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Potentially Stupid Saddle Question...

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  • Potentially Stupid Saddle Question...

    I have no great aspirations in the competitive equestrian world. I think my mare and I would be happiest tooling around at BN - someday (with the occasional hunter or dressage schooling show for kicks). Even realizing this tadpole-ish dream will likely take a year or more as we both get in shape and I get over some nerves.

    All that having been said, am I going to need to (re-)buy a dressage saddle, or is it fine for me to use the same (close contact) saddle across the board at the low levels? Would an AP suit my all-around needs better?
    The Little Red Mare: French Curve

    and my non-horse blog: oh, rebecca!

  • #2
    You don't really *need* a dressage saddle until you get to prelim. It can make proper flatwork easier, but its not necessary especially at the lower levels.

    All purpose = No purpose. You are way better off in a well fitting close contact.
    An A/P will tend to have to straight of flaps or the stirrup bars will be in the wrong place. They never really work...
    "Hell yes I can ride. I was riding when I fell off!"


    • #3
      Don't change saddles, yet...


      Use the saddle you have, if it fits both you and your horse and you feel comfortable doing flat work in it. Saddles are or can be a nightmare to deal with when you start looking for 'new' ones.

      There are several threads about saddle fit and changing saddles, I've read them with interest because I'm trying to find a saddle that fit both me and my pony, so reading all the threads related to saddles (even if you think it don't fit your question...a lot of times the suggestions have the info you need) have helped my thought process. Much of the advice has steered people away from an all purpose for various reasons.

      Good luck with your endeavor and enjoy the journey. My primary interest is Eventing but my horse (and pony) do a lot of things, jumper classes (for practice) hunter paces, poker rides, dressage classes (schooling shows only-for practice). I think it's good for both rider and horse to get out and do lots of stuff!


      • #4
        You don't need a dressage saddle to do dressage, you will be fine in your jumping saddle until whenever you want to buy another saddle.

        However.... I recently bought a dressage saddle after lots of saving and searching. I find it easier to be more "dressagy" in my riding position and it was easier for me to think dressage.

        I also found it frustrating to take dressage clinics and constantly go over my position which I couldn't change much in a jumping saddle.


        • #5
          Agree - don't need a dressage saddle....

          I'm the same as you and just dabble in Eventing at BN. I mostly do Hunter Paces, the odd local/schooling show, and love to do XC Schools!!!

          Anyways - I don't have a dressage saddle. I love my Bates Caprilli Close Contact and use that in the dressage phase during the HTs and Eventing Derbies I do (unrecognized)

          I've also used it in dressage schooling shows and dressage competition clinics.

          No big deal (at the tadpole/lower levels)
          Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
          **Morgans Do It All**


          • #6
            I would add that *right now* you probably don't need a dressage saddle. If you only do dressage because it's "required" in eventing then I wouldn't bother getting a dressage saddle for your purposes.

            However... I found that I really WANTED a dressage saddle, even at BN. I actually really enjoy dressage and care about doing the absolute best I can because I love the feeling of dressage when it all comes together. For that reason I bought a very well-balanced discontinued Prestige for a deal. It doesn't have ANY contraptions that "put" me in the right positions (like massive knee rolls, etc.) but it ALLOWS me to more easily drape my leg in the correct way and makes it easier to engage my core. But these distinctions have grown to matter to me. If they matter to you then you may want to get one, whether you need it or not.
            "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant


            • #7
              You will be fine with your close contact for now.

              The issue with doing dressage in a jumping saddle is that, as you REALLY lengthen your stirrups, it tends to push you into a chair seat (legs pushed forward).

              So if you (or your instructor) find you are having difficulty keeping your legs under you, THEN you might want to think about a different saddle.

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


              • Original Poster

                Thank you so much, everyone! I wish I'd held on to my dressage saddle instead of selling it, hindsight is always 20/20 though! I got a great deal on that one, I'm sure it'll happen again if I need/want it to :-)

                duly noted on the APs! I don't think I've even ridden in one in a while, so I kinda figured that it wouldn't suit me well.

                Thanks again, everyone!
                The Little Red Mare: French Curve

                and my non-horse blog: oh, rebecca!