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Saddle suggestions for the long legged rider... UPDATE: found a suspect-need advice!

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  • Saddle suggestions for the long legged rider... UPDATE: found a suspect-need advice!

    So it has become apparent that I need to replace my current saddle - as much as this pains my bank account. My saddle is pitching me forward, which became glarinly obvious when i switched saddles as an experiment. I'm borrowing another saddle that, while better than my own saddle, doesn't fit me well at all.

    I ride in a 17.5" and can tolerate any twist except a super wide one. My issue (especially in my own saddle) is my legs - they are pretty long - I'm 5'10" and have longer legs than my 6ft sister. I would like to find a saddle that can handle the longer leg, with a medium to deep seat, moderate or more knee blocks, and preferably one that either is known to fit a variety of horses or can be adjusted (i.e. Albion etc). I did sit in a Stubben Scandia the other day that fit me like a glove, but I'm afraid with the minimal ability to adjust it I will be back to saddle shopping in the near-ish future. Are the Stubbens good at fitting many horse shapes?? I did love it....

    I need to stick to used, but all suggestions are greatly appreciated
    Last edited by Piaffe11; Dec. 15, 2011, 07:05 PM.

  • #2
    I'm a big fan of Stubben and have a pretty long femur. There are a lot of them on the market - if you can keep an eye out for an 18" as that is a very useful size.

    As far as fitting multiple horses - I have Genesis Special with a 29cm tree and it fits 13 out of 14 horses with no additional adjustments. The 14th uses the point billet and a fleece half pad to 'fill in' where he is still building muscles (age 4 and 17.3 hands). If you have a Mattes pad (or something similar) you should be fine with a slightly wider tree - say a 30-32 cm. My mom has an older used Tristan and it is a 31.5 and with a few shims - it fits 90% of the horses just fine. We also have another Tristan in a 31 (17" seat), and other than being a tad short for my rump - it gets the same shimming and works well, too.

    There is one caveat to the saddles fitting though - all of our horses are from the same breeding program and very similar in shape/width/build. The fitter who works with us said this sort of consistency is not something he has seen before.

    Good luck and if you are in our general area - please contact me and you are welcome to try the saddles we have here to see if you like different models/sizes.
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    • #3
      I have two Stubbens, a Siegfried II (CC) and an Aramis (dressage, built on the old style Tristan tree) that are both 32cm trees and they fit just about anything I put them on. They're a hair too wide for my friend's Appendix QH - the 16h Appendix is more narrow than the 14.2h Arab, go figure. They work fine with a thick pad though. She'll be ordering a 31cm tree for him.

      My saddles are too wide for most TBs, but if I put a normal square pad plus my wool half pad under them, they fit well enough. They have been on a Morgan, a couple QHs, an ASB, a Walker, a few TBs and several TB crosses. The saddles have fit most of them just fine.

      If you get a 30 or 31cm tree they seem to fit most horses. I had a 31cm originally, but it was a hair too small for my WIDE Arab so I traded it for the 32cm Siegfried II. Since its supposed to be his saddle, I figure it ought to fit him best and I'll just pad for anything else I put it on.

      Poke around on eBay, you can get some really great deals on Stubbens. I got my Aramis for $300. Granted its a 20yo saddle and its out of style with its almost nonexistent blocks, but it is in fantastic condition and is nice enough to show in.


      • #4
        I'll just say I am also in the Stubben camp, thank you again Tasker! I have a 18/31 Stubben Genesis Special I found on ebay (although it still was not cheap!). It's a magic saddle. I have had it for 3 weeks now and say a little thank you the Catherine Haddad every time I ride in it.

        The new Stubbens are so gorgeous and can be had so inexpensively if you shop around. The Genesis models do seem to be made for someone with long legs however When I finally order one custom for myself I'll need a shorter flap.
        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


        • #5
          Another vote for Stubben. Both the Genesis Special and the old Tristan Specials are great for those of us with long legs. You can find them for a song on ebay, they last forever when properly cared for, and seem to fit a variety of horses.


          • #6
            I'm 5'11" with a long femur, and my Lazer Trident puts me in the best position of my riding career. It comes with two different sizes of knee blocks that velcro on, and has the Varilock adjustable tree. It's been a lifesaver for me.
            Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck; some nights I call it a draw. -- fun.

            My favorite podcasts: Overdue, The Black Tapes, Tanis, Rabbits, How Did This Get Made?, Up and Vanished.


            • Original Poster

              Wow! Thanks for all the answers so far! Some awesome reviews for Stubben - it's good to know they are so well loved and can be adjusted to fit more horses The saddle I saw was a 31cm.

              I've also seen a Schleese JES - are they good for long legs? I enjoy the ability to alter the trees with Schleese, but I'm pretty sure this saddle has the air panels (due to it's lower price tag - the rest of the saddle in good condition). Anyone have experience with these saddles? Are they comparable to Stubbens (with their ability to last a long time)?

              Passier GG are always advertised for long legs, but the saddles seem to have SUCH a long flap - I feel like it might get in the way....? Passier saddles are another one people say fits everything - true?

              Thanks again for the advice so far - good to hear from people who have actually tried the saddles!


              • #8
                Originally posted by Piaffe11 View Post
                Passier GG are always advertised for long legs, but the saddles seem to have SUCH a long flap - I feel like it might get in the way....? Passier saddles are another one people say fits everything - true?
                I have very long legs and the Passier GG is awesome for me. Absolutely love it! It also fits my horse very well, and though she's small, the flap does not look excessively long on her. It's just right for us. I've heard that they fit many horses well, and the trees are adjustable if needed. Plus, they wear SO well! A friend has one that's 20+ years old and still going strong. I found mine used, although it still looked brand new, for $1200. Best money I could have ever spent! I had a 4k budget, but chose that saddle over the other more expensive ones in a heartbeat once I sat in it.


                • #9
                  Stubbens have more of a banana shaped tree so not so good for flatter backed horses. I have a Roxanne jumping saddle that fits my TB/WB very well in a 32cm tree. Got a Genesis in same size and it's HUGE. Thought it fit at first but once it broke in it rocked like a boat on heavy seas. Would have thought the Stubben rep would have said something but nooo. Good thing I got it at super discount so it sold easily. Was a great saddle for me.

                  Passier GG have a 19" flap which is super long but works well, just means your boots won't be as dirty and you'll need a longer pad. The GG seems to fit a flatter back with a bit of dip behind the whithers best. It is a close contact seat so although the twist is narrow, on a wide horse it feels wide and can make elongating the leg impossible (less close contact makes draping the leg easier for narrower hipped riders). The trees are adjustable which is good. Remember if it has the special panels that it will fit wider than one without - good for a horse with wide/muscled whithers, not so good for boney whithers.


                  • #10
                    I'll give a vote for Trilogy. I'm not as long-legged as you but I'm 5' 8" with a very long femur. I've had saddles by Neidersuess, Keiffer, Wintec and Custom but the Trilogy is the first one that really lets my leg hang down and drape around my horse.


                    • #11

                      While I liked Stubben saddles ok, it was a DISASTER on my horse's back.

                      I went with 2 Custom Saddlery Saddles...a VLX for my flat backed mare and a Wolfgang Short Block for my curvy-er gelding. They come long flat (17") but both of mine are standard flaps which are fine for me and don't catch on my boot.

                      I am 5-11--very long limbed.


                      • #12
                        I am 5'11" and I ride in a Prestige. The regular flap works just fine for me, but I believe you can order them with a slightly longer flap. I also like that they can run a little bit larger in the seat size. For example, my 17" Milan is actually 18". That was the same with my Grand Dressage that I rode in for many years.
                        "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!


                        • #13
                          "I would like to find a saddle that can handle the longer leg, with a medium to deep seat, moderate or more knee blocks, and preferably one that either is known to fit a variety of horses or can be adjusted"

                          I think you should consider a saddle with 3/4 length blocks, as a person with a long femur who bought a deep seated saddle with full length blocks, I wish I'd gotten shorter blocks so I can move my knee with a little more freedom. I think Custom saddlery does different block sizes, and maybe some Prestige models (?). Here's what I'm talking about: http://www.fine-used-saddles.com/cat...Iit=1124&Ict=2


                          • #14
                            I have a Roosli which was ordered to my dimensions. Luckily it fits almost every horse I put it on, too.
                            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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                            • #15
                              I 2nd Cadance.

                              I'm a 6 footer and mostly leg. I ride in a Vega. It has a 3/4 length block but it's not as apparent as the one on the Hennig.
                              It has the narrowest twist I have ever sat on.


                              The Prestige saddles have a tree that can be adjusted. : ) And you can find them used easily.
                              Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                              • #16
                                Lauriche. Even though they are foam panels, they seem to fit a wide variety of horses. If it's a hair wide, I use a half pad. My super-picky Arab loves his so much that he now refuses to be ridden in anything else. His isn't even a perfect fit.


                                • Original Poster

                                  So many suggestions! I've found a medium width Dominus saddle - it looks to have the 3/4 panels (saddle maker now designs the Amerigo??). Does anyone know much about the brand, how it fits (me and the horse), etc?

                                  Still searching otherwise. Lots of options out there!


                                  • #18
                                    I had a medium width Dominus that almost wrecked my TBs back. He got so sore that every time I got on him he bucked me off. Lost 4 months of riding so he could heal and get comfortable with any saddle on his back. I highly recommend the Black Country Eden. I have long legs (5'8") and both of my TBs move very nicely in it.


                                    • #19
                                      I'd be curious to know about any non-total custom saddles that have a forward flap specifically to accommodate a long femur. Like


                                      Even for riders who aren't as tall as Edward Gall, I have never understood why virtually all off-the-shelf dressage saddles have a straight or almost straight flap. The usual recommendation is to get a bigger seat to have room for the leg. But surely a heavier short-legged rider and a thin long-legged rider are not going to feel good in the same large seat saddle, but how is a purchaser to know which saddle is which? I agree with those that recommended 3/4 blocks but it would be nice for a tall person to have the same choices to have a full block and different length stirrups as a shorter legged person.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by Schiffon View Post
                                        I'd be curious to know about any non-total custom saddles that have a forward flap specifically to accommodate a long femur.
                                        Myself also! I went to a tack store today and sat in what felt like a million saddles. What I found was that most of them had such a straight front flap, I knew I would be fighting my leg position constantly. I sat in Prestiege, Amerigo, Passier, Excelle, Barnsby, and Stubben (multiple models of most) and I still love the Stubben Scandica! I was really expecting (and hoping a little) to love both the Presteige and Amerigo, but as soon as I sat in them I knew they were not for me. That definitely counts the Dominus out... This area of Canada has limited prospects to try other saddles out. I found a used Schleese Wave that I would like to sit in.... It might end up that the least expensive saddle in my travels end up being my dream saddle??