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  1. #1
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    Apr. 2, 2003
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    Default Saddle shopping for a classic TB-- need both jump and dressage and I'm SHORT! help!

    I am in the enviable position of having a lovely new horse coming in the next 2 weeks.

    That means I am in the unenviable position of needing to get new tack, as it is finally time-- I have been riding in a 1985 Crosby Equilibrium (the original, plain flap, no blocks, not DSL pancake model) forever but I am now what I consider old and my butt can't take it anymore. I get out of that saddle and can't sit straight for hours because I am bruised. So it's time to retire it.

    However, in terms of balance and rideability, that saddle was perfect.

    This new tack adventure means it's time to get serious and get 2 saddles. Considering that I do own this one, I guess my priority would be a dressage saddle, but I do know in times when I have owned both I tend to ride in the jumping saddle more (relic of my hunter days, I guess.) This makes it tough to spend a lot of $$ on a dressage saddle, but I know I should buy quality.

    Horse is a bog-standard TB mare-- little bit of a wither, slightly dippy back, shoulder on the larger side of normal but I wouldn't call her large shouldered. She goes in an older Circuit model jumping saddle now and is totally happy. Fits my Crosby just fine too, no complaints. She is pretty easy, which is great.

    The problem is me. Problem #1 is I do not have infinite funds. Max budget for 2 new saddles is $2500 total.

    Problem #2 is I am short. Like, embarrassingly short. 5' on a tall day, 27" inseam short. A jump flap longer than about 12" and a dressage flap longer than 14" both are absolutely laughable. This puts me squarely in the realm of custom or semi custom.

    The way I see it, I have a couple of options:

    1. Buy a less-expensive jumping saddle like a Tekna and spring the remaining $2000 of budget on a custom or semi custom dressage.
    2. Scour the used market relentlessly in the hopes of finding a short flap saddle in the right size and price.
    3. split the difference and buy 2 saddles for roughly $1k each, like from Heritage in the UK.

    I keep being tempted by things like toulouse, but I know about the issues there and I know the dressage flaps will be laughably long.

    Before anyone suggests it: KN Symphonie also kills my butt.

    I think I'm a bit overwhelmed with even knowing where to start looking for saddles that work well for shorties. Any help for a lost soul?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2009
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    Maine
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    I don't know if the tree would fit your horse's back, but you might try looking for an older used Spirig; they tend to have shorter flaps. I'm in the same boat as you–5'1" and 28 inch inseam–and many flaps are just too long. I would absolutely love to have a Passier GG, but the flaps are ridiculous, and only my heel comes off them. I ended up with a very old used Spirig, which I love even thought the seat is a little large for me.

    Another thought, can you ride in a smaller seat size? You might try Stubben's junior dressage saddle.

    I think I'd do some internet scouring at typical used saddle havens before spending your budget on new.



  3. #3
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    Oct. 20, 2008
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    I would not buy a Toulouse. They are pretty on the surface but have poor balance.

    A few things... 1. A K-Line Albion runs about $2100 new. They will make that to your specifications, complete with shorter flaps. 2. If you are looking for used, my coach is your height and she has a short flapped County saddle (not sure of the model but I could check) that she loves. She jumps in a small Stubben.
    The rebel in the grey shirt



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
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    I second the person who suggested a junior dressage saddle. The Stubben Juventus comes in a 17'' seat, and has 14'' flaps. The Courbette Bernina JR comes in a 16'' seat, and has 13.5'' flaps. The Bate's Pony Dressage saddle (or heck, the Wintec Pony dressage) come in 16'' seats, with similar 13/14'' flaps. The Stubben Juventus is tricky to track down, but you should be able to find it in almost brand new condition for under $1,000, (EDIT: heck, there is a brand new 17/32cm one on their website right now for $900) and I suspect it will fit your mare just fine. Wool flocked for adjusting purposes, as well.

    And heck, while you're at it, get a Stubben jumping saddle as well.


    I'm tiny too and found a semi-custom dressage saddle used that just happened to work, a British model. I scoured Ebay for weeks. Crosby Prix dressage saddles came with multiple flap options when they were new, including 14'', so you can sometimes track those down. Stores like usedsaddles.com and trumbullmtn.com list the flap lengths, which is also helpful.

    Fingers crossed you'll fit into the junior saddles!



  5. #5
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    Apr. 2, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    I second the person who suggested a junior dressage saddle. The Stubben Juventus comes in a 17'' seat, and has 14'' flaps. The Courbette Bernina JR comes in a 16'' seat, and has 13.5'' flaps. The Bate's Pony Dressage saddle (or heck, the Wintec Pony dressage) come in 16'' seats, with similar 13/14'' flaps. The Stubben Juventus is tricky to track down, but you should be able to find it in almost brand new condition for under $1,000, (EDIT: heck, there is a brand new 17/32cm one on their website right now for $900) and I suspect it will fit your mare just fine. Wool flocked for adjusting purposes, as well.

    And heck, while you're at it, get a Stubben jumping saddle as well.


    I'm tiny too and found a semi-custom dressage saddle used that just happened to work, a British model. I scoured Ebay for weeks. Crosby Prix dressage saddles came with multiple flap options when they were new, including 14'', so you can sometimes track those down. Stores like usedsaddles.com and trumbullmtn.com list the flap lengths, which is also helpful.

    Fingers crossed you'll fit into the junior saddles!
    Right now I am eyeing a used PJ jumping saddle (had one before and I know I like it) and a very gently used Juventus. Here's hoping the sellers accept my offers-- I may be able to get both for under $2000 which would make me a happy camper. I have ridden in a Maestoso extensively and while there was still SOME bruising, it wasn't too bad.

    I can easily fit a 17" Stubben since they're not very padded. My jump saddles are 17s and they are generally roomy, I rode in a 16" easily until I went to college.

    Now I'm an elderly 25, so my booty has gotten a bit bigger, but still should fit fine. I'll keep everyone posted after I talk to the tack shop today.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
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    www.heritagesaddlery.co.uk

    For the price of one regular-priced saddle from the suggestions above, you can get TWO custom-made ones (one dressage, one jumping) for the same price from them. I am having a custom dressage saddle made by Heritage and am very excited about it!

    Alternatively, MUST you have a dressage saddle? Plenty of people do all 3 phases (I'm assuming you event since you came here to ask) in a jumping saddle.
    Click here before you buy.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    www.heritagesaddlery.co.uk

    For the price of one regular-priced saddle from the suggestions above, you can get TWO custom-made ones (one dressage, one jumping) for the same price from them. I am having a custom dressage saddle made by Heritage and am very excited about it!

    Alternatively, MUST you have a dressage saddle? Plenty of people do all 3 phases (I'm assuming you event since you came here to ask) in a jumping saddle.
    Must I? No, I definitely musnt' since I don't even show these days. It's more about a little bit of variety and when I did own both, I found myself using both depending on how I felt like riding that day.

    Admittedly, I keep all 4 feet on the ground more often than not (only jump when coerced or at things like hunter paces-- I'm a rerider and I had more guts when I was 16) so having a dressage saddle would be nice. It seems like paying ~$800 for a stubben to tool around in wouldn't be a bad deal.

    Deltawave, how much was yours total? I'm talking with Matt now about 2 full customs, just for yucks. How was the process?



  8. #8
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    Jan. 10, 2007
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    You can get nice saddles for less than that. For a TB, one of my first stops would be here www.hastilowusa.com. They have used saddles at great prices and the Walsall made fit the TBs very well. I got my dressage saddle for ($1100). I am 5'3" and find a lot of these fit nicely. Look at older County Profits. I got a nice one for about $750 from a place in Aiken, but they are around. Check at http://www.middleburgtack.com/index....lose%20Contact, where I find they have good prices on good inventory. Another jumping option is the old Pandur FZ Spezial as well as Berney Bros saddles (seat a bit hard, but brilliant for the TB). For example, there were both a dressage and jumping saddle advertised here a while back http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com...ey-482316.html. Not fancy, but older Kieffer's and Albions are probably also worth a shot. You will need to sit in a bunch to know what works for you.
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!



  9. #9
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    May. 5, 2011
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    I'd second looking into Stubbens junior models. Look on eBay! The older junior saddles tend to be pretty inexpensive. They'd be well within your budget.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alterageous View Post
    Deltawave, how much was yours total? I'm talking with Matt now about 2 full customs, just for yucks. How was the process?
    So far the process has been totally pain free and Matt is extremely friendly and responsive. The dressage saddle is going to cost about $1800, and I haven't inquired about a deal on two of them (I love my jump saddle and more importantly my horse likes it as well) but I know they do advertise packages of multiple saddles with a discount. Worth asking!
    Click here before you buy.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alterageous View Post
    Right now I am eyeing a used PJ jumping saddle (had one before and I know I like it) and a very gently used Juventus.

    I can easily fit a 17" Stubben since they're not very padded. My jump saddles are 17s and they are generally roomy, I rode in a 16" easily until I went to college.

    Now I'm an elderly 25, so my booty has gotten a bit bigger, but still should fit fine. I'll keep everyone posted after I talk to the tack shop today.
    Why not give Stubben a call & discuss saddles (they still have their sale on ('cept saddles are non-returnable so you want to be sure)) - the Juventus is really a junior saddle & may be rather smaller than you anticipate: a deep seat 17 "junior" dressage saddle is much smaller than a 17 jump saddle.

    If these saddles are through a tack shop you should be able to arrange a trial period



  12. #12
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    Mar. 17, 2009
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    I'm short, and ride my TB in a Kieffer Wien (which has a roughtly 15.5-16" flap standard). I tried it b/c the back-specialist dressage-riding vet suggested it; my Albion fitter said it fit him "almost like a custom" when I bought it used off ebay (for $700). He's beefed up so I'm sending it out to be widened for $100 at Dressage Extensions. Can't beat that price point.



  13. #13
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    I know of a Custom dressage saddle which will be up for sale in a couple months which would likely fit you and your horse with a reflocking.

    Which isn't to say wait for that saddle - but just that I think you can find the right saddle as you look - if the options you're looking at so far don't work out, don't give up!


    I actually just decided to get myself the custom dressage saddle I've been thinking about now because my horse has been outgrowing saddles about every 8 months and in the end it's probably going to be more cost effective, but it will definitely be one which finally fits *me* well. The Custom I mentioned above isn't quite right for my guy, but riding in a saddle with flaps which weren't too long was a big eye opener on how much I'm fighting my current saddles!
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  14. #14
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    Apr. 2, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by netg View Post
    I know of a Custom dressage saddle which will be up for sale in a couple months which would likely fit you and your horse with a reflocking.

    Which isn't to say wait for that saddle - but just that I think you can find the right saddle as you look - if the options you're looking at so far don't work out, don't give up!


    I actually just decided to get myself the custom dressage saddle I've been thinking about now because my horse has been outgrowing saddles about every 8 months and in the end it's probably going to be more cost effective, but it will definitely be one which finally fits *me* well. The Custom I mentioned above isn't quite right for my guy, but riding in a saddle with flaps which weren't too long was a big eye opener on how much I'm fighting my current saddles!
    Well, feel free to contact me. I'm not in a huge hurry, I have my current jump saddle and I did just pick up the PJ for a very good price. So the dressage is left for whenever I get around to it.



  15. #15
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    Aug. 30, 2011
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    I've had really good luck with Stubben dressage saddles and TBs. I had a genesis on trial and it was fabulous for me and the horse. Their regular flap length isn't long, and the saddle is minimalist, and you can find them used for reasonable.

    Passier GG are often good too, can find them under a grand. Just check the flocking, sometimes they are old and the flockings very hard, replacing the flocking is a few hundred dollars usually.



  16. #16
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    Mar. 6, 2006
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    How about a VSD style AP? I am only 5' tall, and tried out a few VSDs when I was dressage saddle shopping. Some of them are quite straight in the flap, while being short enough for us vertically challenged types. I finally settled on a St. Lourdes dressage saddle, and the flaps are good, but just a TAD too long. Good saddle for $600 though.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Far_North_Equestrian View Post
    How about a VSD style AP? I am only 5' tall, and tried out a few VSDs when I was dressage saddle shopping. Some of them are quite straight in the flap, while being short enough for us vertically challenged types. I finally settled on a St. Lourdes dressage saddle, and the flaps are good, but just a TAD too long. Good saddle for $600 though.
    I have given that some thought. I am having a hard time finding any, though, except for what stubben has available used, and keeping in mind that my butt needs to hurt less, not more.

    I did just pick up a cheap(er) jumping saddle on ebay that I know will fit this horse, and that will tide me over until I decide what to do and how much to really spend on this adventure.



  18. #18
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    For comfort, I'd suggest looking at older model Wintecs. I've ridden in a couple and they were quite comfortable and surprised me with their ability to fit a TB profile. (I couldn't tell you offhand which model or tree size to buy, but you could do a search on these boards.)
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  19. #19
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    Nov. 3, 2003
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    Well, you are shorter than I am--but I am still "vertically challenged" and most of my shortness is in my legs (worst rider body type__ever!)

    Anyway--don't assume that a saddle with "short flaps" is going to have to be custom. Most dressage saddles offer a "short flap" option and you just need to look for those. I just bought a used Trilogy with a short flap. Trilogy also has a Debbie McDonald model that is made specifically for petite riders. I also bought my Passier Grand Gilbert used on e-bay and it has a short flap. I used to own one of the Stubben Juventus saddles mentioned by other posters and liked it a LOT. It works as long as you don't need a seat size bigger than 17". Nice saddle though--it just didn't fit my horse.

    And, you need to figure out what is going to fit your new horse. When you say classic Tb--I'm not sure if you mean high withered (that's what my OTTB is). Anyway--the dressage saddle that works well for her is my Passier GG. My jump saddle for her is an Albion Kontrol. Both are narrow trees (the key with her is to clear those shark fin withers). Cut back style saddles can also work on a Tb with high narrow withers.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by slp2 View Post
    Well, you are shorter than I am--but I am still "vertically challenged" and most of my shortness is in my legs (worst rider body type__ever!)

    Anyway--don't assume that a saddle with "short flaps" is going to have to be custom. Most dressage saddles offer a "short flap" option and you just need to look for those. I just bought a used Trilogy with a short flap. Trilogy also has a Debbie McDonald model that is made specifically for petite riders. I also bought my Passier Grand Gilbert used on e-bay and it has a short flap. I used to own one of the Stubben Juventus saddles mentioned by other posters and liked it a LOT. It works as long as you don't need a seat size bigger than 17". Nice saddle though--it just didn't fit my horse.

    And, you need to figure out what is going to fit your new horse. When you say classic Tb--I'm not sure if you mean high withered (that's what my OTTB is). Anyway--the dressage saddle that works well for her is my Passier GG. My jump saddle for her is an Albion Kontrol. Both are narrow trees (the key with her is to clear those shark fin withers). Cut back style saddles can also work on a Tb with high narrow withers.
    This horse has a wither, but it's not high-- if anything it's just a smidge longer than a normal wither. I would say she actually has a more WB ish back, but a TB shoulder, if that makes sense. She is currently going in an old-ish Circuit saddle (which through a bizarre twist of fate, was actually my saddle eons ago, but my butt has gotten too big for it in my fat middle age) which is made on the same tree as many of the Pessoa saddles from the same vintage.

    I tried a trilogy debbie macdonald, but even though the flap was short, the flap was huge volume wise and it still looked silly. my hips also did not like it at all.

    I'm working with Lynnda at Classic right now, on a dressage saddle. My expertise with jumping saddles is greater and so is my ability to ride in one that doesn't fit me 100% perfectly, so I am on a used hunt there and am pursuing a dressage saddle instead through her.



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