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CC saddle VS dressage saddle

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  • CC saddle VS dressage saddle

    I am a H/J rider making the switch to dressage. Do I need to get a dressage saddle or is it okay to start in my CC saddle. I am very comfy in it and I have had it fit for my horse so it does work for both of us.
    Some have told me I need a dressage saddle to really be able to ride it right. I am just starting out and going at a snail's pace. ALso, I am not really interested in showing I am doing this for myself...
    Any opinions?
    Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
    Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
    "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

  • #2
    Your CC saddle is fine. When you get to the point of thinking about collection (for second level), you will likely find that your cc saddle doesn't allow you to influence your horse as easily as a dressage saddle will. Personally, I wouldn't rush it. As you start to get to that point (and you've learned to ride with a deeper seat and a longer leg), start borrowing dressage saddles to get the feel of different blocks/seats/brands/etc.


    • #3
      As someone who made the same switch from hunters to dressage about six months ago... I will tell you that getting a dressage saddle made a big difference to me in learning the new seat/balance.

      Now, let me preface this by saying you can *certainly* do any flatwork in a close contact saddle, no doubt about that. I have no trouble doing WTC, leg yields, basic lengthenings/shortenings etc in my Butet. However, what I really cannot do effectively in that saddle is to easily sit in the posture that is considered correct for dressage - more upright, "on your pockets" with a longer, draped leg... nor can I influence my horse as effectively with my seat. My Butet is made to support the posture of a hunter rider, and the increased angles in the hip & knee you use when riding a hunter. Can I "sit up" in the Butet? Yes, sure. Can I ride with the length of leg, more open pelvis, and "rolled back shoulders" my dressage trainer is asking for? Not so much. Or at least, not without fighting the tack to a considerable degree.

      I bought a used Schleese pretty early into my dressage adventure and I've been really pleased with it. It's definitely helped me learn the new position and balance and as a bonus, it was super adjustable and fits my horse perfectly.

      I chose not to sell my Butet, as I do still like to jump, and that is something I cannot do in my Schleese.

      Enjoy your foray into dressage. I am finding it's a blast!
      We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


      • #4
        Stick with your CC saddle for the moment. It's always nice to have the perfect equipment for every ride, but IMHO people tend to make too much fuss over their equipment, especially at the lower levels. As long as your current saddle fits you and your horse, you'll be just fine. Wait until you really get bitten by the dressage bug to make an investment in a dressage saddle.


        • #5
          I'm a big fan of having the right equipment for the job.

          Sit in a lot of dressage saddles. The geometry will influence your seat a lot, especially in the beginning. Because you need to learn to both strengthen and relax and influence a new set of muscles, it makes a big difference if the seat and flaps aren't right for you.

          One very common and "non-offensive geometry" dressage saddle is a Niedersuss. Try one of those for a week or so if you can. Along these lines, give any dressage saddle more than a few rides to evaluate.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat


          • #6
            And you could show dressage in your jumping saddle no problem if you wanted to.

            I do both, dressage and jumper. I do have both saddles and yes, each of them help me for the discipline they are built for. But I've jumped up to 3' in my deep seated Dressage one (just for fun - and not too often please!)and have to work a lot on my flat work in my Jumping one. I regularly take my dressage lesson with my jumping saddle because I want to obtain the same result/feeling that my dressage trainer is looking for. I'm at third/fourth level in dressage and 1.10-1.20 jumper. My trainer understand my needs and help me reach my goals. She couln't care less about what saddle I'm sitting on as long as the horse is moving properly.

            Doing dressage helped me a lot for my jumping and vice versa.

            Have fun.
            ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

            Originally posted by LauraKY
            I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
            HORSING mobile training app


            • #7
              Is it necessary? Well, no. Is it preferable for your benefit? Absolutely!
              Start your saddle search now, knowing it'll probably be a year before you find the right one.
              chaque pas est fait ensemble


              • #8
                Considering that CC saddles are not designed for the sitting trot work that most dressage riders do, I would say that your personal comfort will tell you how important the change in saddle is.

                So until you get to really needing to sit, stay with what you have.
                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                • #9
                  I think it would be perfectly fine for you to get started in your close contact, and keep your eyes open for a good deal on a dressage saddle that comes along. The dressage saddle will help you, but it is not necessary unless you really want to get serious.
                  The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                  Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                  • #10
                    Start with your CC saddle. As a new dressage rider, you will encounter enough confusing and challenging and exciting information to throw you off, and I think you will be far better off in something you feel comfortable with to begin with. You can do great many low level flat works in a CC saddle. And then, once you decide you do like to continue with dressage, start to look for a true dressage saddle. A right equipment will make your life easier, and by that time, you should have gotten over many cultural shocks you will sure to encounter lol. Oh by the way, while you are riding in that CC saddle, do NOT try to lengthen the stirrup leathers. They are not meant for a long draping legs so don't, or you will be fighting your balance in that saddle.

                    Good luck and welcome. I hope you find your dressage journey exciting and satisfying. I surely did when I switched from hunter to dressage a few years ago.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks for all the advice. I am still learning the basics so I can do them okay in my CC saddle. I am very comfortable in it and I am always making sure it fits my horse.
                      I do have an older Passier that came with my last horse but it did not fit him or me so I am going to sell that and hopefully later on get a dressage saddle. Any suggestions on a mid priced saddle for a back that needs flatter tyoe panels and average withers with a comfy cushy seat? heehee I am not the petite touche I used to be so I like a medium twist instead of a narrow one...
                      I have to watch my budget, my hubby is supportive but "now another saddle!"
                      I have not bought a saddle in several years I say...!
                      Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                      Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                      "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"


                      • #12
                        I rode a novice level 3-day all in the same cc saddle and same snaffle bridle and won!! -- I had never sat in a dressage saddle ant the time. So, certainly it is possible to use your CC saddle. If you want to do the same sort of riding you already do, but focus a bit more on the flat-work and get some dressage influence, then you can get by with a cc saddle. Doing that can certainly improve your H/J or eventing flat-work and your relationship with your horse. But you will be approaching it from your other discipline, and you will always think of dressage as boring, second place, and you will not understand the true beauty of dressage.
                        If you want to experience dressage, get to know what dressage is truely all about, and possibly to fall in love with dressage for it's own sake: Then start right and get a decent dressage saddle. It will really improve your experience of dressage.


                        • Original Poster

                          I am waiting to get my saddle back. Hopefully within the next week or so. I will let you know how it goes...
                          Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                          Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                          "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"