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Flap Length

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  • Flap Length

    How do you determine appropriate flap length for your leg? While I am 5'2, I have a long thigh and shorter calf. I am wondering what I need to consider as I look for a new saddle this spring.

    Thanks and Happy Riding,
    Jessie & The Stinky Pony aka Bosco

  • #2
    It really depends on the saddle. I am 5'2" as well. My hip to knee is 19.5in. My knee to heel is 17". I do best in a 15in flap. However, some 16" flaps are just fine, others are horrible based on seat width and twist.

    Ugh saddle shopping really, really sucks. Good luck!


    • #3
      I am 5' 2" also (on a tall day). It's hard to measure one's self, but I think I'm about 17 inches hip to knee and 15 inches knee to ankle.

      The saddle I'm currently riding in has a 15.5 inch flap, which is just about perfect for me. Unfortunately I've decided I don't like the very deep seat, so it's back to the drawing board for me. I'll be looking in the 15-16 inch flap range.


      • #4
        I'm in there too, at 5'3" + . I like a 15" flap but a 16" can work. They are hard to find IMO. I found a Passier Relevant w/short flaps then found an older Passier whose owner had cut the flaps. That may not be as pretty but I like the saddle better. (It was one I had been able to try previously to find out I really do like Passiers! Then it came up for sale after I found the other one. Figures.)

        I think the angle of he flap will figure in some too.


        • #5
          I'd love a 15 inch flap, sigh. My saddle is an older Albion Style with 16.5 inch flaps. Unfortunately they cannot be shortened.

          If you find a saddle you love, but the flaps are too long, see if they can be shortened. A good saddle fitter with leatherworking experience should be able to do it.
          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

          1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


          • #6
            Not to hijack, but how much of your leg should hang below the end of the flap?
            "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


            • #7
              I've read that your knee should sit in the middle of the knee roll. I like to have more calf on the horse, or rather, less leather between me and the horse than regular flaps allow for me. That's always been an issue in years gone by til I realized it was hard but possible to find shorter flaps. Just be sure your boot tops don't catch on the flaps. That'd be too short! I have about 2/3 of my calf below the flaps.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for all the great info.


                • #9
                  I'm no help at all with this but it sure reminds me on how much I'd like another saddle(!). I'm 5'6" and my saddle has about 17 1/3" flaps (it's a Prestige Optimax) and I'd like a saddle that allows me to get some more leg on the horse so I have a better feel and can use lighter and more precise aids. Other than the flap length, the saddle is perfect and fits me and the horse great. *Sigh*. I'm just beginning to slowly bring my horse back after some lameness issues so I suppose I don't have to think about it too much just yet.

                  Saddle shopping is pure h*ll. I'd pay $$$ to get a really thorough fit for myself to be sure I was in the right saddle.
                  Originally posted by RugBug
                  Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.


                  • #10
                    I'm only 5'1 and ride in a Bates Innova. It has a 16 inch flap which works out perfect in length for me. With my previous County saddles, I always had to special order the "short" flap, but the Innova off the shelf is already quite short!


                    • #11
                      Am another of those vertically challenged dressage riders who can't find a short flap. What worked wonderfully for me was the County Drespri, but of course, it doesn't fit my current horse. Fits DD's horse perfeclty, but she prefers a flat jumping saddle.
                      Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                      Witherun Farm


                      • #12
                        I'm 5'3", my hip to knee is 19.5" and knee to heel 17", and inseam 31.5". I have a round thigh and wide hips and prefer wider twists with bars set well back. I like a 16" flap that is slightly forward.
                        Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                        • #13
                          Found this baby

                          If anyone is looking for a short flap, I found this baby while browsing. Sadly, I don't think a MW will fit my boy.

                          Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                          Witherun Farm


                          • #14
                            The flap only needs to be long enough to keep from catching on the top of your boot.

                            I once had a 17" Lauriche with a 14" flap. I am 5'4 with a 31" inseam and it worked fine for me. I just sold it because the twist was too narrow for me.


                            • #15
                              I'm looking at a saddle right now with an 18 in flap, I'm 5'7 with a long torso.

                              Will these flaps be too long?


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by kgro632 View Post
                                I'm looking at a saddle right now with an 18 in flap, I'm 5'7 with a long torso.

                                Will these flaps be too long?
                                It's all up to you. Will it look OK to YOU? Will it interfere with your leg aids?


                                • #17
                                  I think it would hit in the center of my calf. Would that look funny? Interfere with my aids?

                                  I'm clueless!


                                  • #18
                                    Kgro632- I'm 5'6" (and don't have really long legs) and my Prestige has around 17 1/3" flaps. They're a little long for my taste but the saddle fit my horse well and me everywhere else . The day this picture was taken I had shortened my stirrups a hole or two (my horse hadn't been out that much yet that spring!) but it kind of gives you an idea.
                                    Originally posted by RugBug
                                    Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.


                                    • #19
                                      JMHO, given the nightmare of saddle fitting if the saddle otherwise fits your horse *and* you, go for it. You will probably need another saddle some time in the future and if you get the 18" flap saddle for a good price you can re-sell when you get your *perfect* saddle.

                                      Personally, in a perfect world (read: When I win the lottery), buying a cu$tom $addle made for me & horsie, I would have a flap that goes about 2-3" below the top of my boot so I could have max contact with horse for max feel.

                                      Edited to post link to a photo of a long flap on a saddlery website where the flap length is pretty long. Looks like it's all what the rider thinks is right. http://www.verhan.com/about_verhan_n.html
                                      Last edited by Spyder; Apr. 2, 2010, 09:03 PM. Reason: add a link