• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.


1 of 2 < >

Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

In our continuing effort to provide an avenue for individuals to voice their opinions and experiences, we have recently reviewed and updated our forum policies. Generally, we have allowed users to share their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, trainers, etc. within the industry, and that is not changing.

When it came to overt criminal allegations, however, those discussions have in the past needed to stem from a report by a reputable news source or action by law enforcement or the legal system.

We are now expanding our policies to allow posters to share their own first-hand experiences involving overt criminal allegations, such as animal abuse or neglect, theft, etc., but only if they publicly provide their full first and last name along with the post. We still will not allow anonymous postings alleging criminal activity.

So, a user may now make a specific claim against a named individual or company, but it must be a FIRST-HAND account, and they have to IDENTIFY THEMSELVES. Users have always been legally responsible for their posts, and nothing has changed there, but we want to loosen the reins a bit and further allow the free flow of discussion and information relevant to the horse community.

We are not providing a free-for-all of anonymous rumor-mongering. As enduring advocates for the welfare of the horse, we want to provide a forum for those willing to sign their name and shine a light on issues of concern to them in the industry.

The full revised rules are posted at the top of each forum for reference.
2 of 2 < >

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums’ policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

Dressage Saddle. Does This Exist?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dressage Saddle. Does This Exist?

    I am once again searching for a dressage saddle for my hard to fit mare. Conventional saddles that are cut with a straight flap and long points will not work for this horse. She has little wither and prominent shoulders. She needs a saddle that will sit over the edge of her shoulder blade and allow the shoulders to move under the front of the saddle. She also has a wide Baroque type back. She's an 11 year old Dutch warm blood and carries her rib cage high. She has a wide flat back so no plump panels. She needs a flat panel that will lay on her back rather than something that is stuffed to where the whole panel does not bear weight. I'd love to hear saddle suggestions. I might also add that I have a long thigh and ride with slightly more bend then some of the riders that ride with a very straight leg. So I need minimal block a shallower seat and I like my stirrup bars set a little further back. Thus such a beast exist?

  • #2
    Maybe Bates? They have adjustable stirrup bars, changeable thigh blocks in different styles, very flat panels, especially if you choose the CAIR panel, and I believe the points are fairly short on the adjustable trees (I think).


    • #3
      Yes that saddle there are saddles like that. I can think of 3 off the top of my head. However why do you want the tree over the shoulders?
      Jacobson's Saddlery, LLC
      Society of Master Saddlers trained saddle fitter


      • #4
        Wow saddles. Do all this and more but, BUT!, I don't know how much coverage they have with fitters in the US and it would depend how confident you were about setting it up yourself. There's a fair second hand market in the UK for sourcing parts on a budget including a couple of quite active Facebook groups.
        WOW saddles have numerous Dressage flap designs to suit everyone's tastes.  Here is a listing of those flaps in 3D.


        • #5
          My new Stubben has short tree points and fits my horse with very prominent shoulders (although he also does have withers). The Stubbens come with 2 different trees now, so I would speak with someone knowledgeable about that (not me!). Good luck. They also have shallower seats and minimal blocks, etc. depending on the style.
          From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


          • #6
            I have a very similar horse (with the added bonus that it's a pony and built downhill, yay) and have just gone through 6 months' worth of saddle trials, so learn from me! I also ride with a shorter stirrup so anything with a huge knee roll was out because it would turn my whole leg to the outside (this knocked a lot of Albions, my go-to brand, out of the running). The best thing I trialled was a Frank Baines Capriole, the older model with minimal knee block. It has a very flat seat and rides amazingly well with any stirrup length. Baines saddles have softer flocking generally, unless it's been overstuffed aftermarket by some zealous fitter. The Capriole has been discontinued and the exact tree size/seat combo i need isn't popping up on the used market, so what i ended up in was a Niedersuss Olympik. For whatever reason this saddle allowed my stumpy short leg to just "hang" where it needed to be. Niedersuss have really short points, which is how they have the reputation of fitting so many horses.

            If your horse needs a thin panel and is a candidate for foam, there are some brands that may work for you there also. My personal snowflake demands wool so I am not helpful there.

            I too am confused by the statement about the saddle needing to be up over the edge of the shoulder blade. That's not where saddles are designed to sit. Are you setting the saddle far enough back when you tack up? 1-2" behind the point of the shoulder blade.


            • #7
              There are quite a few like that. The question becomes - your price range; if you are looking for new, your location to determine if there is a fitter in the area; your rider needs, etc. Many of the custom companies have at least one model with short points, most can do a forward flap (if you need that), most have different types of trees for different body types. So it really comes down to - is there a fitter in your area, is it in your price range, and is it comfortable for you? There are so many baroque type horses, that this saddle does exist with many brand names on it.

              There are off-the-rack saddles too. Poster above mentions 2 that tend to work well on a LOT of different horses. Neidersuiss Olympik or Symphony, and many of the Frank Baines models. Some of the Albions might work (some of the older ones like the Legend/SL have minimal thick blocks too). Newer customs, I know both Schleese and Custom Saddlery make some models that fit those requirements...


              • #8
                I am having the same difficulties fitting my Lipizzans, especially my really wide mutton withered mare who is a hair under 14.2. On top of that, I’m hard to fit too! Many injuries, long femur and need for a narrower feeling twist...Loxley has a saddle with hoop shaped gullet bars that fit her perfectly and didn’t move but it crippled me. They might be a place to start, or many of the English made saddles can accommodate a wider lower either and flatter back. Black Country is a good one but there are many others. Custom Saddlery has some wider options now. I really feel your pain, I have probably tried close to 200 saddles for my girl but can’t find one that’s perfect for us both


                • #9
                  Dresch saddles are amazing in my experience. Can be custom fitted to both horse and rider. My tree was built around the horse then everything else was custom made around me. My mare is pretty wide, I used to have a Custom Saddlery brand saddle that wouldn't fit her even at the widest fitting (channel was too narrow), but the Dresch could be made wide enough in the channel for her plus she has a short back (she has a pony length tree, LOL). Also I am short but my thigh is long, and my leg likes to be more forward, so the saddle was made to fit that. I've had this saddle for over 4 years now and it's lovely. Just another option for the hard to fit horse and rider.


                  • #10
                    If you are interested in the Wow, try Patricia from Fine Used Saddles. She is wonderful and carries new and demo Wow saddles. She is near Leesburg, VA but I believe she travels to PA.


                    • #11
                      The EQ Saddle does that. It sits on top of the shoulder.

                      You can take a saddle out on trial for the cost of shipping it back and forth from Canada.

                      I know two trainers who use this saddle and had my horse traced for one. It is a very different concept but I like it. One of the trainers I knows has a horse who has a weird shaped back and has been difficult to fit and keep comfortable. She really loves the EQ Saddle.


                      • #12
                        Reactor Panel have short points, can be customized in fitting, have very flat panels. A friend has one for sale (I sold mine years ago when my gelding outgrew it) that has a very wide tree for her TB/Perch mare.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CookieFiend View Post
                          Dresch saddles are amazing in my experience. Can be custom fitted to both horse and rider. My tree was built around the horse then everything else was custom made around me. My mare is pretty wide, I used to have a Custom Saddlery brand saddle that wouldn't fit her even at the widest fitting (channel was too narrow), but the Dresch could be made wide enough in the channel for her plus she has a short back (she has a pony length tree, LOL). Also I am short but my thigh is long, and my leg likes to be more forward, so the saddle was made to fit that. I've had this saddle for over 4 years now and it's lovely. Just another option for the hard to fit horse and rider.
                          This was going to be my suggestion.

                          My guy's build wouldn't let the saddle stay there, but they are intended to go over the shoulders. Especially useful if you're dealing with a short back!
                          If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


                          • #14
                            Have you tried a Custom Saddlery saddle? My fitter came to me with over 30 saddle options for me to try when I was buying mine. After narrowing down what I wanted in a saddle, she gave me 8 or 9 options that could work with my horse. I sat in every single one and some worked better for the horse and some worked better for me.

                            I have a very short coupled, short flat backed, mutton withered, downhill, Cleveland bay cross with a HUGE shoulder, and I just purchased a Custom Advantage R with pony panels and the billets off the point to allow more shoulder movement. I also ordered it with the short thigh block instead of the full knee roll. My fitter actually told me that it was the first saddle that she had ever ordered "off the point" and she was really excited to see how it would work for us. I couldn't happier with the fit. He also has a big barrel and forward girth groove so I ride him in a TSF girth which works fantastic for us.

                            I couldn't be happier with my purchase. It fits him unbelievably well and the narrower twist allows me to really sit into the saddle and get my legs around him. It has a nice deep flat spot that allows me to really sit into the saddle and I feel like for the first time in my riding career that my saddle isn't impeding my position but actually helping me to sit quieter.

                            If you are adamant about a saddle that fits over the shoulder, you should be looking at French made saddles, Devocoux, Antares, CWD, Butet, etc... These saddlers are known for making very nice jump saddles and their dressage saddles are designed to sit more forward on the horse and closer to the shoulder. Unfortunately they are foam flocked so there really isn't much that can be done if your horse outgrows it. Most of the ones I have come across tend to have a more forward flap and a shallower seat as well.


                            • #15
                              It sounds like your horse needs a hoop tree.

                              If you can afford to go custom, you'd probably enjoy almost the exact saddle I ended up with - a Black Country ViniciX with a shortened thigh block and forward flap. It is heaven to ride in. Since you mention a shallower seat, they will shave down the cantle if that's your preference (the pommel is already fairly low). If you don't want to go custom, their Equinox model, which is a dressage-based endurance saddle, already has a forward flap with small thigh block. The main difference is the half-panels on the Equinox, which gave me nowhere to put my knee on the smallish horse I originally bought it for. With a larger horse that takes up the leg, this wouldn't have been a problem.


                              • #16
                                My girl is a bit more pear-shaped than barrel-shaped, but very flat backed both laterally and longitudinally, and quite wide. She also starts spooking in the canter if a saddle interferes with her shoulders. Frank Baines Reflex has been our savior. She's 15.2, I'm 5'10", and my other dressage saddle is a Passier Grand Gilbert. The Baines fits her back better, and it allows me to have a bit more freedom in my leg and hip. I would say it does (or at least mine does) require a bit more of an educated seat and core control because it rides minimal, even though it looks deep.
                                Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!


                                • #17
                                  I have pretty much exactly as you describe in a used saddle I’m selling...you can PM me for details.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by outerbanks77 View Post
                                    If you don't want to go custom, their Equinox model, which is a dressage-based endurance saddle, already has a forward flap with small thigh block. The main difference is the half-panels on the Equinox, which gave me nowhere to put my knee on the smallish horse I originally bought it for. With a larger horse that takes up the leg, this wouldn't have been a problem.
                                    Chiming in here in case it's helpful. I have a Black Country Equinox that I use for a dressage saddle. I bought it used and the serial number is indecipherable so I don't actually know if it has a regular or hoop tree. But my horse, my trainer, and I all LOVE this saddle. My mare has medium but long withers (definitely a regular tree candidate and not a hoop tree), has a wide barrel, and needs a LOT of shoulder freedom. She also has a somewhat shortish back in terms of room for a saddle because I have to place the saddle back surprisingly far to get the tree points behind her shoulder. She goes way better in this saddle than any other dressage saddle we've tried.

                                    I love it, as well. I also have a longer femur and thus have more of bend in my leg than most. The flap is angled a bit forward and the thigh block is quite small so it doesn't get in the way. It also feels super close contact, which is really nice and allows my leg to fall more naturally, as opposed to being forced outward from the width of my horse and the bulk of the saddle. I would highly suggest giving it a try!