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Spinoff - Tall Rider Needs Saddle that Shoves Leg Back

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  • Spinoff - Tall Rider Needs Saddle that Shoves Leg Back

    What dressage saddle would you recommend for a tallish rider (5'7") with a _long_ thighbone, who wants help shoving her leg back into the proper place? I seem to fit best in a dressage saddle with an 18 1/2 seat, so some saddles are out from the start since they are not made in that size. I am most comfortable in my jumping saddle with the stirrups at cross country length, so I need all the help I can get in dressage!

  • #2
    I had the same problem. It wasn't solved by shoving my leg back but rather by finding a saddle that had enough room to accomodate my long thigh. My leg angles were correct, the other saddles just didn't have enough room for my thigh length so my knee was out in front of the panel.

    I'm riding in a 19" Trilogy. Yes, it was custom and pricey, but after going through 5 different saddles in 2 years, it's a keeper.


    • #3
      One of my trainers is very tall and looks perfect in my Verhan. She also has a Verhan for her horse.

      I have an Odyssey II (adjustable tree) and the thigh block helped fix a probrlem my old AVG allowed to happen - my thigh was coming too far forward.

      Now in Kentucky


      • #4
        strange - there are two posts that say the same thing - but one person has short legs and one long legs

        Wintec Isabell -
        fyi - I am 5'10 and it works for me - when I put kids in that saddle, it works for them also - puts you right into hip/heel alignment.


        • #5
          I really think it's a lot about the seat style that works for you too. You may be more comfortable in an open seat, rather than the chair seat or a really deep seat. Different dressage saddles have different balance points too, that help your leg drop differently.

          Good luck! Saddle shopping is the pits. Definately try, try, try different saddles.


          • #6
            At 5'11" and very long legs, I, too, need a 19". Unfortunately, they are more pricey. I ride in a County and when I moved from an 18" to a 19", my trainer noted how much better my leg position was. The problem wasn't my butt but the length of leg from the hip to the knee. That extra inch made all the difference in the world.


            • #7
              I think it is often that the stirrup bars are too forward.

              I just had mine set back and voila, my leg is under me, and I am not fighting my saddle. (Passier GG).


              • Original Poster

                Bronte, how did you have your stirrup bars set back and was it expensive?


                • #9
                  I second the Verhan suggestion. It took a bit to get used to, but it does put your leg right underneath you without being too far back. I also like it because the seat isn't too deep.


                  • #10
                    Keep in mind that if you have a saddle that "shoves your thighs back" your position will be compromised in your pelvis and low back. Please also look into stretching your quads and hip flexors to help you.
                    Laurie Higgins
                    "Expectation is premeditated disappointment."


                    • #11
                      I absolutely love my Verhan. It's a fantastic saddle. It doesn't SHOVE your leg back - what it does, is it allows you to relax the muscles in your leg, so that your leg is relaxed, and falls into a naturally balanced position - ie, under you. By it doesn't FORCE, I mean the saddle is not one of those very restrictive beginner saddles that surrounds you and doesn't let you move or get comfortable. It's ingenious - the position of the thigh block is such that you don't even notice it after a short while. Bernardo Verago is brilliant....he's even studied old saddles in museums.

                      Expensive? A custom saddle, made to measure from Verhan, is slightly more than a non custom saddle. I think it's the best priced custom saddle going - and used, these saddles are just a plain old steal. Get 'em while you can because the resale value is going to go way up when people realize what they are. He has a very nice technique for creating a 3 dimensional image of the horse's back with multiple measurements - and he doesn't just come and measure. He watched you ride, talks to your trainer - to top it off, he rides dressage and teaches, so he's very aware of what is going on and what you need.


                      • #12
                        Karl Niedersuss, Symphony!!! I have a long leg, tried 20 different saddles and this one did the trick. I was switching from riding hunter seat to dressage and this one keeps my leg in the right place!
                        Imported from Germany, Assembled in Michigan
                        Rare damline of 7 direct generations of Elite/States Premium Mares.


                        • #13
                          I love my friends passier gg. Most other saddles put my leg too far forward but in the passier my leg just draps around the horse in a perfect line naturally!

                          Only problem is I need to hold up the gas station down the street to buy the saddle.
                          "Let the fence be the bit." - Phillip Dutton


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by oldbutnotdead View Post
                            Bronte, how did you have your stirrup bars set back and was it expensive?
                            Sorry to be so late replying! I shipped it to Paramount Saddlery and they did it for me. Around $200 as I recall.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HollysHobbies View Post
                              I really think it's a lot about the seat style that works for you too. You may be more comfortable in an open seat, rather than the chair seat or a really deep seat. Different dressage saddles have different balance points too, that help your leg drop differently.

                              Good luck! Saddle shopping is the pits. Definately try, try, try different saddles.
                              I agree with this- I'm only 5' 7" but I also have the chair seat problem and was looking for something to keep my leg under me- part of the issue appears to be how my saddle fit the horse, and part of it seems to be the seat- just trying different saddles changed how my leg fell so that it ended up being underneath me naturally.


                              • #16
                                Thigh blocks are the work of the devil !! A properly fitted and balanced saddle will allow the rider to assume the correct position.
                                ... _. ._ .._. .._


                                • #17
                                  Roosli Pilatus. I'm 6' tall and have very long femurs. I was measured for my saddle and it puts me in absolutely the right position without effort.
                                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                                  • #18
                                    Thigh blocks are not the work of the devil. It is just which muscles in the leg are at work and how much.


                                    • #19
                                      RIchard Weiss article


                                      I am tall and a recovering 'chair seater' -- I found the Black Country saddle line to be helpful to me in correcting my position. I can't say it fixes my position but it doesn't do anything TO my position -- I feel like it is position neutral and allows me to work on alignment/correctness without fighting the saddle. Beyond that, I feel I have been most helped by

                                      a) arena mirrors (the horror! the horror!)
                                      b) an article by Richard Weiss about how to sit called "the position does the riding" at


                                      In some respects I feel it is most helpful to focus on getting the horse where he needs to be, and then the correct position comes more naturally -- but it is a chicken and egg thing...
                                      Dressage, riding, sport horse blog
                                      Unique browbands for dressage and hunter riders


                                      • #20
                                        I'm 5.6, freakishly looooooong thigh bone as well and I need an 18" seat. I know the curse of the chair seat all too well...

                                        I really liked my Thornhill Vienna II. I felt balanced and my leg was kept in the correct position. Longer then average flaps and comfy as a couch.

                                        Pic of me riding my green 4-YO mare in it here:


                                        You can't beat the price either. Under $1K brand new.

                                        I know some of the treeless saddles have stirrup bars that are placed further back. There's a Heather Moffett model called the Pheonix (sp?) and the Ansur. My dressage instructor SWEARS by the Ansur. I rode in it once and I absolutely loved it (so did my mare) but alas it's a bit out of my price range.
                                        Breeder of rare, high quality Silver Dapple Paints and Quarter Horses.