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Dressage saddle trends

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  • Dressage saddle trends

    I spoke with a saddle fitter today and she mentioned that some riders are starting to look for dressage saddles with a more forward flap and more open seat. Has anyone seen this trend in their area?

    When I first started riding my dragon, I loved the locked in feel of my Schleese JES Elite, but now that I'm a better rider and mare is a normal horse, I find the that I can't move freely enough to allow her to relax and move even better under saddle.

    We are only doing lower levels right now, but what do all of you think about the newer open saddles compared to the older ones with huge blocks and super deep seats?

  • #2
    Hahaha. I think of the built up jousting saddles like Schleese as new style, and the more open seat with no thigh block as the old style. There are still lots in the second hand market.

    I have a 2001 Passier Optimum that I bought second hand as new a few years ago. It has an open seat and modest knee rolls. I wanted to go even cheaper and flatter with some old Passier Grand Gilbert pancake saddles from the 1970s that my coach loves, but they were just too slippery!

    I think a more open seat is better for your long term development as a rider, but you also can't be in a tugging war with your horse. I do see people ride who need to vbrace against the knee blocks to put their full body weight on the reins to get the horse " in a frame."

    I think it's great if the open seat is swinging back into fashion but I'd say go on the second hand market where there should be lots of options!


    • #3
      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
      I have a 2001 Passier Optimum that I bought second hand as new a few years ago. It has an open seat and modest knee rolls. I wanted to go even cheaper and flatter with some old Passier Grand Gilbert pancake saddles from the 1970s that my coach loves, but they were just too slippery!
      Not to nit-pick, but I think you mean the Baums, as the GGs weren't made until the mid-90s, and aren't what I would consider in the least bit 'flat'!


      • #4
        There have always been deeper and more open seat saddles available at least in recent history, once there was research done on what kind of saddle fit different rider types (as well as different horse types). My saddle is probably 7 or 8 years old (not ancient) and has an open seat - a long, flat sweet spot. And it has minimal padding in the seat. It has mid-sized external thigh blocks. It isn't totally flat like the really old Passiers and Stubbens, but it is not a deep scoop either.

        The Neidersuiss saddles have been best sellers for decades, and they are open seat saddles too.

        I just think different body types prefer different saddles, and saddle makers are becoming more and more aware of that.


        • #5
          I would love it if it becomes easier to find forward flap dressage saddles. I had one custom made because my knee is always up on the roll/block of most straighter-flapped saddles. If this in fact a trend, perhaps it's because riders are collectively realizing that 99.9% of us do not have the ability to drape the leg enough to sit properly in a very straight-flapped saddle, and would do better with a little more room for a bent knee.

          For my smaller-gaited horse, I'll probably look for a more open seat when it's time to get her a better saddle, but for my bigger-gaited WB, I'm keeping my deeper-seated saddle, thankyouverymuch.


          • #6
            Originally posted by fanfayre View Post

            Not to nit-pick, but I think you mean the Baums, as the GGs weren't made until the mid-90s, and aren't what I would consider in the least bit 'flat'!
            Ah yes you are no doubt right! Brown leather hard as a rock no knee rolls.