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When did you buy a dressage saddle?

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  • When did you buy a dressage saddle?

    I've always ridden in A/P and jumping saddles. I'm saddle shopping right now and deciding which to buy as it'll probably be another year at least until I can buy an additional saddle. My gelding and I are focusing on dressage for quite a while, but if we're both to the point to start jumping again, I don't want to be stuck with a dressage saddle, so I'm a little torn.

    So eventers, did you always have a dressage saddle from the start? If not, how long and through what levels did you ride in one saddle? At what point did you purchase a dressage saddle?

  • #2
    my personal belief is that you don't really need a dressage saddle until you are doing quite a lot of sitting trot, and specifically schooling movements that require more seat and back support (shoulder in/haunches in, etc). so for me, i don't really start working in my dressage saddle on a regular basis until i am prepping for prelim.

    an independent seat and good hands are capable of riding much farther in just an a/p, but the positioning of those saddles will end up hampering you as you progress to increasingly more engaging movements.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm glad this came up because I've been struggling with the same question myself. I just had a chance to get a really nice used dressage saddle and my saddle fitter determined it won't work for my ottb. Then he recommended that I continue with a really good A/P instead to using two for now. My current jumping saddle isn't fitting my ottb well anymore.
      Last edited by SaratogaTB; Jun. 5, 2013, 05:49 PM. Reason: spelling
      "I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
      as a thoroughbred horse."

      -JOHN GALSWORTHY

      Comment


      • #4
        I first bought one when I was going prelim. But once I had one (and that might have been 4-5 dressage saddles ago . . . ) I have used them for all levels.

        Not sure that you actually *need* one for quite a while, but if you want one and keep your eyes open (ebay, craigslist, etc.) there are deals. I think my first one cost 150.

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        • #5
          Very personal question. I acknowledge that a lot of good "dressage" can happen in a jumping saddle, but even though it's not my strong suit (AT ALL) I find myself just that little bit more effective with a longer leg and ability to sit up straigher. It also helps me to learn the proper feel of movements rather than just riding along. Even horses I ride at Novice are schooling lateral work, sitting the trot, lengthenings, etc. and I just feel like that is all a bit easier for me with a dressage saddle.
          Click here before you buy.

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          • #6
            I don't own a dressage saddle, but was fortunate enough to be given an Albion to use indefinitely by a friend who has decided to focus on other passions. When given the saddle, I was competing at recognized training level events and really appreciated having it as I stood out like a sore thumb in my Crosby XL from my hunter days. I agree with raave that you probably don't need one until you're doing more collected work at the sitting trot, but I personally enjoy having it around to use on horses of varying experience.
            Last edited by PrinceSheik325; Jun. 5, 2013, 03:00 PM. Reason: My fingers can't keep up with my mind, so mistakes abound!

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            • #7
              You probably don't need one for quite a while, but you may be more effective in one. I started riding in a dressage saddle when I had a horse who was pretty hard to ride on the flat because as DW said, being that bit more effective in terms of my position and aids made a pretty positive difference for him. Then I had one that I rode through training level in my Albion jumping saddle because it fit him well and I didn't need the extra help. Now I tend to ride in one even on my greener horses just so that I don't get into my bad position habits that are exacerbated by a jumping saddle.

              Also, I would never get an AP saddle. I would always go with a well-fitting close contact/sj jumping type saddle that you feel is comfortable for flat work (not totally wonky with the stirrups a hole or two longer, etc). My current (Wise-Air) jumping saddle is quite comfortable on the flat, so was my Albion and my Devoucoux Oreka, but all are close contact saddles, not AP so they felt (at least to me) to put me in a much more correct and secure position for jumping.
              OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

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              • #8
                I've done eventing Training level in my jumping saddle, but since I have the dressage saddle I do use it sooner than that-- usually as soon as the horse is consistently trustworthy and reasonably straight/ forward, since I don't like to ride babies or naughty horses in the dressage saddle.

                I think a jumping saddle gives you more security if you decide to trail ride/ go to hunter paces etc., so if you're just starting out in dressage I'd probably go with that. If you're thinking First Level or higher and don't hack out much on uneven ground/ hills etc the dressage saddle should be ok.

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                • #9
                  We are moving up to Training this weekend in my jump saddle (Devoucoux Chiberta), hope to buy one this winter but we'll see.
                  www.rockhillfarm.net

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I bought a wintec pro dressage saddle for $300 in my second year of eventing. I then upgraded to an older stubben with my young mare, not because we were going higher, as we are still working on the basics at BN, but because it improved my ability to really sit and communicate more clearly. I never would have believed a saddle could improve my position that much, until I got it! I will ride for hour lessons with no stirrups and feel completely comfortable.

                    I know you don't "need" a dressage saddle in the lower levels, but it will help. You can find older but still good saddles on eBay and tack trader as well!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lferguson View Post
                      I've always ridden in A/P and jumping saddles. I'm saddle shopping right now and deciding which to buy as it'll probably be another year at least until I can buy an additional saddle. My gelding and I are focusing on dressage for quite a while, but if we're both to the point to start jumping again, I don't want to be stuck with a dressage saddle, so I'm a little torn.

                      So eventers, did you always have a dressage saddle from the start? If not, how long and through what levels did you ride in one saddle? At what point did you purchase a dressage saddle?
                      I rode in a jump saddle for a while before I got a dressage saddle. The only reason I ended up getting a dressage saddle was because I actually couldn't ride my horse's movement in the jump saddle anymore hahaha. I know people that do just fine in their jump saddle until Prelim, which then it's required to have one. Others, like myself, find it easier to ride a test in a dressage saddle. I also had the problem of my jump saddle pushing me forward when I was doing dressage, since my saddle is meant for galloping. It started getting pretty frustrated.

                      However, it definitely does depend. If you're just working on work that you would see in a Novice or even Training test, you'd probably be okay with just sticking with the jump saddle. If you see yourself doing more intricate dressage work that may require a more dressage-y seat (ie. sitting trot, lateral movements etc), then you may want to consider a really basic dressage saddle. It's definitely up to you though!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Never. I'd still be riding in my jump saddle (up to T), except that I received a dressage saddle for a very generous gift.
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                        We Are Flying Solo

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                        • #13
                          until Prelim, which then it's required to have one
                          Required?
                          Click here before you buy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I got a dressage saddle when I moved up to Training level. I've since had two saddles and often used the dressage saddle even on Novice horses, although like an earlier poster I much prefer riding greenies in my jumping saddle as I feel much more secure!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by scubed View Post
                              Also, I would never get an AP saddle. I would always go with a well-fitting close contact/sj jumping type saddle that you feel is comfortable for flat work (not totally wonky with the stirrups a hole or two longer, etc). My current (Wise-Air) jumping saddle is quite comfortable on the flat, so was my Albion and my Devoucoux Oreka, but all are close contact saddles, not AP so they felt (at least to me) to put me in a much more correct and secure position for jumping.
                              This. I've never had any luck with an AP saddle. Sort of never put me in a good balance for either.

                              I didn't get my first dressage saddle until after I had been competing at Prelim for a season. I still wasn't very effective in it but at least I maybe looked a fraction more like the part! It was easier to get my shoulders back further...
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Too soon. Especially for schooling shows I still use my jump saddle for both dressage and jumping. I thought a dressage saddle might make a miraculous difference. It does make some movements a little easier but for the low level I ride at... really didn't need it.

                                I'd totally put all your resources towards a nice jumping saddle.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I was pretty convinced that I didn't need a dressage saddle for BN/Novice until I got my Bates Innova - then, I realized why we have dressage saddles in the first place. My scores for position went from 7's to 8's, and I could finally sit the canter and the trot. I'd say if you already have a nice jumping saddle, then get a nice synthetic dressage saddle (if funds are an issue). The Wintecs tend to fit a flatter back, and the Teknas fit a curvy back, FYI.
                                  "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                                  So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

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                                  • #18
                                    I actually had my dressage saddle before I started eventing! I went through a period after I got my first horse where I dabbled in a little bit of everything... hunters, jumpers, then some dressage. When I realized how much of a knack we had for dressage, I invested in a cheap dressage saddle.

                                    I ended up getting a nicer County a few years later when we really got serious about it. Then when I transitioned to eventing, I was already good to go!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      A dressage saddle isn't "required" at any level. The rules state "an English type saddle and a permitted bridle". I bought my 1st dressage saddle when I was going training. I didn't have one that fit my current horse however, and have done several BNs in my jumping saddle.
                                      "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by cnye View Post
                                        I know people that do just fine in their jump saddle until Prelim, which then it's required to have one.
                                        It is never required to have a dressage saddle. Never ever. I know people who have ridden Advanced and done just fine in a jump saddle.
                                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                        We Are Flying Solo

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