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Stubben Scandica - all purpose or no purpose?

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  • Stubben Scandica - all purpose or no purpose?

    Another saddle thread...


    I just bought a Stubben Scandica, used. It seems to fit me well, and is wide enough for my tank of a mare. She has a very high wither, and it has enough clearance, which I liked. We rode two long, tough schooling sessions in it this weekend...no soreness or dry spots, and I quite liked the feel.

    The knee rolls and front panel are awfully thick...I like the way it feels, and it is a big step up from trying to do Dressage in a Wintec AP 2000. She's got quite a slopey back...such that the saddle tilts a little. That's really my only complaint...but I am not keen on using a riser. Maybe a shimmed type pad?

    Anyone else ride in these? What are your experiences? We're looking to do Training Level and maybe First in the next few years...she's a re-train at 13, and I suck, so we don't need a custom saddle or anything crazy. Think this is a good choice?
    Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

  • #2
    The Scandica is a good saddle, well made. It tends to fit horses with withers, although I can't imagine it fitting correctly on a truly wide body. It works well for riders without long legs, and I would say that the seat fits a tad on the small side. I don't remember the knee rolls being especially big; in fact, I consider it to be a somewhat less confining saddle.

    The saddle should fit level on the horse or it will be uncomfortable for the horse and make life difficult for you, the rider. If you can't use a flocking job or a slight shim to get it level, it probably isn't fitting well.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses
    www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I have to admit, I found the title of your thread rather disconcerting! As far as I know, the Scandica is a dressage saddle, not "All Purpose"

      I recently bought one also. I like it just fine. It fits my horse well, and me pretty darn good. I got a great deal on it - it's what I could afford.

      Sounds to me like you're riding well in the saddle and it fits your horse. If you need a little shim, try it. May make it perfect!
      www.moranequinephoto.com
      "If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one; and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom."
      Byron

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MEP
        As far as I know, the Scandica is a dressage saddle, not "All Purpose"
        Well there is actually a Scandica VSD (Vielseitigkeit, Schwerpunkt Dressur - kind of AP) out there, but I didn't think it was available in the US. I have seen it in Europe and according to this website Australia.
        http://www.stubbenaustralia.com.au/scanvsdd.htm
        Not sure if that's what the OP really meant, is she choising between a dressage and a vsd?
        In which case I'd say if you do primarily dressage and the odd trailride go for dressage saddle. If you think you'll be doing dressage with perhaps the odd jump and more trailriding, a vsd might be more suitable.

        With regards to using riser pads & shims, I've never had much luck with that.
        The riser pad used to make my guy sore near the withers at the front of the saddle and a Mattes half pad back riser, just never stayed in place no matter how I attached it. I even bought the saddle fix attachment thingy and even that didn't help much.
        I'm wondering if a full pad correction would have stayed in place better, probably would have.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Mine is an older DL, but my instructor called it an All Purpose? She said she didn't know very much about saddle fitting though. At her barn, they are all custom made for the horse and rider (and I get the feeling "not very much" in her case is still about 10x what most people know about saddles).

          She really didn't like how thick the front panels were.

          I'll post a picture of my mare when I get home, she's very high-withered, and a purebred Clydesdale. A little narrow for a Clyde, she usually fits "wide" treed saddles, more warmblood proportions to her head and back. Her wither is high, and her topline is pretty curvy. Because she is so long, most saddles that sit properly forward end up sloping down. I now understand why "draft" saddles tend to start at 18" and go up, and it isn't because the riders have big butts!

          I'm also quite tall...5'10" and mostly leg...but the flaps seem okay to me, then again, my legs are shortened by how wide my horse is.

          I got a 17.5", the same as my Wintec. I find the seat fits well, but I have a wide, flat...hindquarter
          Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

          Comment


          • #6
            The Scandica is considered a dressage saddle. Dressage saddles come with different flap angles, stirrup bar placement, and knee roll size, but it isn't an AP. Dressage saddles also come with either a double or single (mono) flap under your leg, but the thigh block can be padded, large, small, intrusive, etc. Since your thigh shouldn't be on it, it shouldn't be between you and your horse. With such a long leg, maybe it is on the knee block instead of lying in the groove of the flap? Since the seat isn't generous on that saddle, maybe the 17.5 size forces your long leg up on the thigh block. Also, if it is sitting up high on the withers, it will definitely ride like a downslope, so be sure when you try it you put a folded towel or some such thing under the cantle to level it.
            Mystic Owl Sporthorses
            www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lieslot View Post
              Well there is actually a Scandica VSD (Vielseitigkeit, Schwerpunkt Dressur
              Very cool, thanks! I had no idea what that stood for, I just used "very slightly dressage" to remember!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                With such a long leg, maybe it is on the knee block instead of lying in the groove of the flap?
                See, I wondered why it was an issue, since you don't really need to feel through the knee block. I find that this saddle puts my thigh in a good spot, provided my stirrups are adjusted to the right length.

                Here's the mare...see the slopey?
                Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

                Comment


                • #9
                  I love mine and if fits great on my boy but every horse and every person is different.
                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rugbygirl View Post
                    See, I wondered why it was an issue, since you don't really need to feel through the knee block. I find that this saddle puts my thigh in a good spot, provided my stirrups are adjusted to the right length.

                    Here's the mare...see the slopey?
                    Not an easy horse to fit. You are lucky you don't need a big seat, because the longer the tree, the more you will have to deal with bridging. Assuming you can get the tree wide enough, the Scandica should be a good choice because Stubbens generally fit well horses who have withers and a back with a dip. A flat tree wouldn't work for you.
                    Mystic Owl Sporthorses
                    www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      How do you feel about risers? I have a 1.5" foam one, and my instructor grimaced at the thought. I used to use them on the Arabians, but I didn't have much feel back then.

                      I'll try it out, but I'm interested in hearing opinions of more experienced people. Can you modify the flocking enough on this saddle to give the same effect as an 1.5" riser? I'm willing to take it to the local saddle fitter and put some work into it, I got a nice deal on it and am looking to make it our permanent saddle.

                      The riser makes a very irritating "squeaky squeaky" sound, but other than that my experience has been ok.
                      Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rugbygirl View Post
                        How do you feel about risers? I have a 1.5" foam one, and my instructor grimaced at the thought. I used to use them on the Arabians, but I didn't have much feel back then.

                        I'll try it out, but I'm interested in hearing opinions of more experienced people. Can you modify the flocking enough on this saddle to give the same effect as an 1.5" riser? I'm willing to take it to the local saddle fitter and put some work into it, I got a nice deal on it and am looking to make it our permanent saddle.

                        The riser makes a very irritating "squeaky squeaky" sound, but other than that my experience has been ok.
                        I'm pretty much with your instructor when it comes to risers. If you need 1.5 inches up in the cantle, the saddle is most likely too narrow, and putting risers like that under the cantle make the saddle somewhat unstable. Flocking can only do so much. If the panels are completely flat and soft, you can make some difference with flocking changes but if they are already fluffy, probably not. Does the saddle stay in place when you canter?
                        Mystic Owl Sporthorses
                        www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Like a rock. Over little fences too.

                          I trotted her out with it on (no pad) to look for bridging too, and didn't notice any. I'm really not great with saddle fit though. This is the first saddle I've had on her where I could fit my whole hand under the pommel and slide my flat hand under the panels even with the girth tight (back in the day that's what I learned about saddle fitting).

                          It may not need the 1.5"...I need to get some photos, but I won't see the pony for a week and a half. I may rebump the thread

                          Thanks for the advice so far!
                          Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rugbygirl View Post
                            Like a rock. Over little fences too.

                            I trotted her out with it on (no pad) to look for bridging too, and didn't notice any. I'm really not great with saddle fit though. This is the first saddle I've had on her where I could fit my whole hand under the pommel and slide my flat hand under the panels even with the girth tight (back in the day that's what I learned about saddle fitting).

                            It may not need the 1.5"...I need to get some photos, but I won't see the pony for a week and a half. I may rebump the thread

                            Thanks for the advice so far!
                            If you can get a vertical hand between the top of the withers and the bottom of the gullet under the pommel, and it is sitting very pommel high, I would say it is narrow. Stubben's criteria for saddle fitting is with the saddle properly placed and girthed, something level, like a long yardstick, laid from the top of the cantle horizontally over the pommel, should be 1.5 inches higher than the pommel. However, if the saddle works for you and your mare isn't unhappy with it, plus it is stable at the canter and over fences, it just might work.
                            Mystic Owl Sporthorses
                            www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Stubben has several Scandica models: dressage, VSD/AP, and a jumping saddle as well.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ironbessflint View Post
                                Stubben has several Scandica models: dressage, VSD/AP, and a jumping saddle as well.
                                Just goes to show I haven't been paying attention. Originally there was just the dressage model, but I confess that was awhile ago.
                                Mystic Owl Sporthorses
                                www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The Scandica also comes as a DL or HP. The DL has a shorter flap and the HP has a longer flap. I'm 6' tall with long legs and short torso, but I have the DL since the HP's flap was too long and interfered with my horse's shoulder. I have a 17.2h percheron stallion who goes in a regular (medium) width tree as he has withers and is NOT wide. Our jumping saddle is a Courbette Stylist.

                                  The letters used be Stubben to describe their saddles are:
                                  S - Jumping

                                  VSD - All purpose, emphasis toward dressage, pleasure riding, endurance and riding long in stirrup leathers

                                  VSS - All purpose, emphasis toward jumping

                                  D - Dressage

                                  CS - Half deep, slightly wider seat, square cantle, forward flap, front block (rear block optional)

                                  II - Flat seat, square cantle, forward flap, front and/or rear block optional

                                  DL - High wide knee roll on dressage and VSD type saddles to give better support

                                  HP - Long knee roll on dressage saddles, highest point lower down on the panel for the average to longer legged rider

                                  CL - Anatomically shaped knee roll molded into the saddle flap

                                  GX - Saddle flap molded over a high knee roll on the panel (VSD saddles only)

                                  The Stubben Tristan is a slightly less expensive less fancy version of this saddle and may work for you if you're looking to pass up a little padding (no elk hide on this one) to save some $.

                                  Also very similar is the Stubben Romanus, but it's very hard to find these new in the store. I almost bought one instead of the Scandica, but it too ran small and I didn't want to wait three months for the right size one from Germany.

                                  I love my Scandica, but it was certainly a change coming from Bates and Courbette jumping saddles. Enjoy it!
                                  Phyxius Photos.com - Equine Photographer in Maryland

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by clint View Post
                                    Stubben's criteria for saddle fitting is with the saddle properly placed and girthed, something level, like a long yardstick, laid from the top of the cantle horizontally over the pommel, should be 1.5 inches higher than the pommel.
                                    Actually, it's 1". That 1/2" could make a significant difference for some.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Thanks for the bumping guys, only six more days and I can take photographs for critique (I know, I know, how much do you all love assessing saddle fit from bad ammy photography )

                                      Phyxius, do you happen to have photos of this saddle on your horse? Besides LOVING to see another Dressage-Draft just generally, I'd be really interested to see what the "right" fit looks like on a similarly proportioned horse.
                                      Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have a Scandica DL for my Percheron X, and it fits both of us well.

                                        http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...48526821eajZSV

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