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Hip replacement - finding dressage saddle!

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  • Hip replacement - finding dressage saddle!

    I have had both hips replaced and I'm under the age of 50. I had a Wintec Isabell because I was riding young horses and it worked great for me, but now I can no longer ride it. I need something in a medium/wide tree for a short backed horse. I used to ride a 17.5 seat, but it seems as though I need something longer. I can fit three fingers behind my seat. I tried an Anky Euro but it seemed to tight and the big knee rolls bothered me. Since my surgery I am 5'4". I think that some kind of block would work, but nothing that is gradual that the knee rides up on thus making the saddle wider. I live in an area that there are no dressage saddle shops. Northen Oklahoma. I am totally up to suggestions. I really didn't want to pay an enormous amount for this saddle until I get back to riding and really know what I want, so would like to stay under $3,000, but I suppose if something would really work I would go a little higher. Would so appreciate any help.

  • #2
    I'm 5'4" and ride in a short flap County Connection with an 18 inch seat.
    The Competitors are similar in fit but at a lower price. If they don't have a rep nearby I believe they will help you over the phone with a demo saddle. It has been a few years but they shipped me a demo saddle, it didn't work so I shipped it back, no problems
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


    • #3
      If I were you I would get in touch with someone like Trumball Mountain Saddlery and talk to their saddle fitting person. They'll ship you demo models until you find something that works.

      I would think, after watching my husband have both hips replaced, that you need something with a narrower by not knife like twist and a generous open seat that you aren't hanging off the sides of, and not too much "stuff" under your thigh. This last is quite hard to find--my Trilogy Amadeo is very close contact through the thigh, but would lock you in too tightly in other respects, I think, but some of the Black Countries might be worth a look, or an Albion?

      Good luck and I hope you are enjoying a new lease of life as a "sound" person!


      • #4
        Someone in another saddle thread mentioned the Steubben Genesis D Special. it has no knee rolls.

        2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

        A helmet saved my life.


        • #5
          Originally posted by atr View Post
          If I were you I would get in touch with someone like Trumball Mountain Saddlery and talk to their saddle fitting person. They'll ship you demo models until you find something that works.

          I would think, after watching my husband have both hips replaced, that you need something with a narrower by not knife like twist and a generous open seat that you aren't hanging off the sides of, and not too much "stuff" under your thigh. This last is quite hard to find--my Trilogy Amadeo is very close contact through the thigh, but would lock you in too tightly in other respects, I think, but some of the Black Countries might be worth a look, or an Albion?

          Good luck and I hope you are enjoying a new lease of life as a "sound" person!
          From people I know with similar issues, I was going to suggest the same thing about a saddle with a narrow twist for the rider's seat.
          "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"


          • #6
            A number of saddles put a lot of torque on my hips. Very uncomfortable. I'm currently riding in a Ryder Zara - it's very comfortable. Fairly narrow twist. It does have a fairly deep seat and moderate thigh blocks, but I don't feel restricted. Perhaps because the blocks are further forward. The adjustable stirrup bars help, too.



            • #7
              Where in Northern Olahoma are you? I'm getting a Custom Saddlery rep to my place in central Oklahoma on August 13 for demo and fitting.

              If you are interested in Custom Saddlery, maybe you want her to swing up to your place when she comes to mine? She is from Austin, TX.

              I'm also driving down to Dallas this Sunday to meet an Albion rep.

              Another option is Horse Of course. Have you tried them? I know they carry some saddles. Marty will fit the horse/rider I think...


              • #8
                have you considered a Phoenix?
                I have one made for a small person, and they are very comfortable for person and horse.


                • #9
                  The M. Toulouse Aachen has a fairly narrow twist with moderate seat depth and blocking. Available with the adjustable Genesis tree for $1549. (Also available with a "regular" medium wide tree for just over $1k).

                  The covered leather is comfy and offers good grip. It has a foward flap, which might be more comfortable for your new hips.
                  Patience pays.


                  • #10
                    I have hip pain (not a replacement though) and I struggled with saddles I could ride in that wouldn't cause me pain, a problem I was having with my deep seat/big knee roll dressage saddle. I settled on a German jumping saddle that has a really hard seat:


                    Then yesterday, I had a very interesting conversation at a party. This woman I met is married to a renowned dressage saddle maker. I have had several people recommend his saddles, telling me that for their bad backs or whatnot, his saddles enabled them to keep riding. But his wife rides in an endurance saddle because of her hip pain. She said the best thing for hip pain is the opposite of the modern dressage saddle: a flat seat, smooth leather so the seat can slide instead of being stuck and having all the torque in the hip joints, and a forward flap with no knee roll so you can keep your knee flat against the saddle.

                    It was so interesting to hear this from a woman married to a saddle expert who could articulate exactly what I found only through experimentation.

                    So maybe try riding in a jumping saddle?
                    Last edited by TheHorseProblem; Jul. 26, 2011, 07:02 AM.
                    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                    A helmet saved my life.


                    • #11
                      Look for saddles with removeable thigh/knee blocks

                      I'd recommend trying a Duett Encore. It's not as deep seated as many dressage saddles and has removeable thigh/knee blocks.

                      Nancy at Duett was great to work with when I was trying out saddles. She shipped several different sizes and styles for me to try. I eventually wound up with a Fidelio (deep seated), but opted for a much larger seat (went from an 18" to 20" seat).
                      I just found in general I needed to go up in size if the saddle had a deep seat.

                      The Duett I got came with three different sizes of removeable thigh/knee blocks. I'd gotten used to riding without knee/thigh blocks prior to hip replacement surgery though and just continued the practice afterwards.

                      Duett had a number of options that were available if you ordered your saddle vs taking one already in stock. Moderately priced ($1200-$1800). They're more known for fitting wide/flat backed horses, but a 34 cm tree fit my Appy beautifully and he's not particularly wide nor flat.

                      I found that a number of dressage saddles on the market now have the removeable thigh blocks. From what you described, that might be a key feature for you to look for.
                      A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.


                      • #12
                        Stubben Maestoso or Genesis Special can be ordered without knee rolls. I trialed the Masetoso, loved it, then bought the Genesis special. go to the Stubben website and read "in the news" for some ideas