as I thought I needed. I am *comfortable* in a 17.5, but not so much my equitation.

    Also, if you liked the Vienna II--look at used Passiers. Particularly the models with setback stirrup bars like the Katarin, PSP and GT. NOT, NOT, NOT the GG, it has quite forward bars. Many, if not most of the old PT models (plain moulded flap, usually brown) also have set back bars. You should love the seat. And if you can snag a Wide or XW tree, it can be widened significantly more for your horse. I've never met a horse yet that my Ancient Passier is not wide enough for, and the horse I bought it for is at least a 40cm in Duett, and wider than anything else off the shelf.

    If you have the $$ of course, you can order a Passier with set back bars in whatever model you like.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Posts
    1,861

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    Quote Originally Posted by pintopiaffe View Post
    NOT, NOT, NOT the GG, it has quite forward bars.
    Amen sister!!
    Where were you when I went down that rabbit hole!!




  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2004
    Posts
    1,113

    Default

    I have a BC Equinox II. Had chair seat issues forever.

    Sent it to Sarah Odell to flock - and she got it WAY balanced.

    No more chair seat.

    The saddle was just a touch down behind - which put me in a wierd enough position to put me in a chair seat.

    Another thing that helps is a hip saver type seat saver. I use Heather Moffet's regular seat saver. The foam is thick enuf to narrow the saddle twist. She does make one with even more padding in the twist area - but I found that to be too much.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2006
    Posts
    529

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pintopiaffe View Post
    Have you tried the other models of Duett? They are made by Thornhill. Your Thornhill CAN be widened a few cm, between that and padding, would that be enough?
    The issue with the Thornhill mostly had to do with the shape of the panels - especially towards the back, under the cantle. They just didn't sit flat on Bella's back and did the whole "table top" thing. The panels dug into her back instead of molding around her back.

    Quote Originally Posted by pintopiaffe View Post
    The different dressage models of Duett sit quite differently.

    I might try a ride in the Fideleo. The stirrup bars are set back. Or, I think it's the Tango that has a more VSD Flap.

    Agree with much said above... you might need a larger seat than you would first suspect. It's not so much about the glutes.
    I would consider trying one of the Duett dressage models. At least I know I can find a tree wide enough in that brand! I have considered going with a larger seat size too. I was told by a saddle fitter that I needed an 18" but that was years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if I needed a 19" now. I know seat size has much more to do with the leg then the thickness of behind... I always thought that the length of the femur in inches was equivalent to the seat size you needed. I suppose that's not always true though - depending on the brand and deepness of seat.

    Quote Originally Posted by pintopiaffe View Post
    I used to find I needed a REALLY set back stirrup bar, like a Wintec Isabelle, or the Heather Moffett saddles... then I went to an 18.5" seat, and while the bars are more back than many, they're not as dramatic as I thought I needed. I am *comfortable* in a 17.5, but not so much my equitation.

    Also, if you liked the Vienna II--look at used Passiers. Particularly the models with setback stirrup bars like the Katarin, PSP and GT. NOT, NOT, NOT the GG, it has quite forward bars. Many, if not most of the old PT models (plain moulded flap, usually brown) also have set back bars. You should love the seat. And if you can snag a Wide or XW tree, it can be widened significantly more for your horse. I've never met a horse yet that my Ancient Passier is not wide enough for, and the horse I bought it for is at least a 40cm in Duett, and wider than anything else off the shelf.

    If you have the $$ of course, you can order a Passier with set back bars in whatever model you like.
    It's funny, the Thornhill Vienna II that I LOVED was supposedly modeled after the Passier GG. I had a great leg position with that saddle. I suppose that's no guarantee that the stirrup bars are the same on the real Passier. I'm glad you made that comment because I had been eyeing some Passier GGs because of my Vienna II experience....

    Thanks so much for your help!
    We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson



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