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Possible saddle search

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  • Possible saddle search

    Would like some input please! I currently ride in a Windsor Greenline - very nice saddle, comfy, fits my horse and me. But lately I've felt like it's just too much saddle for me - too much padding, not enough feel. I suppose as we evolve as riders our tastes and needs change. Anyway, thinking about looking for a mono flap with flatter (as in not so padded up) panels (hopefully that makes sense). Top of the budget would be about $1300 - with that probably going to have to go the "used" route. Any recommendations?
    http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

    "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

  • #2
    Can you post a good conformation shot of your horse? It would be easier to make recommendations based on that.
    Kitt Hazelton
    Saddle Fitter
    www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
    www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      This is all I have at the moment: http://smg.photobucket.com/user/kerr...er/Dodger%20II pretty typical TB build
      http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

      "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

      Comment


      • #4
        Can't comment on tree width, but based on the photo, your horse has a pretty prominent, "roofy" wither that ties into a fairly flat back that slopes up a bit to the croup. You'll likely need something with a steepish rise (maybe a high-head model) and a relatively flat tree. A deeper front panel (like a K/skidrow) will be a help in offering support along that rather considerable wither, as will a full front gusset. This horse might also go well in a saddle with longer tree points, like Stubben, Hennig or Schleese. A modest and perhaps upswept rear panel (no super thick or "squared off" rear panels) will be a help in balancing the saddle - with the upslope to the croup, if you have a deep rear panel, the saddle will sit pommel-low (even if the tree width is correct) and jam in behind the shoulders.

        Given your price range, you'll be able to find a decent quality used saddle. You might consider a Frank Baines Reflex, Albion SL or maybe and SLK high-head, BC Eloquence with a K panel and full front gusset, Passier GG or Relevant with standard panels (not the Freedom panels), or a used Stubben (not familiar enough with their newer models to recommend anything specific) or Schleese (ditto on my knowledge). Kent and Masters high-wither model would also be worth considering - www.hastilowusa.com has them for $1295 brand new: http://www.hastilowusa.com/saddles/k...-dressage.html.
        Kitt Hazelton
        Saddle Fitter
        www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
        www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Kitt - Thank you so much! All of these suggestions are such a big help - it narrows the field quite a bit. In my "google" searches last night I came across a Passier GG and thought "maybe".
          http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

          "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

          Comment


          • #6
            There are a lot of used saddles with closer contact, particularly for TB's as many of the lower priced used saddles were made more for that type. That being said, k, skid row, dropped, (panels with more depth in front), aid in balancing the saddle while allowing room for the withers so that they are not squeezed. Wither and full front gussets can also be useful.
            Saddles that have trees with a little longitudinal shape can be good as too straight a tree with a too squared off rear gusset could exert pressure or dig into the loins.

            I have 3 TB's and have played around with a lot of saddles on them. More info would be helpful in terms of tracings but Passier as you noted can be a good choice. Depending on the year made, the GG's can vary quite a bit.
            Jay McGarry
            saddle fitter
            www.trumbullmtn.com
            800-442-9672

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by jaybird660 View Post
              There are a lot of used saddles with closer contact, particularly for TB's as many of the lower priced used saddles were made more for that type. That being said, k, skid row, dropped, (panels with more depth in front), aid in balancing the saddle while allowing room for the withers so that they are not squeezed. Wither and full front gussets can also be useful.
              Saddles that have trees with a little longitudinal shape can be good as too straight a tree with a too squared off rear gusset could exert pressure or dig into the loins.

              I have 3 TB's and have played around with a lot of saddles on them. More info would be helpful in terms of tracings but Passier as you noted can be a good choice. Depending on the year made, the GG's can vary quite a bit.
              Thank you Jay! I have noticed, in my google searches, how different the GG's can be. I plan to spend Sunday afternoon sitting in a variety of saddles; hopefully, one of the larger stores will have a GG.
              http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

              "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

              Comment


              • #8
                The older GGs often had plain panels (as opposed to gusseted) and a fairly narrow channel between them. In the early-to-mid 2000s, they started offering a wider channel, and came up with the Freedom panels, which tie in 3/4" lower in the pommel arch, are wider in the channel than the standard panels, and offer a flatter, wider bearing surface in the rear. That option is great for the broader withers and backs, but not so much for the leaner Tb types - the standard panels tend to work better for them. The basic Passier tree design, however, hasn't changed in the last 50 years, though now they're offering a hoop-type tree. If you can find a GG with plain panels made in the last 10 or 12 years, it would be worth trying, though a gusseted panel might work, too - can't tell for sure w/o seeing a template.
                Kitt Hazelton
                Saddle Fitter
                www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
                www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  How tall are you and where are you? I have a (brown) monoflap Marcus Krehan that was flocked to fit my older TB with a very similar shape. She is now mostly retired, so I could send it to you to try if you would like. No obligation to buy. I'm not actually really sure I want to sell it, though I do not need 5 saddles!

                  On the monoflaps, I love them...but only on wider horses. Both of my girls are wide through the barrel and shoulders, so there is plenty to wrap my leg around. I've tried my monoflaps on narrower horses and decided I like the extra support of a double flap. Granted, I am 5'10", so perhaps the equation works out differently with shorter legs.

                  I also have a Passier GG for my young mare. It might be a Freedom panel model, not sure--it does have front gussets and a wide channel, though it's also an XXW! It seems to fit more like a hoop tree, though again that may be a function of its width. I like the feel for me pretty well, though the consistent feedback on the GGs is that they work best for longer-legged riders, so again might depend on your height.
                  Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!
                  http://www.etsy.com/shop/PellMellFeltPads

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Kitt View Post
                    The older GGs often had plain panels (as opposed to gusseted) and a fairly narrow channel between them. In the early-to-mid 2000s, they started offering a wider channel, and came up with the Freedom panels, which tie in 3/4" lower in the pommel arch, are wider in the channel than the standard panels, and offer a flatter, wider bearing surface in the rear. That option is great for the broader withers and backs, but not so much for the leaner Tb types - the standard panels tend to work better for them. The basic Passier tree design, however, hasn't changed in the last 50 years, though now they're offering a hoop-type tree. If you can find a GG with plain panels made in the last 10 or 12 years, it would be worth trying, though a gusseted panel might work, too - can't tell for sure w/o seeing a template.
                    Thanks Kitt, I appreciate your input!
                    http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                    "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Grasshopper View Post
                      How tall are you and where are you? I have a (brown) monoflap Marcus Krehan that was flocked to fit my older TB with a very similar shape. She is now mostly retired, so I could send it to you to try if you would like. No obligation to buy. I'm not actually really sure I want to sell it, though I do not need 5 saddles!

                      On the monoflaps, I love them...but only on wider horses. Both of my girls are wide through the barrel and shoulders, so there is plenty to wrap my leg around. I've tried my monoflaps on narrower horses and decided I like the extra support of a double flap. Granted, I am 5'10", so perhaps the equation works out differently with shorter legs.

                      I also have a Passier GG for my young mare. It might be a Freedom panel model, not sure--it does have front gussets and a wide channel, though it's also an XXW! It seems to fit more like a hoop tree, though again that may be a function of its width. I like the feel for me pretty well, though the consistent feedback on the GGs is that they work best for longer-legged riders, so again might depend on your height.
                      Grasshopper - how very kind of you! I am 5'5", size 26-28 breeches, 30" inseam. I am going to do a bit of saddle shopping this weekend, if I don't find anything locally (I'm in Illinois), I will definitely let you know. Thanks again!
                      http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                      "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Take your horse with you
                        assuming there are tack shops with enough saddles & trailer access to make it worthwhile - it's a great way to sort out the top picks to take home for trials.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am right there with you on disliking some of the overly "poofy" saddles! I have an old Passier GG for my older horse which I really like. However, it didn't fit my younger horse who is much wider, rounder, and has a huge laid-back shoulder. So, I began the saddle search to find something to fit the "oil drum" style back. OMG--almost all of the newer saddles I tried, sat up on top of her like a party hat. They all had the huge gussetted rear panels and super padded thigh blocks, etc. I felt like I was riding on top of an inner tube.

                          Anyway--I finally found a saddle that sits around her back (no more party hat) and it's also a monoflap (which I love as a rider). It's an old (2007) Hennig Sofa monoflap with "normal" rear panels and a cut back shoulder. I have also seen dressage saddles that are referred to as "close contact" saddles--and they tend to be more old fashioned in their design. I think the Passier GT (different from the GG) is one of those (Kitt can correct me if I am wrong on this!) You might try searching for some "close contact" models to see if that is more what you are looking for.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by alto View Post
                            Take your horse with you
                            assuming there are tack shops with enough saddles & trailer access to make it worthwhile - it's a great way to sort out the top picks to take home for trials.
                            Wish I could, don't have my own trailer though!
                            http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                            "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by slp2 View Post
                              I am right there with you on disliking some of the overly "poofy" saddles! I have an old Passier GG for my older horse which I really like. However, it didn't fit my younger horse who is much wider, rounder, and has a huge laid-back shoulder. So, I began the saddle search to find something to fit the "oil drum" style back. OMG--almost all of the newer saddles I tried, sat up on top of her like a party hat. They all had the huge gussetted rear panels and super padded thigh blocks, etc. I felt like I was riding on top of an inner tube.

                              Anyway--I finally found a saddle that sits around her back (no more party hat) and it's also a monoflap (which I love as a rider). It's an old (2007) Hennig Sofa monoflap with "normal" rear panels and a cut back shoulder. I have also seen dressage saddles that are referred to as "close contact" saddles--and they tend to be more old fashioned in their design. I think the Passier GT (different from the GG) is one of those (Kitt can correct me if I am wrong on this!) You might try searching for some "close contact" models to see if that is more what you are looking for.
                              thank you for the suggestions!
                              http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                              "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Found what I think will be a keeper - Dominique Barbier, not sure which model it is (looks like there are 2), it is a monoflap and was half of my budget, woohoo! Fits nicely, rode great. I have a 7 day trial and am anxious to use it some more!
                                http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                                "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                                Comment

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