• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Dressage Saddle for the Horseless?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dressage Saddle for the Horseless?

    I perused older threads but didn't really see what I was looking for, so I apologize in advance if I am dredging up and old topic that has been beat to death! I am looking for a relatively inexpensive dressage saddle or a close-contact all-purpose saddle that could be used for multiple horses. I ride several different school horses, mostly Thoroughbreds of about average height and width, so I'm not too concerned with a hard-to-fit horse.

    I know Toulouse has several "genesis" lines that allow the size to be adjusted; it's a consideration, but in pictures it seems like a lot of saddle. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I'm definitely not interested in Wintec, but maybe a used Stubben or Passier? Does anyone have experience buying a used saddle on eBay, or would that be a no-no?

    Any advice would be much appreciated. This is my first saddle purchase, so I feel like I'm flying blind a bit.

    P.S. If you've got suggestions for stirrups, too, I wouldn't turn them down!

  • #2
    I've bought several Stubbens on eBay. IME, 31cm trees fit the most horses. I have 4 Stubbens. Love them all!


    • #3
      I've bought off ebay, just make sure you can return it or try out the same type of saddle from your local tack store first.

      Also, just an FYI, if you buy a Toulouse Genesis, I know someone that was recently thrown because the screws came loose while riding. Make sure you check the set screws regularly.


      • #4
        Something like this; http://www.wvhorsetrainer.com/2010/0...e-saddle-sale/

        ... _. ._ .._. .._


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by r.j.246 View Post
          Also, just an FYI, if you buy a Toulouse Genesis, I know someone that was recently thrown because the screws came loose while riding. Make sure you check the set screws regularly.
          Interesting you should say that - I was looking at a video one of the Genesis saddles being adjusted and I thought to myself, "what if this thing were to un-adjust while I am on it?"


          • #6
            Something like this should fill the bill for you perfectly.


            The panels flex to fit the horse (without adjustment) and they also use a removeable shim system so that you can quickly raise or lower the pommel or cantle of the saddle to whatever degree is required to level the saddle on the particular horse.

            I had one that was similar and used it on all types and sizes of horses that I was schooling. I was comfortable in it in the hunt field as well as in the dressage arena.
            "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


            • #7
              Originally posted by twelvebelles View Post
              I am looking for a relatively inexpensive dressage saddle or a close-contact all-purpose saddle that could be used for multiple horses. I ride several different school horses, mostly Thoroughbreds of about average height and width, so I'm not too concerned with a hard-to-fit horse.

              Any advice would be much appreciated. This is my first saddle purchase, so I feel like I'm flying blind a bit.
              Before you assume these horses are even reasonably similar, do some actual wither & back tracings
              If you have access to a good saddle fitter, than it may be worth your time & money to arrange an appointment, just let the fitter know what you want.

              If you've not thought much about saddle fit, watch the Schleese videos, Trumbull Mountain has several articles.

              Do invest in a good saddle fit pad that offers a good range of shims.
              Foam panels are generally suggested when using a saddle for multiple horses.
              Many older wool flocked saddles do need a complete re-flock if they've not been maintained over the years, panels are often very hard, uneven or contain "knots".
              Look at the gullet channel when considering older saddles.


              • #8
                While I would normally agree with alto about paying more attention to the particulars of saddle fit, it sounds like you are "good and horseless"--meaning that even if you strive to fit the Thoroughbreds you're riding now, you may find yourself riding very different horses in the future. It also sounds like your budget is well under the $1000 mark. In that situation, a saddle fitter call fee is probably a waste of your money.

                In a horseless rider saddle, the priority is to make the saddle fit *acceptably*, meaning it will not hurt the horse even if it's not a fantastical amazeballs perfect fit. And while that is a shill game since horses come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, there are definitely some saddles that are better than others for fitting a huge range of horses. For someone who's riding a diversity of horses but mainly Thoroughbreds, I'd say that a moderately curvy panel shape, a saddle with good wither clearance, and a saddle that fits *you* well is key. Why does the fit for *you* matter? Because for a horse, the next-worst thing to wearing an ill-fitting saddle is wearing a saddle in which the rider's balance is all asunder. For example, let's say the saddle fits the horse fantastically but it's too small for you, so you're way behind the stirrup bar and putting too much weight on the cantle. That isn't going to feel nice for Mr. Horsie at all.

                As a side note, it's also nice if a horseless rider saddle has good resale value. Most horseless riders either eventually buy/lease a horse and need to trade in their horseless saddle for something else, or they stay horseless but the years pass and their body or riding position changes. So count on having to resell your horseless rider saddle later. This means buying your tack at inviting prices, or buying saddles that tend to hold value pretty well.

                So let's start first with your suggestions, then we'll move to what I'd actually buy in your position.

                I know Toulouse has several "genesis" lines that allow the size to be adjusted; it's a consideration, but in pictures it seems like a lot of saddle.
                The real problem with the Toulouse genesis gullet is that it was a POS for most of its early run. It's a Wellup adjustable gullet technology that they licensed from Classic brand. The Wellup system was great. Toulouse, however, botched their early adaptation of it. Some of the gullets came loose, some of them were installed crooked, and even the ones that were installed correctly were located on a part of the saddle tree that was a total engineering fail. Now fortunately, Lynda at Classic Saddlery got wind of this crap and marched down to Argentina to set the Toulouse folks straight--and the newer Toulouse Professional series is coming out with much more reliable, intelligently placed, high-quality versions of the Genesis gullet system. (In fact, Lynda was the one who openly confirmed my suspicions that the early Genesis gullets, which I had examined earlier that year at Rolex, were total POSes. She had gotten a few in her inventory and agreed completely.) The problem for you is that the new, improved Toulouse with Genesis gullet saddles retail at $1600 and up, and they're practically non-existent on the used market because they're too new. It sounds like you're rolling with more of an $800-or-less kind of budget, so that's out.

                Does anyone have any other suggestions? I'm definitely not interested in Wintec, but maybe a used Stubben or Passier?
                What's your beef with Wintec? Let me guess: you're new to dressage and you're converting from a discipline like hunter/jumper where leather is "the only way to go." Well, welcome to dressage, which can be a snooty place but is surprisingly welcoming to synthetic tack. If Isabell Werth can ride Grand Prix in a Wintec Isabell, so can you. Seriously, they are pretty good values for the money, and especially the old-style Wintec Isabell and Wintec Pro. Purely as an example, a 17.5" Wintec Isabell for $500 and I bet you could offer less (note: this NOT my saddle, so direct any follow-up questions to the email address in the ad):

                Now if you've got other beef with Wintec besides being synthetic, like perhaps you have beef with how they ride or you are not a huge fan of the CAIR panel system, I can live with that. In which case I'd urge you to look at some of the other synthetic competitors that I actually like more than Wintec: Tekna and Thorowgood. The Tekna A8 dressage is built on a very similar tree to the more expensive Prestige saddles, and I'd say one of those adjusted to medium-wide would be an awesome choice for a horseless rider. The Tekna S Line dressage has an adjustable gullet and would also be a good choice. Similarly, the Thorowgood T6 or T8 (the latter of which even has a leather seat and knee roll) would be great horseless rider saddles for someone who rides a lot of TBs.

                All of these saddles would be available for trial rides. Hastilowusa.com can help you out with the Thorowgoods and is run by a Society of Master Saddlers credentialed fitter (Annette Gavin) and The Cheshire Horse in New Hampshire can help you out with the Tekna saddles.

                Okay, now let's say you just really prefer leather, for whatever reason. A used Stubben or Passier isn't the worst idea I've ever heard. The Passier Grand Gilbert is a time-honored classic for fitting Thoroughbreds, and they're a dime a dozen on the used market at $1000 and under. We could say the same for some of the Stubbens--I would personally choose a Roxane, a Genesis, or a Maestoso--not the Tristan which is so freakishly curvy that it will be a tough fit on straighter toplined horses. Buy one that's set to roughly medium-wide and you'll be able to fit a lot of TB-type horses.

                Although personally, if I were a leather snob AND I wanted to fit Thoroughbreds AND I was a horseless rider, I'd chase down one of the old Rembrandt adjustable gullet saddles. The brand has since changed names to Classic, but those old Rembrandt Integras were VERY close cousins to the Passier Grand Gilbert and SOME of them were built with the Wellup user-adjustable gullet--which is, as you have already guessed, very similar to the Toulouse Genesis gullet but built to a much higher quality standard. Like the Passiers and Stubbens, these Rembrandts tend to wear like iron. If you could find one in your price range, it would be a crackerjack horseless rider saddle.

                Obey alto's caution to carefully examine the condition of the wool panels and the billets on these older Passiers, Stubbens, Rembrandts, etc. The saddle does you no good if it's got lumpy or uneven wool panels that will necessitate a reflock (anywhere from $150-$300 depending on how much finangling your fitter needs to do) and an $80-$100 billet repair is something to take into account too. Most tack shops are happy to answer these questions by phone. Most Ebay sellers will give you some vague answer along the lines of "the flocking feels fine," although you can ask for a picture of the billets and that usually tells the billet tale.

                And honestly, there are a dozen other great options for a horseless rider out there too. Karl Niedersuss, some of the older Albions/Barnsbys/Countys, the Collegiate Convertible Intellect Dressage, and a whole host of less-common but equally-good options. You've got a lot to choose from. Just make sure you've got a high pommel arch and a moderately curvy panel, and that it's either got an adjustable gullet or is set to roughly medium wide, and you're good to go.

                I will ditto alto's advice to invest in a shimmable half pad, preferably with sheepskin because those tend to be on the thicker side. That'll run you roughly $130-$150, but it's money VERY well spent. It'll really diversify your fitting possibilities, especially with Thoroughbreds who tend to be dippy/gappy behind their scapula bone.

                Does anyone have experience buying a used saddle on eBay, or would that be a no-no?
                Define "no no." If by "no no" you mean "I am one of these people who doesn't know the saddle market well, is likely to buy some train wreck that will not fit me or many horses very well, and then will lose a bunch of money and time trying resell it," then yes, I'd say Ebay is a no-no and stick with the *many* other venues through which you can find a good horseless rider saddle with a trial period. If by "no no" you mean "I have done my homework and I know exactly which pieces of tack would fit me and these horses well, I have a very good picture of this particular saddle's market value and I will not pay more than I could reasonably get back on resale, and I don't need a trial period," then Ebay is an awesome idea and you'll probably get a better price there than you will anywhere else. But you can still find absolute steals at the tack stores, especially on the dressage market which is very soft right now (too many saddles, not enough buyers.) To complicate that problem, we're about to go into the softest sales season for all saddles, including dressage saddles: post-Christmas to about March 1. So if you make a mistake on Ebay, plan to be sitting on that mistake for awhile. It's up to you.
                Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                • #9
                  PSA: there are two of those adjustable Rembrandts on eBay as we speak, er, post.
                  A helmet saved my life.

                  2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


                  • Original Poster

                    Thank you for all the suggestions, especially the note about 31cm trees and the link to the Pelham website - they seem to have a lot of good options. Also, thank you very much jn4jenny for all of your brand suggestions, very helpful! I do not actually have a hunter/jumper background and am not personally against Wintec, I was just advised by my trainer that there are many better quality saddles out there and I tend to trust her. Ultimately she's going to look at anything before I buy it, so I'm not too concerned about entering into a train wreck. I do want to be able to make returns just in case, though!