I don't think there is a specific brand for those of us that are vertically challenged, moreso you need to look at the flap length. I'm 5'1 3/4" (yes I take that extra 3/4") and I'm currently riding in a used Tad A5G. I also have an old Crosby Hunterdon at my house as well. While looking at saddles, I looked at Butet, Toulousse, Voltaire, Bates, Collegiate and others. I found that the higher end saddles offered more options.
Man, you think 5'3" is short? I wish I could be that tall. I 4'11" and I am currently in a short flap Butet (found on craigslist), and before that I was in a short flap Bates (found on ebay). Sometimes you just need to get creative when searching. Good luck!
I'm 5' tall and I ride in a tad coffin until my custom saddle comes in next month. I find the tad and the county innovation to be the only high end saddles that really work for me. I also tried a Loxley jump saddle that I really liked.
The French brands all seem to ride like they're meant for taller, thinner people than me.
I should add that I'm fatter than I would like. I am in a 17" to have room for my butt. I ride comfortably in a 16.5 when not unpleasantly huge as I feel I am now.
My favorite size saddle is a 16.5". I could ride in a 17" (for the junk in the trunk" if the flap were straight enough.
So many saddle designs right now are for people with long femurs and/or for folks who will jump big oxers in short stirrups. That puts the shortie at a disadvantage.
In general, then, you want to look for something with a straighter flap. The short-flap option can help, too. IME, that's less helpful than the straight flap.
After that, you have to decide if you like an open seat-- long and flat, even if it has a good pommel and cantle-- or if you want a deeper seat that helps you stay in one spot. With those saddles, be sure to give them a couple of test-drives. They can feel supportive at first, but you need to make sure that your knee is actually in the pocket, not behind it, so that you can get all of the security and help they were designed to give.
i know right? I'm 5'4" and I don't think I'm short. I'm in a 17" Bates (I'm 99% sure it's 17....i got it 13 years ago and my mind is failing me in my 20s). I seem to be a descendant of the Jessica Rabbit/Kardashian gene pool though.
I consider myself short when it comes to saddles. I'm 5'5" but my inseam is short for my height (30") and what leg I do have is mostly knee to foot (I can wear taller boots than my inseam alone would indicate I should). So knee to hip is short and many jump saddles are just too forward or long flapped for me.
My very best fit was a Tad Coffin, regular flap. It is straighter than many jump saddles, and that suited me well. I only switched because I had to go to a County to fit a difficult horse. There, I have a Stabilizer with a short flap that fits me pretty well, but not as good as the TC.
I've also have a Black Country Quantum that really has too forward a flap (the standard) for me, but I manage ok and it makes that horse happy. You can do other flaps if you order from them, but I was shopping used and had to make do.
It is hard when you have short legs and wide horses. When I had the Tad, my horse was a wide 1500 lb. warmblood and that saddle was the only one that let me get my legs around him instead of perching on top. I miss that saddle, but it just didn't fit the next horse.
I'm 5'2" and have an off the rack Prestige Versailles. It's a LITTLE long in the flap for me, but I wouldn't trade it in for anything. Being that you're only 15, you may want to get a flap that is a little long right now unless you're sure you're done growing (I grew until I was 18). I know our store can order your exact size, including a specific flap length and its not considered "custom" -- you do need to pay for the shipping though.
"For by the love that guides my pen, I know great horses live again."
There are several saddle companies that offer short flaps or straighter flaps to accommodate a shorter leg or for someone that has a short hip to knee measurement. In fact, many offer this at no extra charge. The most important thing is to try the closest possible to what you like and what fits your horse and then order one with the needed modifications.
I don't think there is a specific brand for those of us that are vertically challenged, moreso you need to look at the flap length. I'm 5'1 3/4" (yes I take that extra 3/4") and I'm currently riding in a used Tad A5G.
I take my 3/4" very seriously as well - almost being 5'2" just feels better than saying you're 5'1"
I don't even know if Prestige makes them anymore, but their Nona Garson saddles are lovely for those of us with short legs and I wouldn't be at all surprised if that were the case with some of their other saddles as well.
Last edited by baudelist; Mar. 22, 2013 at 03:34 PM.
I'm just 5'1 (in paddock boots) and NOT a skinny-minnie. I LOVE my Tad Coffin. It fits most of my horses and I love where it puts me and my leg. My hard-to-fit horse has too much wither for a TC and we've been running the gambit on other options to fit him that I don't hate. So far only a short-flapped butet was okay until he outgrew it and now we're looking at customs. I agree with other posters that ebay can be a good option for finding a short-flapped saddle on a mere-mortal budget--you just have to be patient. Good Luck!
A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...
There was another search for short people saddle very recently, try searching the forum. I'm 5'1'' and skinny and had a hard time finding something that fit me (maybe tack brands will see this and make it easier for us to find stuff in short flaps!)
If you are very skinny try a 16'' Beval Stamford or a 17'' Beval Stamford. I had the 16'' but it was just a little too small for my butt (I'm 114lbs if that helps.)
I now have an Arc De Triomphe Gazelle which I love, and my flap isn't even the the shortest it comes in. They are very tough to find used though. Not sure what your price range is.