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Jumping in a dressage saddle: what's your opinion?

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  • #41
    I have never been able to jump well in a dressage saddle, even over small jumps. Decades ago I had it drummed into me to stay balanced over a jump, to push my bum back, not lie on the neck. That requires a fairly short stirrup and a low cantle. Most dressage saddles don't allow for a correct position.
    Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


    • #42
      Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
      Actually, depending on the dressage saddle, you very well COULD.

      A good friend was taking a crossrail lesson in her dressage saddle, her horse popped the fence and jumped her out of the saddle, she landed in front of the big thigh blocks. Her horse freaked out, she could not get back into the seat, and she was violently thrown and ended up in the ER with a severe consussion, with her helmet on. It could have been really ugly had the horse reacted move violently than he did.

      Unless the saddle is one without large knee/thigh blocks and a very deep seat, just don't do it.
      Oy vey! I stand corrected.

      But here's the take-home message, OP. Crap can go wrong and your dressage saddle will not help you out. As a noob to jumping, do yourself a favor and get a saddle that gives you a fighting chance.

      ETA: An old-style Stubben wouldn't be much choice. I don't think it will be your trainer's first choice either if she is trying to teach you the "modern American" seat based on the balance of a Close Contact saddle.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat


      • #43
        Just for the heck of it I trotted Sophie over a 18" x rail with my County Connection. It just about killed my bad ankle and I may have piaffed a bit but that's more of a problem with my ankle rather than the saddle.
        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.


        • #44
          Originally posted by carolprudm View Post
          ...and I may have piaffed a bit...
          Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


          • #45
            Sure, I've done it, but I much prefer to jump in my AP saddle.



            • #46
              Guess I missed that OP is a newbie to jumping. I'll grant you learning to jump is easier in a forward seat saddle. I'd been jumping for years when I used my old Passier for low level eventing, so I'd had a little practice. Over small fences, not a problem.

              I loved that old Passier. Wish I'd kept it!


              • #47
                The one and only time jumped some tiny cross rails was in a basic dressage saddle. It wasn't dangerous but it wasn't pleasant either.


                • #48
                  Originally posted by TequilaMockingbird View Post
                  The one and only time jumped some tiny cross rails was in a basic dressage saddle. It wasn't dangerous but it wasn't pleasant either.
                  Yes, I think "unpleasant" is probably a good description of my experience. On a big-jumping horse, it borders on torture - unless you like smacking your crotch on the pommel on the way up and getting slapped in the ass on the way down. Even over small crossrails it's a very jerky, jostling experience.

                  An older, decent brand CC can be had for relatively cheaply. It doesn't sound like the OP is doing "A" shows or anything, so doesn't really need to keep up with the trendy, hugely expensive saddles of the hunter world.


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
                    A good friend was taking a crossrail lesson in her dressage saddle, her horse popped the fence and jumped her out of the saddle, she landed in front of the big thigh blocks. Her horse freaked out, she could not get back into the seat, and she was violently thrown and ended up in the ER with a severe consussion, with her helmet on. It could have been really ugly had the horse reacted move violently than he did.
                    I was on a BTDT older eq horse when it happened, but I got popped out of the tack due to a big jumping effort, while in an older CC saddle and was "stuck" in front of it. Fortunately, he knew his job and kept right on cantering and swapped in the corner but it could have ended very badly, and that was IN a very appropriate saddle.

                    That said, I've popped over small fences in my dressage saddle, but I would not want to learn to jump in it, or jump on a regular basis. If you're only going to have one saddle, and plan to be jumping as part of your lessons, you'll be much better off going with a jumping or good AP saddle, perhaps something like a County Eventer. I know a few people at my (event) barn have ridden in them, which you should be able to find used.
                    A Year In the Saddle


                    • #50
                      I used to jump smaller jumps in a Lane Fox all the time when I was a kid whilst galloping through the woods.. Sometimes over bigger stuff on the hunt course. I stayed on, horse seemed undamaged.. I don't think it was pretty. That's all I say for it.

                      what about western saddles? A few games actually have jumping.


                      • #51
                        Utter nonsense, have done it for years....however, the dressage saddle has to be 'old fashioned' (no honking knee rolls or the deep seats de jour) like the ones at Klimkes. It is much easier to use such a saddle for both than use the typical jumping saddle for both. For little fences (less than 3') there is no need to have to change, just shorten the stirrups and get into light seat/two point (the later you should be able to do anyway/easily).

                        And least we forget, ALL (even fei) horses used to have to jump a fence after the tests...so they did it in a dressage saddle.
                        I.D.E.A. yoda


                        • #52
                          Yes, the problem is not that it is a "dressage saddle" per se, it is the type of dressage saddle that is the problem. I remember that I used to pop over fences in my sister's old Kiefer all the time. But that saddle was not one of the super deep seat saddles with big thigh & knee blocks that you see today. I would rather jump in a western or saddle seat saddle than one of those things that are designed to support and hold the rider in a perfect dressage position.
                          Last edited by Eclectic Horseman; Nov. 30, 2012, 07:58 AM.
                          "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                          • #53
                            I second a kiefer munchen, an ap that's cut with a straighter flap. Great little saddle for starting youngsters, doing trot poles and popping over a few cross-rails. I showed dressage in one many years ago too.


                            • #54
                              Or a Keifer Aachen All Purpose - great saddle with a good center of gravity. Also fits my impossible to fit Arab. I borrow my sister's sometimes - but they are really hard to find used.


                              • #55
                                My opinion is that it partially depends on the specific saddle. In a new type dressage saddle with big thigh blocks, knee rolls and a deep grippy seat, it is impossible to really jump your best (and impossible to learn to jump). It's too hard to get your leg in the right position and it's too hard to get your rear end out of the saddle quick enough to stay with the motion of the horse.

                                On an older-style dressage saddle (my favorite kind but IMO very hard to find) that's got a closer-contact feel, no deep seat, and no knee roll or thigh block, then you can get away with it over small fences, but it's not ideal.



                                • #56
                                  As a h/j rider turned dressage enthusiast, I heartily agree that what *kind* of dressage saddle you are talking about makes a huge difference in whether it's reasonable to hop over a few jumps in it or not.

                                  I have a Schleese Wave that is very nice for dressage but jumping in it is just awful; the balance is entirely wrong and makes it nearly impossible to keep your hip and knee angles closed correctly.

                                  On the other hand, I can easily do all the third level work in my close contact saddle if I lengthen my stirrups.
                                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                                  • #57
                                    Just to back up a little, why do you want a dressage saddle?
                                    If I am reading the post correctly, you currently do not own any type of saddle, take lessons with an h/j trainer, and would be buying a saddle to fit you and a school horse at your trainer's?

                                    Do you have a longer term plan involving dressage? Does it involve the same horse?

                                    A saddle is a pretty big investment, especially one to fit a horse that isn't yours, so if this situation (trainer, jumping, horse) is only temporary, it might make sense to try to borrow something, or tough it out in your trainer's saddle (1/2" too small jumping saddle will be a lot easier to jump in than a dressage saddle), etc. and buy a dresage saddle when you are onto your next step


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                      On the other hand, I can easily do all the third level work in my close contact saddle if I lengthen my stirrups.
                                      OK VIDEO please!!!

                                      (of course if your cc saddle is like the standard County Stabilizer rather than those blocky, deep, couchy jump saddles - then I agree )

                                      BUT I also agree with ideayoda's
                                      Utter nonsense

                                      Just as it requires a certain type of cc saddle to easily do 2/3rd level dressage, it also reuires a certain type of dressage saddle to easily jump 3' - in either scenario, a more purpose built saddle will hopefully manage the job better, else why a purpose built saddle at all.


                                      • #59
                                        I just came home with a 17" very nice AP saddle, and I've was freaking out all morning that it would be too small, because I take an 18" in a dressage saddle. It has no brand on it, but it is really nice. I have a couple of greenbeans, including an Arab. This one is so much less bulky than my dressage saddle on her and is wide enough. I can just barely get 3 fingers behind my butt, but have plenty of room for my thigh, since I'm long there and 5'10", so I'm feeling better reading this stuff...maybe it will be okay. I used to jump logs on the trail with my Passier PSL years ago, but I wouldn't seriously jump in a dressage saddle. I bought this AP for 50 bucks..lol. It is black and new (hard..just oiled the crap out of it). So, you guys are saying that if you take an inch larger in the dressage saddle, the AP might work...? (if not, I'll sell it..lol)

                                        ETA: It is a "used" saddle in "new" condition. I bought it from a guy who sells estate sale stuff. I have no idea what it is, but it looks like the Passier AP in the link in an earlier comment.


                                        • #60
                                          Get an all purpose saddle.
                                          ... _. ._ .._. .._