I'm looking to buy a saddle for use while jumping. I've been trying various saddles, and need some thoughts on where to go from here. Horse favors the Ovation. Absolutely loves it, and he was willingly giving me things that had been a struggle in other saddles. I like the twist, but I have to fight a lot more to keep my lower leg in position, and the balance seems a bit off for me. I really liked the Antares, but horse wasn't as happy with the saddle. With the Antares, my leg was great without much effort and I loved the grippiness of the leather, as well as the saddle's balance. Horse goes OK in the Antares, but definitely not to the same degree as he liked the Ovation. For dressage, we're using a Neidersuss Symphony, and he likes that one. He's done decently in a Prestige Milan as well. Any thoughts on saddles that might make both of us happy?
I'm also saddle shopping. I narrowed my choices down to Antares, CWD, and Voltaire. If you haven't tried CWD, you should. I didn't like the Voltaire quite as much, but is a pretty saddle with a bit different feel than the CWD. The Antares rep is coming today. For any of the custom saddles, the saddle company rep is extremely important--especially if you are ordering a custom made saddle.
I'm curious--how long did you try out the saddles you are looking at? Could the difference in your horse be because it was a different day and he just felt different or are you certain it was the saddle? I only tried out the saddles for about 20 minutes--long enough to tell if it was comfortable for me, but hard to tell if the horse liked it or not. My horse is pretty stoic and probably wouldn't complain even if the saddle was less than comfortable. I "think" he was a little better in the CWD, but it was at night (we rarely ride at night) and he was a little more forward because he was slightly anxious. He felt great, but I wasn't sure if it was due to the saddle or the situation.
I would check out a Tad Coffin which are known for being easy on horses backs
I have not heard such good things about the Tad Coffins. I guess it depends on what your horse's back is like . I'm sure they fit some horses well.
OP -- I don't know much about the Ovation tree, but if you call a saddle fitter or a tack store with a good fitter on staff (like Trumbull Mountain) you can ask them to recommend saddles that fit similarly.
Take a good look at the Antares that you like and take note of the position of the stirrup bars (depending on the length of your thigh, you may do better with bars that are either farther back from the pommel or closer to the pommel), the depth of the seat and the position of the flap. Those are the elements that affect your balance.
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If you can, and want, pictures would greatly help us give you suggestions! A confo shot, a 3/4 shot, and a back shot. I personally am not familiar with the Ovations, but if I saw pictures I could give you some more ideas. :-)
"On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."