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Monoflap saddle?

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  • Monoflap saddle?

    I am curious about what the advantages are with this style of saddle. Does it fit a horse differently? I am going to be looking for a custom saddle and what is hard to fit about my horse is the muscling behind his shoulder, that his shoulder is so long, saddles seem to sit on top of his shoulder. I don't know the name of the part of a saddle which is padded and usually curves around the flap next to the horse, in front, but that either has to be really "short" or something.

    Anyway, any recommendations for custome saddles for a high withered horse, with a tremendous shoulder (it seems). Any recommendations for dressage saddle styles for such a horse, for example, is this what a mono flap assists with?

    I'm not explaining well. I am in New England.

    I looked at Butet, and they seemed to be something to consider, from pictures, but am I wrong, not alot of dressage saddles there?

    Any custom saddle makers to recommend?
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

  • #2
    i think it depends on the horse....

    My first 'custom' saddle was the Black Country Vinici....omg, I loved this saddle. It was very close contact because of the monoflap. You really felt the horse, and could ride with a light, drapey kind of a leg.

    My mistake 'may' have been that I bought the saddle while my horse was still youngish (6yo) WB, that was still developing and changing musculature. One day, about 2 years into owning the saddle, it just DID NOT WORK. He would not move with this saddle.

    I had this saddle looked at 2 or 3 times by the saddle fitter. No amount of adjusting could help. The lack of a point billet system on that saddle was causing the saddle to rock & pinch his shoulders/withers (It may have changed since, because we are talking about 8 years ago when I bought my saddle).

    I ended up having to change saddles/brands. To this day, I may resent my horse just a bit that I had to sell that saddle (at a loss no less!).

    Check out fine used saddles dotcom, I saw some nice monoflaps there...both the black country, sommer and maybe a hennig (???) brands so you can 'try before you buy' .
    "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
    "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
    Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


    • #3
      ok, once again i will recommend Mehrdad @ JRD.


      fully custom, hand made in California, etc etc.

      i like monoflaps because you get that much closer to your horse and i just like the design better, altho i am not riding in one now.

      if the saddler has the diversity in tree/heads they should be able to change the saddle as the horse changes..... and plus with the use of flocking it shouldn't be a problem as long as the saddler knows what they are doing - which is very very rare.


      • #4
        I have a Butet and it is for sale because if does not fit high withered horses. It fits my wide and flat WB perfectly, but is a horrible fit for high withered TB cross.
        I love monoflaps because of their close contact fit, lightweight and usually "more open seat."
        Have Devocoux rep out, Makila is amazing and it is a full custom fit vs Butet which has latex panels and is a pain to refit. You might start hearing horror stories about Devoucoux reps, but in my area, we always had great service.


        • Original Poster

          eg, I have a saddle maker who was formerly with devucoux who I may have make a saddle. Before I can do that, though, which will be next spring, I need a used saddle to ride in and am having a dickens of a time finding one. I think I would have him make one rather than go to the company; he seems very tuned-in to what my horse will need. He is vague, though, about what used saddles will work on him, maybe because he wants to build one for me, but he was specific about what my horse needed in a saddle, so I think I can find one based on that. If I can, he will fit it for me, certainly. I may aske him directly again about a used saddle recommendation to tide me over until I have him build one.

          MBM, that is genius, that is so much what I want, that JRD Alma or custom. What saddle to you have? Can you describe your experience, what kind of horse was fit, how riding in a saddle made for you is? As well, what kind of cost? If i do this in spring, there is budgeting to work on! Very interesting. Very very interesting.

          thank you all for your suggestions. The solution is brewing, I can tell. heh heh heh.

          I really like those JRD guys.

          Where are they located? Will they come to the horse to fit the saddle? I am in CT. Will the saddle be made entirely by measurements ?
          Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Equus_girl View Post
            I have a Butet and it is for sale because if does not fit high withered horses. It fits my wide and flat WB perfectly, but is a horrible fit for high withered TB cross.
            I love monoflaps because of their close contact fit, lightweight and usually "more open seat."
            Have Devocoux rep out, Makila is amazing and it is a full custom fit vs Butet which has latex panels and is a pain to refit. You might start hearing horror stories about Devoucoux reps, but in my area, we always had great service.
            Just Hijacking here: Does Devoucoux make wool panels? Because I was told they only used latex or whatever foam...and that wool was just out of question....
            Last edited by AlterBy; Oct. 8, 2010, 02:20 PM. Reason: And I LOVE monoflap saddles. They are the best ever!


            • #7
              I also love the Devoucoux Makila & Mendia. We have had success with them on a variety of types including high withered.
              Redbud Ranch
              Check us out on FB


              • #8
                I got a Mono-flap Frank Bains made for my big shouldered, but short backed gelding. The only issue I have with mono-flap saddles is that the billet straps on a regular saddle pad have nothing to do up to...so I bought saddle pads that do up to the d-ring.

                When I measured him for the saddle I made sure to mark the point his shoulder came back to when his leg was extended, and I also traced his topline both with his head in neutal, and with him round. This allowed the saddle maker to properly consider his shoulder movement and his back movement.
                Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                • #9
                  I really like my monoflap because I feel closer to the horse. As mentioned before by someone, the straps that are supposed to connect to the billets cant be used. I just cut them off or tuck them in. I dont have a problem with my saddle sliding.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AlterBy View Post
                    Just Hijacking here: Does Devoucoux make wool panels? Because I was told they only used latex or whatever foam...and that wool was just out of question....
                    They use foam, although I think you could find someone to replace it with wool, but why would you? These days foam could be easily replaced, shaved, reshaped, etc. It does not compress, keeps the form and is very light weight.
                    Devoucoux has a 6 months "young horse in training" or something like that thing, when after 6 months they come and recheck the fit, if something changes- they fix it for free. I have a horse who is coming back from 2 years off and he has no topline whatsoever, this will give him a chance to have a custom saddle now, get it rechecked and fixed in 6 months once he has some muscles.

                    The other thing which got me sold by Devoucoux is how they addressed my horsie's high withered, no muscles issue. Other custom companies who came out only talked about narrow tree saddle with massive padding on the top. Devoucoux guy actually proposed adding padding on front part of panels, along the saddle tree, to give him support from sides. They also left me a saddle to ride in while I am anxiously waiting for the saddle to arrive

                    PS In all honesty to Butet, they probably could change panels to make it fit better as well, but we dont have Beval in California or any of their fit reps, and I would not trust myself with tracings. Also, Devoucoux magically fixed my chair leg position in 1 ride. Again, I suspect Butet was a tad too small for me, but I am not the only person in the barn who has a much better position when riding in Makila.


                    • #11
                      The Devoucoux Makila is a very nice saddle. I used to own one. I do have to say though that in my area (CT), we have not had good luck with the reps. One girl in our barn ordered a custom jump saddle and had the panels redone in a used Makila to fit her horse. I think over the last 1-2 years she's had numerous reps out (like 3 or 4 I think!) trying to fit her horse and readjust the saddles b/c they can't get it right. I have a Black Country Vinici jump saddle--I love it. Next year I plan on getting a dressage saddle, and it will likely be a customized Black Country.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mbm View Post
                        ok, once again i will recommend Mehrdad @ JRD.
                        How are they holding up? I did not try them, but I tried Revere (spin-off of JRD) and I was not really impressed with leather quality and craftmanship. One of the saddles felt okay, but I did not feel like I could justify spending $4K on that saddle.

                        The girl at the barn has 2 JRDs and seem very happy with them, they are not monoflaps though. She has round and flat backed Lusitanos though, no issues with high withers


                        • #13
                          i really like my JRD. I did not get it custom made - Merhdad has lots of saddles traded in when riders want new ones made so it is possible to get used ones.... anyway, my saddle is a used saddle that had the correct tree for my horse and correct flap/seat for me.... and he then pulled all the wool out and put all new wool in fitted to my mare.

                          it fits *really* well - both my horse and i. it does have bigger knee rolls that i like so as soon as i have enough dough i will have those removed....

                          the quality of the saddle is fine. it seems to be holding up very very well. i know many folks with JRDs and they all really like them.

                          I do not know anything about Revere except that i don't think it is a spin off - but it is his sons.... and they are not custom made saddles but off the rack.... i am not sure what his involvement is in that company. but it is for a totally different market.

                          if i had the money i would have Mehrdad make me a full custom saddle (and i would have the piping in dark burgundy both for the black bay mare the the grey gelding


                          • #14
                            What you need for a horse with big shoulders is a half panel (the bit that sits on the horse) and the gullet plate to be curved back around the scapula like Schleese and Passier I think do.