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Saddles that strongly influence position

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  • Saddles that strongly influence position

    I'm looking for a saddle that will basically suck me in and hold me in place. Before anyone jumps down my throat, I should tell you I have a medical disorder that causes extreme weakness, numbness, and pain in my left hip and leg. When I am in remission, it doesn't cause much of a problem and I really don't need a super influential saddle. Unfortunately, when I'm in a relapse, my balance is slightly off (enough to cause some insecurity), along with my leg/hip problems I mentioned earlier. I suppose the easy answer would be "don't ride when you are having a relapse," but I don't want to let this problem get the best of me and I want to try to remain as normal as possible. When I am having bad days, I usually just walk on the horse, but I'm afraid if there was a spook, bolt or buck (even one that wouldn't be a problem when I was 100%) I would be off in a heartbeat. I realize everybody falls off, but I really need to take extra precautions. The fact is I might never see remission and I need to prepare for this.

    What saddle(s) have you found to strongly influence correct position in the rider? Would a deep seat and large blocks help? I would like something with a tree that can be adjusted by a saddler as I have a young, growing horse. I currently ride in a Theo Sommer Esprit. I have tried the Wintec Isabell, but it kills my back and puts painful pressure on my left seat bone. I have not had luck with Stubben or Albion, either. I need to stay in the $3K or under range.
    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I have heard great things about the County saddles.


    • #3
      I 2nd the county. I ride a horse that goes in one, and I don't move when I am in that saddle (which on the hardest horse I have ever sat to.... it's great)


      • #4

        When I started my rehab after shattering my ankle, I rode in my trainer's Devoucoux. It is not real padded (like a Klimke) but just fits so well. I ended up buying one (used for $2500 with girth, irons and leathers). I believe it has kept me in the saddle on a few occassions when my horse has jumped sideways.

        Can't recommend it highly enough.

        Hope you see some remission.
        A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


        • #5
          I like the Legend. I don't know the original maker other than it is made in the UK and I have had mine for many years. Not cheap but you feel like you are part of the saddle.


          • #6
            I have a Sommer as well, but I ride in the Magnus. To me, it seems to hold me in pretty well and put me in a good position. Everyone comments that the cantle is really high on it, but I like that, because I feel more secure, especially since my horse is still getting used to her new barn, etc. and has been a little spooky lately. I'm not sure if bigger kneeblocks would help you or not, but the ones on my saddle seem to be moderately sized, if that helps any.
            "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."


            • #7
              Saddle with a "seatbelt"

              I agree, the county saddles are great for locking you into position. The Bates Isabell is also a good 2nd choice, less $$ than the county, but not as nice


              • #8
                i don't think i'd buy a whole new saddle when sticky pants would work instead:



                • #9
                  You're definitely looking in the right direction. The deeper the seat, and the more correctly fitted the thigh blocks are the more "held" you'll be. then your only choice will be finding one of these that you and your horse are comfortable with. I personally like the Albion slk line.


                  • #10
                    You might look at the Trilogy Amadeo and Varago (?) as well. I rode in my trainer's Amadeo in my lesson last week, and I was amazed by how easy it made sitting in the correct position. I hadn't realized how much I was fighting with my saddle. I'm told that the Varago has an even deeper seat and a wider twist. I guess I'll find out when the saddle fitter comes next week. (Yep, it really was an expensive lesson!)


                    • #11
                      I have a Lemke Elite, which doesn't exist anymore, but is similar to the Euro and the Delux. It has a supper deep seat and big blocks. I've used it extensively on squirelly horses for their first outside hacks, and I do some gnarly trails with it to as well as competitive dressage. The only fear I have with this saddle is that it would be hard to get out of it if I really had to (ie. falling horse) but it hasn't been a problem yet. My horses like it too

                      The Lemke saddles are very reasonable and there are a couple different "seatbelt" models.


                      • #12
                        Sounds like you are looking for a saddle with a deep seat, knee rolls and thigh blocks? Personally, that is the opposite of what I like to ride in () so I can tell you my least favorite is a Prestige.


                        I feel like I can't move in these saddles!

                        Whatever you do, make sure that the saddle fits you both in terms of seat size, but also the length of your thigh. When you are sitting in the correct position with your stirrups the right length, your knee should rest in the knee roll comfortably. Having the right fit is probably more important than the type of saddle.
                        Good luck!
                        "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                        • #13
                          I love my Lemke. They run a bit more than you're talking about new, but you could probably find a used one. I went through several issues (extreme discomfort and just godawful body position) when I got my youngster several years ago. The switch to the Lemke made all the difference for me. You can email Sheryl @ Lemke or lemkesaddles.com. She's very helpful and knowlegeable-even about other saddles.
                          Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


                          • #14
                            It would be worth sitting in both versions of the Bates Innova. If the first one you sit in is awful, keep sitting. Try different sizes and both types of blocks. I found the large blocks to be AWFUL, but the smaller ones to be lovely. Seat size matters too.

                            The other thing to think about is either a Spanish or Portuguese saddle, or a good Australian saddle.

                            I just came in from riding the young'un's first 'friskies' in the snow. I was in an Alta Escuela, which is sort of a cross between a dressage saddle and a Portuguese saddle... and I felt lovely secure, even when he was seahorsing through the snow drifts.

                            There are many different types and models, from the VERY secure Doma Vaquera saddle, to an almost-dressage-saddle Portuguese type. (sorry, forget the name). I would think an Alta Escuela might be ideal though. And it's 'classical' enough for the SRS, the Portuguese school, etc. (Dunno about Cadre Noir, but I think there too!)

                            The nice thing about the Spanish or Portuguese saddles is they are made to allow a very correct, classical position (unlike some western--a GOOD western is fabulous for an elegant, balanced, effective position, but a bad one is worse than nothing) You can't just get the cheapos off Ebay, you have to do a little searching and such, but I have a few contacts I could hook you up with in the UK if that's the direction you decide to go in.

                            A plus, many of the models are designed to be used with a full sheepskin cover. I have a degenerative hip and sciatica, and can tell you, there are days sheepskin feels like heaven. None of the new high-tech materials are quite the same.

                            An Aussie--again, you have to get a good one, not a cheapo Indian made--might also have just the security and help you need. Some really encourage a chair seat, which I'm sure you want to avoid... but others are nicely balanced, and the poleys are excellent for keeping you 'in' the saddle when the unexpected occurs.

                            You could always keep your current saddle for good days--being optomistic--and have an Aussie or Spanish/Portuguese for bad days.

                            Finally, it is very affordable and worthwhile to have nice big cushy thigh blocks added to a 'favorite' saddle if it fits. I did the blasphemy of having them added to an Anciet Passier PT for my stallion--he's wiiiiide on top, but narrow in the body, so I really need big thigh blocks on him to 'dig into' if there is a spook or shy etc. Otherwise my leg goes right forward off the flap into thin air--the saddle is wider than his shoulder, if that makes sense. For around $100 or so, you can get thigh blocks of the size you want put where you want. I had GINORMOUS blocks on my Fhoenix, and loved them. If you try saddles with velcro blocks, try putting them up as high as you can get them--sometimes that means the top of the block is off the velcro completely--don't worry, it'll stay put. It can make the saddle feel COMPLETELY different and far more secure.

                            Good luck. Keep riding.
                            InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

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


                            • #15
                              Check out this site http://www.freedomrider.com/
                              ... _. ._ .._. .._


                              • #16
                                My Hennig really changed my position for the better. It has large knee rolls/thigh blocks and a deep seat that sucks you in.

                                Good luck.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thank you

                                  Thanks for all of the responses. I love my Sommer and it's great on my old saint of a gelding, but it does not work for me when it's on my mare...it just doesn't fit her quite right. I had been riding the mare in a close contact while I saved up for a dressage saddle, but the CC doesn't offer me enough support and hurts me. Emily(the mare) can be a little squirrely at times, so short of suction cupping my butt to the saddle and duct taping my legs to her sides, I want to be as "sucked in" as possible.

                                  I will look into all of the saddles you guys have mentioned. I really appreciate your advice


                                  • #18
                                    I just bought a Black Country Minuet sold by Advanced Saddlery and it has really helped me a lot. I can sit the trot better and my seat is very balanced. They are only $2750.


                                    • #19
                                      I have found the Bates Isabell to be just that saddle that locks you in place and keeps you in the correct position. Plus, you can adjust the knee rolls to where they best suite you at the time. You can pull them closer to your knee when you need more or move them further away on the days that you are feeling good.

                                      I bought mine to use on my youngsters. When they act up, I want to be locked in!


                                      • #20
                                        I will second the ideas of a Bates or Wintec saddle, especially the Isabell.. if you get the Wintec Isabell, it is covered COMPLETELY (not just seat and knee rolls, the entire saddle) in equisuede. You stick to it like glue.

                                        I also will second the idea of an Albion. I rode in one once, and while I admit I found it to be most possibly the ugliest saddle I've ever seen (HUGE monstrous cantle, massive knee blocks, etc), it was extremely secure and actually very comfortable.

                                        Also, for just hacking around or maybe on you're really bad days, an australian or portuguese saddle would probably do you good. They both REALLY hold you in, and there's plenty of 'stuff' to grab onto if you're about to lose your balance.

                                        One more suggestion! Do you have a bucking strap on your saddles? They're wonderful little inventions, and have helped me through many sticky situations.
                                        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!