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good saddle for short legged person

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  • good saddle for short legged person

    Just wondering what off the rack saddle comes with shorter flaps for us short legged kind? As in 5 ft, 1 in tall short.

    Got a pricey saddle for my mare last year (bench made for maresy and my son) can't afford to do that again. But my boy and I need a new ride.

    Currenlty using a Thorowgood t4 hi wither for him. He loves it, no sore back, but it kills me in the seat. Just can't keep doing this. The flap is a little long for me but not horrid, not sure if the stirrup bar is far enough back but...

    Basically I have big tush so need 18 in seat, but am more comfortable with seat/stirrup bar postion on most 17 in saddles. Love the seat on Passiers, but the flaps are tooo long!!! And too pricey for now.

    Anyone have any thoughts on inexpensive off hte rack options?
    thanks

  • #2
    Bates Isabelle? I have one that is really really old (older than 10 years old. It has the wool flocking). I like how it positions me and it's flap is short enough for me (I'm 5'3"). That was before they came up with the Cair thingy. Don't know the newer model though. By the way, Wintec Isabelle does not sit the rider remotely the same as the Bates Isabelle. Not sure why that is....

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    • #3
      Look at the o.l.d County Competitors - they run ~ $500 - $600, just keep looking until you find one in excellent condition (ie I've seen "as new" to "fair" condition CC's at that price). Even the pre-1990 CC'c have nice wide channels & you can likely have the panels adjusted to fit your horse; the leather is excellent quality & smooth but more tacky than the older Stubbens.

      The old Windsor Elites also have a decent rep.

      Call Classic Saddlery as they still have some clearance M Toulouse Venice/Vienna & other consignment dressage saddles you might try.

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      • #4
        I love my Stubben Tristan. I'm 5' 2" and it has a 31 cm tree which fits most of the horses that I ride. If it is too wide I have some neoprene shims the I put under the forks and that seems to make everyone happy. Rick's Heritage Saddlery seems to have some in their used stock on line quite frequently. (I am waiting on a new Genesis Special D which they put short flaps on but will not give up my Tristan).
        Anne
        -------
        "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

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        • #5
          The Bates Innova has short flaps. Not sure how I feel about the Cair panels but the fit in extremely comfortable.

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          • #6
            Also, just look at used, etc. They are out there. For example, good price on a L'apogee 18" short flap here: http://shop.olsonstack.com/18_L_Apog...Tree_p/dla.htm


            There is a Verhan Odyssey currently on ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/18-Verhan-Od...#ht_500wt_1413

            Here is a county fusion: http://ewarmbloods.net/topic/1591#.TuqNZrJCo8k

            And other saddles definitely come in short flaps. If you custom order, almost any high end saddle will, but they are also around at good prices

            For inexpensive new also talk to Lynda at www.classicsaddlery.com who knows a lot about saddle fit and works hard to get people the right saddle
            OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

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            • #7
              My short friend likes my old Stubben Aramis, which is the same saddle as the old Tristans with upgraded leather. They're on eBay all the time for $3-500. The 31cm tree fits most horses I've put 'em on.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by not again View Post
                I love my Stubben Tristan. I'm 5' 2" and it has a 31 cm tree which fits most of the horses that I ride. If it is too wide I have some neoprene shims the I put under the forks and that seems to make everyone happy. Rick's Heritage Saddlery seems to have some in their used stock on line quite frequently. (I am waiting on a new Genesis Special D which they put short flaps on but will not give up my Tristan).
                I got one from another poster here when her horse was too wide for it. I love it! The flaps are straighter, so a larger size still fits my legs. That's a big key - a saddle with a straighter flap won't leave your legs hanging over some abyss.


                (Also - I detest the Bates Isabell. It kills my back by forcing me to move incorrectly and painfully in my lower back-not the normal movement you need there, instead of allowing me to absorb movement in my hips.)
                Originally posted by Silverbridge
                If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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                • #9
                  I am reasonably shortish (5'3) and I have a larger seat size (18" and i am 160ish pounds)
                  My saddle is an 18" Luc Childeric with short flaps (no.1) flap. So the flap is basically for a 16" saddle but with a bigger seat size for my butt!
                  It's amazing and I bought it second hand and will NEVER part with it. It has revolutionized my riding! I am not sure how often they pop up (probably not very often) but it is an amazing saddle! i paid $2200 USD for it and had it shipped to Australia.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by arabiansrock View Post
                    Got a pricey saddle for my mare last year (bench made for maresy and my son) can't afford to do that again.
                    Hah! Am I the only one who thinks son should match your budget so you have a few more options in your saddle choices!

                    (I think son is of an age to contribute)

                    As to the L'Apogee, they are lovely saddles sold by Smith-Garrity, Ltd in Northern Virginia & I believe they can be adjusted.

                    ETA Hobson's Choice Saddlery always seems to have loads of dressage saddles in their clearance/demo/used section.

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                    • #11
                      On the cheaper side, I would also second the County Competitor. I loved mine until I decided to upgrade to a Custom Saddlery saddle (which I also love but not as cheap).

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                      • #12
                        Check out the Stubben Juventus. It's marketed as a "youth saddle" but don't let that put you off. I sat in it and my short legs loved it. My dressage instructor (who generally does not like Stubben's) also likes it for me. The saddle shop told me that a lot of short or small adults like this saddle.

                        Also--this saddle is much more appropriate for my horse! If you have an Arab (just guessing with your username), the long flapped, huge dressage saddles usually look big on them. My Trak / Tb cross that is somewhat petite--I like that it doesn't look overwhelming on her.

                        For my other horse, I have a Passier Grand Gilbert that has short flaps. I bought it used and it was a good deal. You just have to do a little looking on ebay.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you need a big seat & have short legs, you also need large thigh blocks, set as far up & back as possible.

                          Large seat sizes are really made for tall, long-legged riders, who need that room for their long thighs.

                          On a larger saddle, knee rolls/thigh blocks are way out in front of the seat. The smaller the block/roll, the farther out in front.

                          People with short legs, in a large saddle with knee rolls way out in front, end up in chair seats, because the narrowest part of the saddle is too far out in front. You can't fight physics!

                          The best saddle I have found to solve your problem is the Wolfgang Solo. The external blocks are placed farther back than an internal block could be placed. They can be ordered with a short flap.

                          If that saddle doesn't work for your budget or your horse, many saddlers will do custom thigh blocks, which might be cost-effective on a good quality used saddle.

                          Just keep in mind that thigh blocks are not really intended to "hold" your leg in place. That's your job. Your leg should quietly "bump" up against them, not ride up on them. If the blocks are interfering, they are not placed right for you.
                          "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince

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                          • #14
                            "If you need a big seat & have short legs, you also need large thigh blocks, set as far up & back as possible."

                            Actually I need the stirrup bar mounted so that my leg stays more vertical. I only have a problem with my leg creeping forward if the stirrup bar is too far forward. Big thigh blocks are no help at all. My new saddle has no thigh blocks and I feel no need for them, since the seat put me over the horse's balance point and the stirrup hang correctly under my hip.
                            Anne
                            -------
                            "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Passiers are available with a shorter flap. You may have to order it.
                              \"Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.\" Charles Dickens

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by not again View Post
                                "If you need a big seat & have short legs, you also need large thigh blocks, set as far up & back as possible."

                                Actually I need the stirrup bar mounted so that my leg stays more vertical. I only have a problem with my leg creeping forward if the stirrup bar is too far forward. Big thigh blocks are no help at all. My new saddle has no thigh blocks and I feel no need for them, since the seat put me over the horse's balance point and the stirrup hang correctly under my hip.
                                Umm... yeah. Short legs does not = thigh blocks needed.

                                As I said in my first post, a straighter flap, which will include the stirrup bar location as well as position of the flap in relation to the sweet spot of the seat, allows you to sit with your legs under you without trying to push them forward.
                                Originally posted by Silverbridge
                                If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I agree that short legs alone do not necessitate thigh blocks. A correctly-placed stirrup bar will do the trick.

                                  However, having needed both larger and smaller seat sizes in my life (leg length has not changed in ... oh let's not say how many years!), I will say that short legs PLUS a large seat size is a problem. Because that larger seat size pretty much ensures that the stirrup bar will still be too far forward. That makes the narrowest part of the saddle too far forward, chair seat ensues ... etc.

                                  That's my experience anyway. Good luck to the OP in her saddle search!
                                  "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    There are different kinds of short legs, so there might be different solutions. Short flaps are not the right solution for some people. E.g. I am 5'1 1/2", slightly heavy/hippy, 29 inch inseam, have very short femurs and regular length calves, and short flaps are just all wrong for me. A 16 inch flap (shortish by today's standards, but certainly not *short* works for me.)

                                    Saddle types I've heard might work for short people: Stubben Scandica, Albion "Debbie McDonald" special (don't remember the exact name, but it's an Albion), childrens' saddles such as the Stubben Juventus for the truly tiny. Some of the British brands (Walsall-made) are also designed with the shorter rider in mind, Franks Baines and Ideal, for example... or perhaps I should say NOT designed for the valkyric Dutch, Swedes, or Germans!

                                    That said, I am currently riding in an older Roosli Pilatus, 17 inch, with 16 inch flaps, and I love it. It's a fairly minimalist saddle with straight-ish flaps, medium-narrow blocks and a wide but shallow seat, and medium twist. My old saddle, an Albion Style, had the larger thigh blocks and it put me in a chair seat, but was super-comfy when I was rehabbing from injuries.

                                    ETA: it's old enough that it might not be a Pilatus. Also, it has short billets, which I've found work better for me because of where my calf/foot land with respect to my horse.

                                    ETA2: it's similar to this one currently listed on Ebay, though mine is a bit more worn and probably older, and cost about $500 less. (I have no connection to this seller.)

                                    ETA3: Trilogy also makes a "Debbie McDonald" saddle designed for the shorter rider.
                                    Last edited by quietann; Dec. 18, 2011, 09:49 PM.
                                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'm 5'0-5'1 too and almost forgot what forum I'm in and responded with my Beval Devon 2000. Oops! I'll be keeping an eye on this thread, it's very difficult to find a saddle to fit femurs as short as yours and mine, and I'll be buying a Dressage saddle sometime soon.
                                      www.cobjockey.com - Eventing the Welsh Cob

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The flaps on this one seem short:
                                        http://www.ebay.com/itm/Thornhill-Pr...item43abf942db
                                        (I am not the seller, just helping in the search!)
                                        Jeanie
                                        RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

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