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Saddle for short person with tight hips

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  • Saddle for short person with tight hips

    Hello everyone,

    I will be looking for a new saddle and I want try to narrow down my search. I'm about 5'2, 105 pounds, and pretty fit. I dp have short legs and very narrow hips. While I am young, I have some health issues that leave me with a bad back and very tight hip flexors (muscle tightness in general). I have trouble really dropping my leg down, especially if I am using it at the same time, because it tends to creep up.

    I definitely need a saddle that helps me keep out of a chair-seat position, but offers lots of shock absorption for my back and hips. Hard seats leave me very sore. I have not noticed a huge difference between twists, to be honest, and I do like bigger thigh blocks. I'm not sure if a deep seat or a more shallow seat would suit me better. I've ridden in both and had good and bad experiences in both. I have a hyper-arched back so some saddles tend to press on my pubic bone and give me bruising. Unfortunately this is a structural issue, and is thus harder to remedy with fitness alone. As for my horse, she's a Lipizzan but not terribly round and has a good wither. I'd say she's a medium-wide. My budget is under 2.5k, but under 2k is what I'm crossing my fingers for. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks, all!

  • #2
    Just an ammy opinion here - you will find saddles with a narrow twist will help with your tight hips and chair seat. I am on the petite side and have had good luck with the older Schleese models (CHB) and older Regals (both Canadian). I would still be riding in my old Regal if it fit my horse. Best of luck - Saddle fitting is hell!

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd think more about an exercise program then a saddle! Tight hips can be helped with proper stretching and work. Hyper arched back, same thing - you probably have overly tight hamstrings and hip flexors. You may not be able to totally fix it, but you can help - I know from experience! Then agree with J, you need a more narrow twist, and you need to TRY saddles to see what works.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Hi guys,

        Are the seats of these older models hard, or more soft? I rode in an older Schleese, and it was rock hard all over and too much of a forward balanced saddle. Cannot remember the model though, as it was my friend's saddle.

        I do see multiple specialists for my health issues, including a physical therapist. All my muscles are tight, in general, but some more than others. I am very fit, however, and find the more muscle I build, the more spasms I have, so I try not to bulk up too much. Lots of stretching, and yoga etc. It's a constant battle for sure!

        I've found that with the narrow twists, I feel so far off the horse's back, and thus my hands are positioned higher. I have short arms too, so sometimes this can cause issues. I guess I might just have to suck it up! I plan on taking some used saddles on trial, but was trying to narrow it down a bit more. Thank you for the suggestions!

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        • #5
          Yoga has helped immensely loosening my tight muscles and balance. I don't recall the Schleese or the Regal having a particularly hard seat. As well, I think if you can have the foam in the seat are replaced if a saddle works for you in all other respects. A good independent saddlefitter should be able to help you find something that works for you. If you can, try to ride in as many saddles as you can so you get a feel for what works for you as far as a deep seat, thigh blocks, flap length, etc.

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          • #6
            I was hoping for some saddle brand suggestions when I saw this post. I have a student who is about the same size as the OP. She sits very well and comfortably in her current saddle, an older Collegiate, however what I find she needs is shorter flaps. I also think the saddle is a 17 in seat and she probably would do better with a 16.5. Anybody know of a brand that has a shorter flap? I was looking at the Bates Isabelle for her in a 16.5. From the photo, that seemed to have short flaps...thanks for letting me hijack your thread, OP. Good luck!

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            • #7
              I have an early 80's ugly brown Passier that does the trick for me. It IS kind of hard, but its not like, old steinkraus hard. It aint pretty and there's not much in the way of blocks, but if thats your thing and you're ok with it you can probably pick one up super cheap. Mines the nicest (to my body) saddle I've ever ridden in and I think I paid like $100 for it... Im also a shortie with tight hips so I feel the struggle.
              "I think animal testing is a terrible idea, they get all nervous and give silly answers."
              -fry & laurie

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              • #8
                Mondo i don't think there are many saddles out there with a short flap - usually you have to go custom or order new. However if a saddle has longer flaps but works for the horse/rider they are relatively inexpensive to shorten. My niece had hers done and I think it was around $500.00.

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                • #9
                  Perhaps think about your choice of thigh block. If you choose a bigger thigh block, and your leg is creeping up, POSSIBLY this could be pushing you back into the saddle and tipping you forward more onto that pubic bone. I would think about riding with a super biomechanics person like Heather Blitz or Mary Wanless a time or two before you make a decision...

                  Might save you some time and money in the long run.
                  LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

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                  • #10
                    I'm not quite as short as you, but I have some of the same issues in terms of hyper-arched back and tight hips. I would suggest trying Trilogy saddles, particularly the Debbie McDonald which is designed for petite riders. If you can't find a Debbie, perhaps try the Amadeo because you said you like a wider twist. You may need to be patient, but you should be able to find these saddles used in your price range.

                    The Trilogy Amadeo is the first saddle that has worked really well for me. Over the past 8 years since I started dressage I've owned Thorowgood, Stubben, Sommer, and multiple Albions, and I've tried and rejected a host of other brands. I can finally sit the trot and really half-halt without fighting my saddle. It's not a magic fix; I still have to work hard, but it's achievable.

                    Of course, everyone is different and YMMV, but it's something to try.

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