I am a Grade III Para dressage rider, one of the main issues that I am finding out is that I for one have no balance (Chiari Malformation) and I cant always feel my feet. With that being said I need to find something that is deep in the seat but not so deep that I feel trapped but would give me a secure leg position. I am playing with different aids such as Velcroing my feet to my stirrups, rubber banding my feet to the stirrups, I have switched to the offset eyelets on my irons and am going to try the rubber bands first since that's what listed on my FEI card. I still need to find a better balanced saddle as I still feel a bit insecure in my current Stubben. A big problem that I have is my size, I am 4 10.5 but am long from hip to knee and short from knee to ankle... I would appreciate any suggestions in helping me find a well balanced saddle
OH I forgot I have a really crappy back the Chiari has progressed some while I don't have spinal fluid build up in my spine yet I do have Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Stenosis, and Scotty Dog Fractures sooo it needs to be super comfy
Im a grade IV para love chelderic saddles the older are less cushiony. Also like prestiege, crosby is my fave, there is also barnsby, my complaint was it was hard on the lady parts!
Im also your height with long upper leg
Also jointed irons with super grip pads to go with banding stirup
Thinline half pad for real helps hips/back id love to try thier stirrup pads too!
Feel free to pm me! Ive done alot of tack trial and error!
Which model Stubben are you using? They make everything from a really flat model to a heavily blocked model. Mine is VERY flat and barely there, however a friend of mine has one of the newer Tristans that's quite heavily blocked. There are a couple even more heavily blocked than it too.
I would recommend trying a Schleese. They are very balanced and secure feeling saddles. I have one and use the Flex MDC super sport stirrups with flexible pads...they have helped enormously. The flex is subtle but enough to allow the feet a bit of movement which translated to more stability.
I'd look at some of the other Stubben models and look into having the flap cut down. Stubben is also pretty great about building an entirely customized saddle if Stubben's fit the horse and you want to go that route. You could get a saddle with a short flap that has blocks in all the right places for you. They also have a 'Biomex' seat on new saddles as an option. It's got padding under your seat bones, but not in the middle under your tail bone. It's supposed to be quite comfortable without compromising feel.
I don't know if they'd help you, but I LOVE my composite wide track stirrups. They're only about $40, but they're nearly twice as wide as normal irons and super comfy. I use them to alleviate knee pain, but a few new riders have told me they feel considerably more secure with them. I do dressage, jump and foxhunt in mine.
I'm impressed you can ride at all with chiari! One of my good friends has it and i know it's not even a consideration as a possibility for her.
I think you will have to try out saddles and see because none of us can know what you feel. Some snugger deep seats will feel comfortable to you, some will feel like they force a bad position and some will keep your hips from moving and try to turn you into a bobblehead which will probably hurt even more.
I have ridden in deeper customs which seemed to hold snugly and others which seemed uncomfortable. I would look more by saddle fitter and who will work with you and not make you buy a saddle before knowing it fits. The more options and adjustments the better, of course. I bought a Dresch for the saddle fitter and options - they put together all the various parts to fit you, make blocks based on velcro pieces adjusted specifically to you in your fitting ride then build to those measurements, etc. At 5'1" I had some of the same fit issues you will, and this is the first saddle I've ever had which really fit me.
I have a friend who I believe has a trilogy Debbie Mcdonald and she refers to it as her couch. She had broken her back years ago and found it to be the most comfortable saddle ever.
Good luck in your search!
Originally Posted by Silverbridge
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I can't say how my chiari will progress in the next few years, it gets a little worse every year! One day ill get decompressed and fused and maybe it will solve some problems! For now we are aiming for Rio a saddle will be crucial for helping me balance and feel secure...
In my stubben I cant feel my legs after awhile others its normal feeling