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Saddle suggestion help?

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  • Saddle suggestion help?

    In the next few months, I'm going to be looking into selling my saddle and buying a new (to me!) saddle. My current saddle doesn't fit me all that fabulously...too big, for one, puts me in a poor position for another. I end up pinching a lot with my knees, and my legs are too far forward, etc. I spend half my ride fussing over trying to turn my toes *in* and fighting a chair seat. My current saddle is a Stubben Camelot. I like the Stubbens, but this one is not right for me, unfortunately.

    I will be eventing this year, just BN, but I'd like my saddle to be something I could be comfortable in going further! Unfortunately, I can only afford one CC/jump saddle, so something only meant for XC isn't in the cards for now.

    Any suggestions? I'm very short, with short legs too. I do not like a lot of blocks, but find that as time goes on and my knees get worse, I'd like something that might support them a little bit. I don't need anything fabulous, but serviceable and long-lasting would be great! I just want a saddle I am not constantly fighting to ride well, as goodness knows we've got enough to think about to ride as well as we can, without fighting our saddles for position.

    Used preferred, but I don't have a huge budget. Would love to hear from some eventers who have saddles they like a lot that are reasonable on the used market!

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Well, I would recommend to you Berney's Dublin Jumper (I am short and have short legs too), but unfortunately, it would not fit all of your parameters. It is comfortable, lasts forever, it has small but supportive blocks, you can find it cheap used for about $500-$700, and it puts me in GREAT jumping and xc position. I never felt so secure jumping or XC until I got this saddle.... BUT... it is not great for dressage. When I try to do dressage, I do fight the saddle and the fight is getting old. It is very hard to sit up in correct dressage seat, although I noticed it is much easier to do so on my uphill build TB, and much harder on downhill build QH/TB cross, so horse balance will also affect how your saddle works.

    I do want to say though that if you're looking for a saddle that will work for dressage and jumping phases, you're not going to get the perfect feel in either of them. I used to have Bates Caprilly all purpose before I got my Berney, and while it was "alright" saddle for both jumping and dressage, it definitely did not help my form over fences, and did not feel nearly as secure as Berneys. Instead of buying something more all purpose, if your saddle works great for you over fences, I would suggest biting the bullet and buying a used dressage saddle for flatwork. As you go up through the levels you will want more security and support in the jumping saddle, so I would suggest having 2, if you are looking for future, and want to be secure and comfortable in all phases.

    If your current jumping saddle is not working for you for jumping phases, then I would suggest getting something better designed for jumping, and then later on getting a dressage saddle.

    When I was looking at the saddles trying to figure out what to get, I realized that the balance points of true jumping saddles and dressage saddles are fundamentally different, and it would be virtually impossible to make a saddle that would be comfortable and suitable for all phases.

    Hope this helps just a little.


    • Original Poster

      evntr06, this sounds great! I have never seen one, and will seek one out, as it surely sounds like one I should try out! My horse is also a short-backed little fellow, and rather round (he's a small TB), and is fairly uphill and correct.

      I actually have a dressage saddle to use already. It's no great shakes, but gets the job done until I can buy something else, and puts me in a much more acceptable position for flatwork than my CC does for jumping OR flatting. So my main goal is to get myself a more appropriate jumping saddle that works well for both XC and stadium, and eventually replace my dressage saddle at some point in the future. I see the confusion re: two saddles! I meant I can't afford 3, LOL! I know people who do their SJ and XC in separate saddles which I unfortunately just can't do.

      The price is also right too, I might add. It's hard to find a nice saddle that fits the criteria in the price range. I've found some nice used saddles, but all were long flap, or put me too forward, etc.

      Thanks much!


      • #4
        Ah, got it! I don't think many people really have 3 saddles. Most of the time, a good jumping saddle is good for both SJ and XC!

        Berney's Brothers saddles flow around on ebay and such. I got mine from Middleburg Tack Exchange, and I've seen one in Middleburg Tack Box before. I love my saddle for SJ and XC (and trail rides, although some may find it a bit too hard for really long rides, but that never seemed to bother me - I have enough cushion, don't need any extra, LOL)!

        For what's its worth, my new horse is very similar build, uphill, short-backed, and not super skinny barrel, and Berneys fits him pretty well.

        If this helps, here's the saddle on the TB/QH. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...c&id=730103644
        Last edited by evntr06; Nov. 29, 2008, 09:00 AM.


        • #5
          Hey Sonic! How goes?

          I love my Black Country Quantum, but I'm not sure how cheap you can find them used. Brand new they are ~2200, and for custom that's a great deal but it sounds like even used they might not be in your price range.

          Mythical84 has a Smith Worthington Mystic as her jump saddle, and she loves it. I think brand new it was maybe around 1k or under so used ones might be in your range?


          • #6
            Originally posted by pharmgirl View Post
            Hey Sonic! How goes?

            I love my Black Country Quantum, but I'm not sure how cheap you can find them used. Brand new they are ~2200, and for custom that's a great deal but it sounds like even used they might not be in your price range.

            Mythical84 has a Smith Worthington Mystic as her jump saddle, and she loves it. I think brand new it was maybe around 1k or under so used ones might be in your range?
            She's right. I loooooove this saddle. Back when I bought it (5-6 years ago) it was just under $1k brand new and that was with a custom tree.

            It's a great saddle that will serve you well through Training. I was planning on doing a few Prelims in it (back before my horse decided to be a hunter star), but knew I would need something with a more forward flap for XC.

            If you want the name of my saddle fitter just shoot me a PM.
            Take Your Equestrian Business to the Next Level: http://www.mythiclanding.com/
            Follow me at http://mythiclanding.blogspot.com or http://twitter.com/mythiclanding


            • #7
              I love my Toulouse Legano for the money spent. It's a fantastic, comfy jump saddle.

              I got two new (to me) saddles this year... One was the BRAND NEW Toulouse and the other was a gently used Courbette dressage saddle. I got them both at usedsaddles.com where I traded in my old saddles rather than wait to sell them. I tried a few different saddles before I decided on those!

              I decided just to sell my old saddles to them outright (I got 70% of market value) but I know you can get more if you're willing to wait till your old saddle sells.

              They usually have a pretty good selection.
              The rebel in the grey shirt


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sonic Boom View Post
                I see the confusion re: two saddles! I meant I can't afford 3, LOL! I know people who do their SJ and XC in separate saddles which I unfortunately just can't do.

                you absolutely do not need different saddles for xc and stadium. I use the same saddle for both...and have up through Prelim....and would have no trouble going further in the same saddle. I'm tall and hard to fit. But a good jumping saddle that puts you in the right balance is all you need. As long as the saddle fits when your stirrups are short enough for xc you are good to go.

                Sounds like you have been given some good suggestions. I don't really have anything more to add other than saddle choice is very personally. Go sit or ride in as many different ones as you can!
                ** 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

                  Thanks, everyone!! These suggestions are a huge help! In the new year I will be beginning my saddle search...well, that's not true, I'm casually looking and gathering info now, and hope by January to start trying some.

                  It's great to hear that I don't need 3 saddles. I'm a long way away from doing much of anything but BN, but would like a saddle that would serve me for a long time. Most of my friends doing Prelim do not have 3 saddles, but I have known a few who do and have to rule THAT one out.

                  I've got some great food for thought from you guys, thanks! Budget stinks, I'd love to go out and buy a super saddle, but even used they go out of my price range. Such is life, though...I am grateful to even be contemplating a new saddle given the current economics.

                  I also did not know that about usedsaddles.com, that I could sell my current saddle for some $$ towards a new one. Great info!

                  Mythical, that's super cool! Will be dropping you a line since we're in the same general area and perhaps I can chat with your saddle fitter.

                  Hi pharmgirl!! Doing great, how about you? How's your big handsome guy? Slim and I are doing really well and we'll be hitting up the winter jumper schooling shows to prepare for Spring HTs, so I hope to see you guys! Alas as much as I loved your tack and thought it super attractive, it is out of my price range. Perhaps one of these days!

                  Thanks again, all!


                  • #10
                    As a fellow Stubben lover, I do know that Stubben makes a jumping saddle for those with shorter legs..I *think* it's the Juventus, but don't quote me on that. I personally love the Seigfried's and my current Edelweiss (GREAT leg position with this one! and has a knee block).

                    I found my ideal saddle from trying it in a tack shop - and then I found a great deal on UsedSaddles.com (got to trade in my old saddle too!).

                    Best of luck!

                    PS - I only have two saddles too - A Wintec pro dressage and my Stubben jumping saddle...


                    • #11
                      i *LOVE* this saddle: http://www.hampson-scott.com/crosscountry.html
                      Sadly, it doesn't fit my current horse so sits in my tack room gathering dust.
                      Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                      • #12
                        I'm 5'3" and find many of the more forward cut eventing saddles uncomfortable. Right now I have an SJ type saddle, but it was an expensive treat. However, I also evented through preliminary in a Berney Bros Dublin jumper and loved it. Also love the old Courbette Pandura and their newer Arosa saddles. Also really like the Albion Kontrol. Though it is pricey new, you can sometimes find used ones at reasonable prices.
                        OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                        • #13
                          HI! List your price range, and if possible your horses conformation issues along with a link to a photo and I may be able to help. I don't sell saddles (although I use to) but still do part time fitting and would be happy to give you a visual anyway on what brands may work, panel style ect.. I have been out of it this year but just came back to COTH today.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sudi's Girl View Post
                            As a fellow Stubben lover, I do know that Stubben makes a jumping saddle for those with shorter legs..I *think* it's the Juventus, but don't quote me on that.
                            Yup, it's the Juventus. If you go to Stubben's website, they post "specials" occasionally. If memory serves correctly, I've seen the Juventus on sale there a couple times, I think in the $500-$800 range.
                            Snobbington Hunt clique - Whoopee Wagon Fieldmaster
                            Bostonians, join us at- http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Boston_Equestrian
                            NYC Equestrians- http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/urbanequestrian/


                            • #15
                              I love my courbette stylist. Its the higher end courbette saddle, I wouldn't even waste your time with the lower end ones.
                              this one has good blocks but not too big. The thigh block is removable too which is a plus. It has a deeper seat so it gives you good security while not too much. They are around the 1300 range.


                              • #16
                                Hey Sonic, we've got a bunch of different Berneys and (I think) we're in your neighborhood. You can come and give a couple a sit, and see what you think.

                                Eventr06's Dublin IS nice, though I prefer my TW to her Dublin (it is cut a little bit more forward). Berney also makes a nice CC saddle that we have a couple of that, while not as secure and forward as the TW or Dublin, are pretty nice (I have gone XC in both the TW and the show jumping saddles, and never minded the switch).

                                There are usually a couple at least at the Tach Box, or easy to find online.

                                Also, check out the M. Toulouse line of saddles. They are pretty good quality for not much money. I was impressed with the quality when I tried one of the dressage saddles this summer (didn't fit ME, but my horse loved it).