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kieffer dressage saddles

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  • kieffer dressage saddles

    I have ridden hunt seat since Day 1 but now would like to try dressage. Years ago, I was on a lesson horse and the instructor had found a Kieffer dressage saddle at a yard sale for $25. It was THE MOST comfortable saddle I'd even sat in. I have noted they aren't a big item in the usual catalogues but I can find them online. Any comments about Kieffer saddles? Thanks.

  • #2
    Kieffers are wonderful - you can usually find them second hand for reasonable prices on ebay.
    True North Dressage
    Select Cheval Canadiens for dressage and eventing


    • #3
      Can't find them in catalogues because there are only 1 or 2 approved dealers in the US.

      They are great if you like them. If they are right for you.

      I, personally, call them Krotchbusters.
      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


      • #4
        See if you can find out what model her Kieffer was. The seat and tree configurations can vary from model to model. Don't forget that the fit for the horse is the most important. But your comfort is not far behind.


        • #5
          Also try to find one used. I have one, it is the Kieffer Lech Pro that I got through a friend, it was new. I love my saddle. Google used saddles, see what you come up with.
          ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
          *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
          *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
          My Facebook


          • #6
            I love my Kieffer...Can't explain it, I like it better than my Wintecs and none of the horses I have had/worked with in the past few years had the withers to ride with it, so when I got this new horse in October that had withers it was like YEAH! I can use my Kieffer! And he likes it too

            Mines an oldie, my grandmother owned it since...at least the late 70's.
            Sic em, Charlie!


            • #7
              I have a Kieffer that I got second hand. It was only about two years old when I got it a couple years ago. I truly love it. But, you have to fit the saddle too. I remember thinking it was hard as rocks, but I've grown to love it.

              I can't for the life of me figure out what type of Kieffer it is though... it think it might be the Wien DL (see http://www.kiefferusa.com/Item6.htm) But, regardless, it fits me and my boy quite well. And it's nice knowing that they are adjustable too.
              Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
              See G2's blog


              • #8
                Here is a site that often has Kieffers used:


                Dressage Extensions sells new Kieffer stuff:

                ~Amy~ TrakehNERD clique
                *Bugs 5/86-3/10 OTTB Mare* RIP lovely Lady, I miss you
                *Frodo '03 Anglo Trakehner Gelding*
                My Facebook


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks, All,
                  I've looked on Ebay but I'm concerned about buying a saddle and possibly not being able to return it if it doesn't fit my mare/me. I'll try those other websites.


                  • #10
                    If you had to guess, what size seat and which width tree would you think you need?


                    • Original Poster

                      Guessing about saddle size: I'd say a 17 seat, but that is definitely a guess. My mare is 5 1/2, Cleveland Bay/TB but has those pronounced TB withers. She has not been worked in months so is not muscled up... not sure about tree width.


                      • #12
                        I adore my Keiffer. I got a second saddle - a Crosby Sofride (from before Millers went backrupt), but that one is now for sale since I like my Keiffer much more.

                        Here is a good link to look for used Keiffers:
                        Stacy Lynne Photography


                        • #13
                          Kieffers are very nice saddles. They wear like iron and last forever. I personally have an Aachen Dressage. I have however, met many who hate them. But if it fits you and your horse you will have a saddle that will last forever. I recommend buying used. They are so durable that wear and tear isn't an issue and the new ones take a while to break in.


                          • #14
                            The newer Kieffers have a soft seat. There are a lot of new models that are really nice. I love the fact that they can be adjusted very easily. I had mine fitted for $100 plus the UPS cost. The Horse of Course is a Kieffer dealer, too www.thehorseofcourse.com
                            A good used site that I have had good luck with is www.middleburgtack.com
                            They have two Weins for $550
                            "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"


                            • #15
                              My Kieffer is a brick but it fits me and the Irish Sporthorse I am riding right now. The horse is a table. The only thing is, while they can be adjusted they are adjusted using a heat table, so only a few people can do it AND, if it gets REALLY hot out, you need to bring the saddle in because the tree can warp. My saddle lives inside when the temps are toasty because I don't want to unintentionally adjust it .
                              Lark B


                              • Original Poster

                                duh question?

                                I hope this isn't a duh question-once I get my mare back into shape with lots of ground work, I realize with the muscling up her shape will change. My question is: by riding her, after doing the ground/round pen training, will she change even more (once I start riding), or will I be able find to a saddle that will remain comfortable? I realize that more exercise/riding = change, but could I go ahead and buy a saddle, do a trial ride for a few days, and then expect it to fit her for the foreseeable future? Is my question clear as mud?


                                • #17
                                  Why some people love and others HATE kieffer saddles...

                                  I have been doing a lot of research on saddles and there is also a lot of information out there on dressagetrainingonline.com (see JDR saddler talk about saddle making - VERY helpful; also talk to Lynnda at Classicsaddlery.com - VERY knowledgeable about which seats and styles you would like and dislike due to your natural posture)

                                  I have compared MANY saddles with students and friends and trainers to figure out WHY some people love certain saddles and hate others and have come up with a lot of useful tips. Here they are:

                                  People with Tilted Pelvic Floors, or in other words people who have a natural arch in their lower backs tend to NEED saddles that have a narrow twist and a small twist that is close to the front of the saddle, right where the seat should be set. They like some support behind them, a nice drop in both the front of the saddle and the seat, which balances the rider in the correct place to have a gentle "standing" position necessary for dressage. The saddles such as Kieffer, some Albions, Max Hopfners, Passiers, SOME of the Schumachers, and the Classic Laurea or Classic Select are very comfortable to these people. Unfortunatly noone is making a saddle for us that has a soft seatThey don't have to constantly tuck their butts and try hard to fill the lower back to get a deep seat and then have to pull the thighs back from where is meets the pelvis via muscles in the back of the thigh/hamstrings to maintain a correct position. Thigh NOT KNEE blocks seem to be helpful to these people in saddles that don't fit just right to their seats. In other saddles, they will be constantly "searching" for the right place and go from fork seat to chair seat and back again. I must say there is something to be said about people who MAKE their bodies able to ride in all types of saddles which is a hard task to undertake. Some saddles with absolutely NO support can be beneficial to all riders, but they aren't made very much anymore. I KNOW there is a saddle that is made just for everyone. It feels like a glove, you don't notice it, you don't fight it, and you just feel what the horse is doing and forget about where your leg lays. Seems like an impossible task, but it is something that can be achieved. Sometimes a custom saddle is the ONLY way to go if you can't fit the saddle you like to the conformation of your horse. Expensive, but it will last you a lifetime and when all is said and done, you will be better off in the longrun I PROMISE!

                                  People that have a flat back and a flatter pelvic tilt (or no pelvic tilt) - men almost always, but some LUCKY women as well. If you are able to lay on the floor, flat on your back, arms next to your sides and legs straight on the floor with out ANY tension in the lower back to get your lower back to stay on the floor in a relaxed manner, you probably have a flat pelvic floor. They like and ride well in saddles such as the Nierderseus, Bates, Prestige, some of the Schumachers, HDRs, Roosli, Stübben, Wintec, L'Apogee, Crosby, Jaguar, Hermés, Aanky Saddles, County (especially the Competitor models) most Collegiates, and less expensive saddles.

                                  So, hope that helps people looking at saddles.


                                  • #18
                                    Keiffer has some pretty nice saddles and they wear like iron. They have high quality thick leather. They have very nicely balanced trees.

                                    They are a heavy saddle compared to maybe the Sommer monoflap or soemthing like that, but the Sommer is a very light saddle with a nrrow twist.

                                    I have an Achen I. Have ridden in quite a few differnt Keiffers, dressage and all-purpose and jumping. Like them all.

                                    Very adjustable to horse with wool flocking. And the tree is adjustable on the "steam machine".

                                    I do love my Keiffer though. I just had it adjusted and reflocked, works great.


                                    • #19

                                      While I appreciate your analysis about pelvic tilt, I don't think you can lump all these saddles together for a "Flat pelvic floor" vs. "Tipped pelvic floor". I'm in the tipped category and all the saddles mentioned in your example of "flat" I find comfy. The shape of the seat and ultimately the shape of the tree makes a huge difference. The mattress in the seat really affects how that rider sits. This can be shaved to create a longer seat or a more cupped or deeper seat on the same saddle. The twist and waist of the saddle would affect the openness of the hip which will bring the rider down on the three points. One must also consider that European men have been designing saddles up until now and yes their pelvic structure is very different from a womans. After a women has given birth (vag) it also changes again. Ask anyone who has an extended vertebrae. They probably don't know they have one until after a strained birth, then the vertebrae moves back and straight down into the seat of the saddle. Quite painful.


                                      • #20
                                        After years of Hunter/Jumpers, I too switched to Dressage. My first Dressage saddle, which I am still using , is a used Windsor Greenline. OMG! This is the most comfortable saddle I have ever sat in! It has that Schrumpf leather and also some great and well placed thigh blocks. It has a V-shaped billet system which is really unique and helps with pressure when girthing. As long as you're trying saddles, see if you can find a Windsor Greenline and see what you think (as long as it fits your horse, too!!! )
                                        Founder & Donor/Account Advisor
                                        Brennan Equine Welfare Fund