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Dressage saddles for TBs, advice please?

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  • Dressage saddles for TBs, advice please?

    Asking you guys since there is a large TB contingent on this forum.... Mare is kind of "average" TB build meaning standard wither, flattish back. Right now I am riding in a collegiate convertible close contact, medium gullet. I have found that anything with a real upswept panel will rock a bit on her. I can dig up some pics if that helps.

    I am 5'9 and would prefer minimal blocks and not too deep of a seat, I don't like a lot of "stuff."

    Cheaper is always better, especially since at this point we are just puttering around.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

  • #2
    Try the collegiate intellect convertible dressage saddle. Uses same gullet set, very classical but reasonable price, and flocked so it can be adjusted to the horse. Can be had for about 1000 to 1100 new.


    • #3
      My TB mare fits beautifully into a Passier Grand Gilbert, and they're pretty available used these days.

      If her back is really flat front to back, that's not especially typical TB build, which may make it more problematic. Another saddle I have that fits that kind of conformation well is a Mansion House (previous name of Albion). It is super unfashionable and probably hard to find, but mine cost $350 and I would not part with it.
      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


      • #4
        I have fits for years getting dressage saddle to fit right to a horse, I finally splurged and bought a schleese and they had trouble getting it fitted to my TB. But we managed to get it to work
        No Worries!


        • #5
          My Neidersuss has always fit my Thoroughbreds well.


          • #6
            I have an old Kieffer that fits mine beautifully, but he's got rather large, long, WIDE withers.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Simkie View Post
              My Neidersuss has always fit my Thoroughbreds well.
              Ditto. It fit Vernon very well (since it was kinda bought with him in mind). Toby is a little narrower than Vernon, but it sits on him well, too. I've used it on quite a few TBs and TB types with little complaint.


              • #8
                My fitter said the Kieffer Wien I bought (just the standard "1" tree)for $700 fit almost like a custom on my TB. Of course, now he's filled in a bunch of muscle and I need to send it out to be widened. But that's a nice option.


                • #9
                  I don't know if it is helpful or not..CL Austin has a 17 1/2 Anky for 350 today and CL San Antonio has a Max Hopfner (sp?) for 375. I don't know how they work for TB's, but the price is pretty good. I don't see what tree sizes they are though..both sell with leathers and irons.


                  • #10
                    Roosli standard dressage, although if you don't want the banana panels you won't like this or Albion SLK 2001 or 2 era. It has the more TB-y tree of that line and fit my very typical razor wither/narrow barrel TB really well.


                    • #11
                      You describes my height and saddle preference, my horse jumps in the collegiate nobility (the convertible fits him too) and our dressage saddle is a passier grand Gilbert.
                      chaque pas est fait ensemble


                      • #12
                        I'm 5'11". I just bought a Passier GG. I have an OTTB.


                        • #13
                          My ancient Stubben Aramis sounds like it would fit the bill. They're on eBay all the time for $3-600. Parzivals, Aramis and Tristan's (old brown ones) were all the same tree, just different leather options.


                          • #14
                            I'm also 5'9" and don't like a lot of stuff (jumper background ) . I have this prestige saddle and it fits my TBs well


                            Really close feel. I got it used for half the price. The other one liked was an Amerigo Vega monoflap.

                            Of course not cheap but if you can find used...not too bad.
                            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                            • Original Poster

                              Thank you all for the prompt responses! I really appreciate it. I had thought the Passier GG might be a go.... also was eyeing up a Kieffer on ebay earlier today.
                              We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                                Thank you all for the prompt responses! I really appreciate it. I had thought the Passier GG might be a go.... also was eyeing up a Kieffer on ebay earlier today.
                                Another vote for the Kieffer. Husband has an ancient Wien that we just can't seem to part with. No matter how many saddles we have bought and sold, and had custom made, to find "just the right fit" for each of the horses, that one is still here. Neither of us especially love it, mostly because it's pretty flat and hard seated, but the balance is good, and it FITS most everything....at least around here where the variety goes from high withered, low backed full TB, to TB/WB cross, to Trak/Hano.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by Lucyjane View Post
                                  Neither of us especially love it, mostly because it's pretty flat and hard seated, but the balance is good, and it FITS most everything....at least around here where the variety goes from high withered, low backed full TB, to TB/WB cross, to Trak/Hano.
                                  Ah hah just what I love... flat, hard seated and good balance point...
                                  We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                                    Ah hah just what I love... flat, hard seated and good balance point...
                                    Don't forget cheap. I got mine for $100 - it's older, but in decent shape - and picked up an old Kieffer close contact for $50 (needs new billets and a little stitching, but hey!). I saw one on ebay a few weeks ago that went for ~$125, too, looked to be in good shape but it (and mine) was brown, if you don't mind.


                                    • #19
                                      Another vote for a Passier Grand Gilbert, or a Schleese. I have an average build TB, and found a PGG with a nice wide channel (wider than other PGG's I looked at, most of them had more narrow channels, not ideal). Nice thing also about the PGG is that used ones are quite prevalent (or were a few years ago at least).

                                      The PGG had a slightly flatter seat (not so much "stuff") that I liked, but my horse preferred the Schleese Infinity, which I also love because it makes correct leg position effortless for me, even better than the PGG; it has a bit deeper seat and removable blocks. I'm 5'8". Tops of horse's shoulders were quite asymmetrical (getting less so over time) and having a dealer to adjust the Schleese for this has been great.

                                      The Schleese (new) was about 3x the cost of the PGG (used), but I'm fairly sure I will have it forever and still love it. Some Schleese dealers might have used saddles for sale.

                                      Good luck! The right saddle changed my life!
                                      Fear is the rocket sauce.
                                      Jack Black


                                      • #20
                                        Kieffer, prestige optimax and check with www.hastilowusa.com. There prices are very reasonable and a lot of those Walsall saddles are great on TBs
                                        OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!