I am not an eventer but am hoping you folks can help me out.
I bought a Charles Owen JL9 size medium on Thursday and rode in it on Friday. I am 5'8"" but most of my height is in my legs. Should I be conscious of the bottom of the vest touching the dressage saddle while riding?
All the adjustments are at the smallest setting right now so I think I could fit into a small which has a shorter back measurement. And I might be putting a Hit/Air over this sooner or later.
My vest bumps the saddle a little when I am sitting down, but most of vest-wearing riding is done in 2-point. Mine is a Tipperary and it does come down past my waist, so I think it would be difficult to sit in any saddle and not have it touch. However, I don't really find it annoying or uncomfortable the arm holes are large enough that they don't bind when the vest rides up a little.
I think it just takes a while to get used to riding in the vest at all- it's bigger and bulkier and stiffer than regular clothes. If it doesn't pinch or hurt, you'll get used to it soon.
I was told at Dover that the back should not hit the saddle. But I was trying it with a relatively flat jumping saddle which doesn't have a high back. If your dressage saddle has a high back, the vest still may be the perfect size for you.
I'm 5'10" medium/small build up top and I have a CO vest that is a medium. I really needed a medium back and a small front, but I didn't feel like taking the time to special order.
I also have a tipperary in small that I like much better as it is more comfortable. I find the area under my arms uncomfortabel on the CO, but the small was a better underarm fit, but too short in back.