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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    18,472

    Default Tiny Girl - Long Legs - Saddle Issue - Help!

    Not a problem quite yet, but I see it coming...

    LMEqT is almost nine. She is still teeny - 53 pounds - and a twig but she is tall, with long thighs.

    She has a Pessoa pony saddle now, 15 3/4 seat. She swims in it... Her 14 inch saddle would have fit her rear end forever! But her leg has almost already outgrown the flap on the Pessoa . It is long enough but almost not forward enough for stirrups short enough to jump.

    What to do? My neighbor is a saddler and I think he could do a custom flap on any saddle. I am seriously considering doing that, and maybe even going down to a 15 inch seat if I do.

    But it seems crazy to be considering semi- custom tack for a child, even if she is pretty serious and rides a lot. Any other ideas?
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 7, 2011
    Posts
    173

    Default

    I don't think its crazy, I have a similar issue, my 8 yr old is 42lbs and SHORT LOL her 13 inch Beval JR will fit for another year AT LEAST ( its an extra wide tree with a short flap). My point being, a saddle that fits the kid well makes their job easier. If they are constantly fighting their leg position, and they are constantly trying to "sit correctly" they are not accomplishing as much as they could. At 5 ( my youngest) 8, and in your case 9 yrs old , this is a TOUGH sport , I think if they are serious about riding and have proven they plan to stick with it ( like I know your daughter has) then its worth the investment. And I have found that because we take excellent care of our tack, we usually MAKE money when we sell our used saddles. How many other items do you buy, used for a year or more and then RE Sell for more than you paid for them???? Not too many.

    ETA: How lucky are you to have a saddler right next door?? You hit the jackpot!!!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2011
    Posts
    91

    Default

    I feel your pain! My daughter is 12, weighs 48 pounds, and has legs like a newborn foal. She is all legs! She was riding in a 15" Pessoa and outgrew it to the point where she was having to fight it constantly. I ended up buying her a 15" Beval Natural. It has really long flaps for a 15" saddle. If it had been an option financially for me, I am sure we would have done a custom saddle. There will always be another little, leggy kid whose mom will be thrilled to buy the saddle from you when your daughter outgrows it.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2008
    Location
    Northeast PA
    Posts
    1,382

    Default

    I STILL have this problem - 5'9", 34" inseam, 125 pounds, 21" hip to knee. a 16" is perfect but I usually end up in a 17" for my leg.

    I know Pessoa has a new child's saddle that is going to offer a 15" long flap... might be an option to consider. Though I would probably take advantage of the neighbor, because I know how much it stinks to not really fit in anything off the rack that is less than 4k.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2011
    Posts
    1,644

    Default

    I'm 5'5" with long legs and I can get away with riding in some of the junior Stubbens. I wouldn't want one as a personal saddle because I do need an adult sized seat to actually be comfortable, but I can get away with it to school kids horses for a little bit without feeling like I'm perched in a jockey saddle.

    You might try looking into a Stubben? You can get used ones pretty cheap. One model has a super deep seat and another is flatter.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2002
    Location
    Eastern MA
    Posts
    2,298

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Personal Champ View Post
    I STILL have this problem - 5'9", 34" inseam, 125 pounds, 21" hip to knee. a 16" is perfect but I usually end up in a 17" for my leg.
    Me too - I'm 10lbs heavier and 3 inches taller, but my thigh is about the same - I ride in a 16 with long and fwd flaps and it's perfect, and when I eventually buy a horse I am going to buy one that fits the saddle

    OP, if you think your daughter can get a year or two out of it at least, I'd go with using the saddler for custom flaps - riding in a saddle that fits correctly makes riding SUCH a better experience!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Location
    Triangle Area, NC
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    Have you tried adding a seat saver? It would depend on what type of twist she can tolerate.
    That's one of the tricks we used at my riding academy for the "spider legged" girls.

    I personally wouldn't go custom, because selling it will be a PITA!
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 1999
    Location
    Middleburg VA and Southampton NY
    Posts
    6,041

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    Not a problem quite yet, but I see it coming...

    LMEqT is almost nine. She is still teeny - 53 pounds - and a twig but she is tall, with long thighs.

    She has a Pessoa pony saddle now, 15 3/4 seat. She swims in it... Her 14 inch saddle would have fit her rear end forever! But her leg has almost already outgrown the flap on the Pessoa . It is long enough but almost not forward enough for stirrups short enough to jump.

    What to do? My neighbor is a saddler and I think he could do a custom flap on any saddle. I am seriously considering doing that, and maybe even going down to a 15 inch seat if I do.

    But it seems crazy to be considering semi- custom tack for a child, even if she is pretty serious and rides a lot. Any other ideas?
    It's not conventional (anymore) but go with a completely flat flap. It will give you way more flexibility with fit than any flap with a knee roll. Joe Fargis has always had a similar "problem" with saddle fit in that when he rides a small horse he uses shorter irons. His knees sometimes go past the front of the saddle flap so he uses a flat one to this day.

    http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/i...2057/8752b.jpg

    I promise you will love what using a flat flap will do for the security of LMEqT's leg position.

    You will also love the prices. We have two Hermes saddles with knee cushions, but we ride this mare in a perfectly flat Crosby Sovereign that I got in mint condition last summer for $250.

    http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/i...illeHCJ2-1.jpg .



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2002
    Location
    Eastern MA
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    2,298

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by M. O'Connor View Post
    It's not conventional (anymore) but go with a completely flat flap. It will give you way more flexibility with fit than any flap with a knee roll. Joe Fargis has always had a similar "problem" with saddle fit in that when he rides a small horse he uses shorter irons. His knees sometimes go past the front of the saddle flap so he uses a flat one to this day.
    Oh, very good point! Mine is completely flat, which does help!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2011
    Location
    Cheney, WA
    Posts
    530

    Default

    I'm 4'11" and have a long thigh. The 16" fits, even a touch big. I can't have anything with a straighter flap. Just tried a Beval Salem, nice saddle but my knee was at the very edge of the flap and the knee blocks were pushing into my knee cap. So back to the drawing board. In my case there aren't really any tack stores near me that carry saddles really in general, much less a good amount of stock or stock in my size. So I have to rely on internet shopping which gets expensive with the shipping. At this point I know a couple high end saddles that fit but just have to wait for the right size and price to come along. I think the older saddles tend to fit my leg better than the newer saddles in the lower brands. I can fit a 15-15 3/4 also, but am worried about where the flap will end up being. There is a 15.5 Antares on ebay with a starting bid of $1200 that might be worth a look.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
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    Its not nowhere, but you can see it from here
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    Loving this thread. Little Breeches is 8, 4'9". 60lbs and ALL LEG and she got my freakishly long thigh. Her butt fits the 14" Pessoa pony saddle, but her knee is almost off it. Looking forward to finding more good solutions, as the next saddle I have for her is my sister's old pancake flat Collegiate. Sis had it in a 15", I got it in a 16" way back in teh dark ages. I hate spending $$$ on something she won't be in for long. Hence the reason her newest mount is a 14.3 big barreled QH. Thanks OP for starting this thread!

    What I am reading is that the flat flaps will accomodate more length of leg than the newer, uber padded ones?
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 21, 2010
    Location
    Sweden
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    458

    Default

    I still have that problem...

    I don´t know whether there´s ponysaddles but I found a Equipe Grand Prix flat back with flaps that are cut for long legs. Lovely to finally fit in the saddle!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2011
    Location
    Cheney, WA
    Posts
    530

    Default

    I at least am past the growing stage (will be 29 in a couple weeks) so once I find the right saddle unless my filly changes again (which is likely) or I decide I want a new saddle for the heck of it (also likely) I don't have to worry about growing out of it!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002
    Posts
    3,652

    Default

    I had that problem when I was looking for a new jumping saddle. I'm only 5'3 but I must have a freakishly long thigh because most 16.5 saddles did not feel right for the stirrup length I like when jumping. Fortunately, I found a BdH CC Forward flap, 17", that felt great. And best of all, I got it on sale, since they seem to have been discontinued. A shame, they're really nice saddles!
    I would think most saddle brands offer that "forward flap" option?
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2009
    Posts
    786

    Default

    I have always had that problem. I currently have a 17.5 prestige eventer because it was the only jumping saddle I could ifnd that fit my leg and my horse. I swim in the seat but thankfully it works in that saddle (its pretty flat.) Before that I rode in close contact saddle with no knee roll and dealt with the seat size. The best fitting saddle I ever owned was a lovatt and rickets close contact my mom and I found at a pawn shop. It had a 15 1/2 in seat if a remember right and the flap was crazy long. I think it had been custom made for whoever sold it.

    If custom is an option than great! Certainly is easier, but riding in flatter saddles and forward flaps works if budget is a concern.
    My blog:

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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 1999
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    Middleburg VA and Southampton NY
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    Default

    What I am reading is that the flat flaps will accomodate more length of leg than the newer, uber padded ones?
    Not only a longer length of leg, but also a greater range of stirrup lengths (for riders of all sizes) without the problem of being constrained by a knee roll/thigh block.

    I



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Personal Champ View Post
    I STILL have this problem - 5'9", 34" inseam, 125 pounds, 21" hip to knee. a 16" is perfect but I usually end up in a 17" for my leg.

    I know Pessoa has a new child's saddle that is going to offer a 15" long flap... might be an option to consider. Though I would probably take advantage of the neighbor, because I know how much it stinks to not really fit in anything off the rack that is less than 4k.
    Ooooh, that would be so awesome..
    and worth waiting for.

    And imagine this - I am the same height as you, with legs that are two inches longer it is ridiculous!

    In the meantime, I am going to talk to the saddler and look at some older saddles with no knee rolls.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 1999
    Location
    Middleburg VA and Southampton NY
    Posts
    6,041

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    You might get very lucky EqTr--I about fell over when I found a MINT condition Crosby Soveriegn, unused EVER, not even oiled yet, and was able to buy it for $250. <-yes, ONE zero. They were $2750 at one point.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2005
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,245

    Default

    I am so right there with you. I just got back from picking up the custom Jods I had to order that were made 4 inches longer than normal. When she stands next to her friends who are the same size or taller, her legs generally end where their waist is. Makes it impossible to buy jods or jeans. Thank goodness for skinny fit jeans in slim. They fit her a little baggy, but don't look too bad.

    My daughter is 10 and we did find an off the rack saddle that fit her last year. It's a 14" Walsall Pony that I bought from Ricks, but she's already outgrown the flap, butt still fits great in the seat, but the flap looks really silly. It took me forever to find that. It isn't forward, but at the time, the flap was long enough. Now her knee is coming off the front.

    I've been looking everywhere for something that is long and forward in the flap. I haven't found anything. Pessoa makes one that has a forward flap, but it's only 11 inches long, so her knee is below the flap.

    I was thinking of sending my current saddle to Smith Worthington to have the flaps changed. I have no idea how much it will cost, but it has to be less expensive than a custom saddle and honestly, the custom French brands weren't a great option no matter what the cost. When we tried a bunch of them at Pony Finals, the flaps were so incredibly wide that her skinny, spider legs looked really funny on them. There was 2 feet of flap out behind her leg. Looked really wierd.

    Here she is on her small from this past May, the fit wasn't too bad... below that is a picture from September on another pony...getting pretty bad, and it looks even worse now.


    http://sports.webshots.com/photo/216...84673271Wmnpns


    http://sports.webshots.com/photo/273...84673271eouxqC

    If you like the fit of your current saddle and you can get custom flaps, I say go for it. You can make them a little more forward and long, so she at least will fit it for a year.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2009
    Posts
    659

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    Smith Worthington offers the Mystic in an extra forward flap. http://www.smithworthington.com/inde...product&id=523

    It starts at 16.5, but they have youth sizes on the standard model, so it might be worth a call to see if you can get it in a smaller size. The tree is adjustable, and the price is ~$1200.



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