Does anyone have experience riding in an Eloquence that could tell me if it tends to fit on the smaller or roomier side for the rider. I have to have any used saddles mailed to me, so I'm trying to narrow it down. I tend to be between a 17 and a 17.5 on dressage saddles, but I know that the Vega dressage in a 17 and the Niedersuss in a 16.75 are too small. The Albion 17.5 seems too big though, so any feedback would be MUCH appreciated ?!
Having ridden in a Bellissima (the calfskin version of the Eloquence), I would say they run on the smaller side. I usually ride in a 17" - 17.5" (depending on seat depth and forwardness of flap); the 17.5" Bellissima was a bit small for me; I would have been more comfortable in an 18" or perhaps even an 18.5". My Wintec dressage saddle is a 17" and my Collegiate Convertible Diploma is a 17.5". A 17" County Symmetry also works well for me, and I take a 17.5" in a Black Country Quantum.
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I would agree that the Eloquence runs a bit on the small side. Previously, I rode in two different Countys and a Passier, all 17". I now have a BC Eloquence, which was custom made for me and my horse. Its a 17.5" and perfect. I love it!
Our experience is that they run pretty true to size with a moderately deep seat. The deeper the seat the more room you may need and therefore a bit larger seat size. Although the Eloquence allows for a leg to hang straight or slightly bent, if you have a long thigh you may want to size up.
As a general rule, deeper seats ride smaller than more open seats, and flap set, stirrup bar placement and block size come into the equation as well. That said, the Eden may run a bit smaller than the Eloquence, Vinici or other models, since the seat's a bit deeper and the flap's a bit straighter. While the BC saddles are deeper in the seat than, say, most of the Passiers, they're not terribly deep by today's standards, and run fairly true to size. You can also order them with a modified flap to accommodate a longer/shorter femur without having to ride in a seat that's not sized correctly.
Yes, these are the difficult questions. Most of the saddles I'm finding are on the east coast and I'm in WA now. I don't want to pay a ton to ship saddles back and forth. I am fairly small (5'4, 125 lbs), but I do have a long femur for my size. I know I really felt cramped in the 17" vega dressage.