I want to get Mini MO her own saddle. She is 4 and small. The smallest pony saddles from reputable brands seem to be a 14" seat, in which she absolutely swims. Chair seat and her legs don't even go past the flaps. Am I better off buying her a leadline saddle to start? We are planning on doing a LL show or two this fall, and then more in the spring. She would use the saddle for lessons in the meantime. She's off the leadline in lessons. It's funny, even though they're called leadline saddles at the shows I've always seen kids in regular saddles. Is it appropriate to show in a leadline saddle? That seems like such a dumb question but I've just not seen them around.
Collegiate, HDR, Dover, Pessoa, Stubben all seem to start at 14" or even 15". I realize she would be able to use it for a long, long time, but will it be easier for her to sit properly in a leadline saddle?
I would do a trail for the saddle before you buy it. Even if it fits mini mo it might not fit the pony/horse she is on. I have never seen a smaller saddle than a 14" (Haven't ridden English that long.) DD rides a JC brand and I will be hunting for one of those when we buy one. As for showing in the leadline saddle I am not sure on that either as it doesn't actually say what saddle you have to ride in. JC saddle DD rides in is not a dressage saddle but a close contact saddle.
Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
Originally Posted by alicen:
What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.
Probably the littlest they make. She's roughly 35lbs! Leadlines seem to come as small as 12". I've seen 9 or 10" western saddles but they are cheap-o crapola.
EponaRoan, I had to chuckle at your post...I don't think a 4yo child should be ridden either! But as far as riding, she is in a small, fenced area and on a very safe old pony who has taught hundreds of other wee ones to ride. The pony pretty much walks along side the instructor and is very hard to make move if the instructor decides to stand still.
I've always been a nervous rider myself, but it's nothing compared to watching your peanut trot for the first time. Mini MO is very brave and insists on doing her own steering (and dressing herself and doing her own hair and buckling her own car seat and....). Believe me I wouldn't allow it if I didn't think it was safe.
That 13" looks pretty nice. It can't weigh much at all. I'd keep an eye on it. Say you buy it for $125 and spend $50 on shipping, it's still a great deal.
The Dabbs is also EXCELLENT. Beware of buying a "new" saddle unless specifically stated it's made in England. The majority of the new saddles on Ebay are made in India and CRAP. I made the mistake of buying one - it REEKED of horrible, horrible tanning chemicals. Stick with known brands or something that looks VERY familiar. If you can afford the Dabbs, I'd go for it!
I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry
I keep most of my littlies on a sheepskin and surcingle for a while - until they're cantering and have independant seat and hands. The sheepskin is great because they "stick" to the suede and quickly learn balance and maintaining a strong "core" (without anyone having to tell them). They can also carry their "saddle" really easily.
Then you don't need to worry about size.
Going by the conformation of mom and dad, probably never!
In the saddles we've tried so far, just the very bottom of her boot and the bottom of the stirrup iron comes past the flap.
The instructor does have a bareback pad. maybe I'll ask about using that. But I do want to have something that she can do the leadline shows in. She can certainly borrow one of the school saddles but it does look ridiculous, and she really does have a hard time keeping her leg under her (the seat is so huge and the stirrup bars are so far out in front that she just can't help but end up in a chair set. It's one of my pet peeves that 99% of the saddles I've ridden in have the stirrup bars too far forward even if the seat size is correct for the rider, but that's another rant!).
I'd just like her to have something that is going to help her learning rather than be an obstacle to her. I like the leadline saddle that has the suede seat...that would be nice and grippy for her. I'm assuming they can w/t/c in those? It looks like the leadline saddles have a half-tree, which should make it easier to fit multiple horses/ponies.
www.onestopponyshop.co.uk is one of my favorites for pint-sized rider gear, and they are very reasonable on shipping if any other tot moms are looking for options. Tiny boots and half-chaps, cute colors. Not much in the way of saddles though.
My dd started with a 13". www.bcsaddlery.com (outside of Philly in Bucks County PA) has a 13" used Collegiate on their site. The flaps look long but you could ask them to measure them for you before shipping (if you were interested). www.saddlesource.com in Chester County PA always has a ton of used saddles. That's where I originally bought and resold dd's first saddle. Good luck with your search!