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Showing Dressage in a Jump Saddle?

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  • Showing Dressage in a Jump Saddle?

    So, my dressage saddle is done for. The rip in the seat has deteriorated to the point where riding is too painful (and the cost to fix is not worth it). I can't afford a new dressage saddle right now, so I've been riding in my jump saddle. I know it's not ideal, but it's my only option at this point. FYI, I'm just riding at the lower levels, and my horse goes *about* the same in either saddle.

    My question regards showing: I'd still like to maybe hit one or two more shows this season (at Training and First), but should I bother, since I would have to use the jump saddle? Is it tacky? Does it look bad? How would it affect my score?

    TIA for your opinions!

  • #2
    A few questions - are you talking rated shows or schooling shows? It's not ideal, but I guess you should do what you've gotta do.

    Is your jump saddle a true close contact saddle or is it an AP style? I did lower level eventing for years with a single AP saddle that I used for everything. I also used that saddle at one or two dressage shows but I can't imagine going out in my close contact saddle that I have now.

    Do you have a friend you could beg/borrow a saddle from for the shows?

    Another suggestion - and this is TRULY a band-aid and not a long term fix. Look on ebay. You can buy a total piece of garbage dressage saddle for about $150 including shipping. Up close they look atrocious but from a distance you can at least "look the part". I had one of these that I used for breaking youngsters. It fit the horses surprisingly well but the quality was obviously poor.... The dye rubbed off with use, the billets stretched easily and instead of hand stitching, it was *I think* Hand Glued at some of the seams. Still, from a distance, it looked OK.
    The rebel in the grey shirt


    • #3
      At training and first level at schooling shows its not a problem. Just don't ride with jump length leathers You'll see that alot at schooling shows. Now rated shows your not going to see it and maybe looked at funny but it won't count againist you unless it effects your body or your horse.
      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


      • Original Poster

        I was thinking smaller, but rated show...

        Yup, the saddle is jump saddle alright. (pessoa gen x)

        I s'pose I could borrow one for a show, but...
        Which is the lesser to two evils?
        * Practicing in one saddle, then showing in another -OR-
        * keeping saddle consistent and looking "wrong" in the show?

        Other thoughts?


        • #5
          I have shown training level in my close contact saddle in rated shows. Nobody said anything negative and I don't believe my score was marked down either. I got an used dressage saddle at the first chance I had though. It was no problem at training level but um how do you sit the trot in a jumping saddle for 1st level?


          • #6
            IMHO you would be better off iin a jump saddle that you KNOW fits you and (more important) your horse than to borrow a dressage saddle that neither one of you know the feel or fit. I know several upper level eventing riders used their jump saddle for their dressage as well as stadium. Wait until there is no hurry to get a saddle to start shoppin. Nothing worse than hurrying a saddle purchase


            • #7
              Your horse being correct (ie. horse through his back, shoulders moving freely, light in the bridle) is what matters most.


              • #8
                That Gen X probably will suit just fine. Lengthen your stirrups a bit. Use a square pad. Probably no one but you will know the difference.

                Have a great time shopping for a new saddle at your leisure.


                • #9
                  I show schooling shows with my GenX until I can get my new dressage saddle. When I ride in it I have a habit of going back to my hunter ways. *x* I've heard that you can show in lower levels at rated shows in a jump saddle.


                  • #10
                    I do it all the time on green horses that I have not started to "sit" yet. On a nice horse with a good ride I have scored upper 60's/70's (at training level) so no one seems to give a rat's tush.


                    • #11
                      A dressage saddle is not required until you're showing FEI so have it in your jumping saddle.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thank you all for your input. It is definitely valued.
                        Happy riding.


                        • #13
                          You'll be fine, I ride and show in my C.C. saddle- my dressage saddle doesn't fit my horse right and I can't afford to shell out for another one for the few dressage shows that we do. Like the other poster said, use a square pad and you'll be just fine.


                          • #14
                            I am promptly on the search for a new dressage saddle, I always thought a wintec dressage would be better than nothing, how wrong was I! I have been having problems trying to do sitting trot, I just cant stay connected in my normal dressage saddle. I happened to be at a small jumper show that had dressage rings nearby, so I thought I'd make the most use having hauled over and go and do a little dressage. It was pretty inspirational , I was actually able to stay connected and sit in my jump saddle 100x better than in my dressage saddle, I was almost able to sit to an extended trot. With my new found sitting abilities I plan to do a schooling show at second level in my jump saddle soon and I really do not care what anybody thinks as I will not be flopping all over the place irritating my horse trying to sit.


                            • #15
                              I borrow a dressage saddle from a friend when I can because it does fit my horse (same brand and tree size as my jump saddle) but when I can't I do dressage in my jump saddle and would show in it if need be. I can sit the trot in it just fine fwiw. I even usually keep the stirrups the same length until I am really seriously practicing for a show. Granted though, I am not fantastic at dressage and I can't afford to do recognized shows so my advice is probably not worth tons
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