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Why is there so much saddle to dressage saddles?

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  • Why is there so much saddle to dressage saddles?

    Why is there so much saddle in front of you and so much behind you? No to mention those thigh blocks I need something for flat work but dressage saddles terrify me, how do you bail out if you need to?

  • #2
    Good question! My jumping saddle probably weighs 1/3 of what my dressage saddle weighs.

    As to bailing out, however, I don't think I've ever, ever fallen off a horse when riding in a dressage saddle. Or western, for that matter. So maybe all that "bulk" is meant to keep us where we belong!
    Click here before you buy.

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    • #3
      When you're jumping, you need to be able to get up and out of the saddle, preferably with your bum behind you, so the saddle has to allow you to do that. As a result, jumping saddles have shallower rises to the cantles and pommels.

      A dressage saddle that fits you properly should give you a pretty good range of motion. But normally, there's no need to clear the pommel or cantle, and you want to sit more deeply in dressage, so the dressage saddle seat is deeper than the jumping saddle.

      But trust me, it's possible to bail (and to be, um, "bailed" ) out of a dressage saddle.
      Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

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      • #4
        I think DW's got it right when she says that the bulk is to keep you there, but my D instructor once really NEEDED to bail and almost couldn't do it - high cantle and huge blocks. Yikes! The D people tell me they're necessary for riding extravagent movers - what do I know? I have a TB.

        There are more minimalist D saddles out there, but you have to hunt a bit.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
          When you're jumping, you need to be able to get up and out of the saddle, preferably with your bum behind you, so the saddle has to allow you to do that. As a result, jumping saddles have shallower rises to the cantles and pommels.

          A dressage saddle that fits you properly should give you a pretty good range of motion. But normally, there's no need to clear the pommel or cantle, and you want to sit more deeply in dressage, so the dressage saddle seat is deeper than the jumping saddle.

          But trust me, it's possible to bail (and to be, um, "bailed" ) out of a dressage saddle.
          LOL, I fell quite easily out of mine. Some have deeper seats than others. I have ridden in both and prefer a seat that isn't so deep (Kieffer Wien).

          Dawn
          Dawn

          Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

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          • #6
            I go for minimalist dressage saddles (they *do* exist!). I hate being "locked" in to position. The ginormous blocks and super-deep seats are an unfortunate fashion.

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            • #7
              There are saddles that are not so deep and bulky. I am helping my friend sell her old model Tony Slater now that has a pencil roll, no thigh block, and the same depth seat as a deep seated jump saddle. If that is what you are looking for perhaps consider that as a brand, the older ones are built a bit better, and you can get them really reasonably priced. I had a saddle that was deep seated but only a pencil roll that was a Crosby Prix St. George. Great saddle, but had to sell when my uber sensitive horse decided he would rather not feel me quite that much on the flat. Don't think they still make them, but I run across used ones from time to time.

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              • #8
                I have an older model Collegiate (1996) that has minimal blocks and a flat seat (no high cantle or pommel).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Carolinadreamin' View Post
                  I have an older model Collegiate (1996) that has minimal blocks and a flat seat (no high cantle or pommel).
                  You probably have the Collegiate Classic. That is what I learned to flat in originally, very similar to the Tony Slater in cut.

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                  • #10
                    I don't find that true of all dressage saddles.
                    ... _. ._ .._. .._

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Saskatoonian View Post
                      I think DW's got it right when she says that the bulk is to keep you there, but my D instructor once really NEEDED to bail and almost couldn't do it - high cantle and huge blocks. Yikes! The D people tell me they're necessary for riding extravagent movers - what do I know? I have a TB.
                      Yeah, If only those tbs could cover some ground.

                      I bought an older Passier Baum to use for flat work. It's a lovely saddle and fits tbs backs but the twist is wider than my narrow hips can tolerate so I finally gave up on it and started doing flatwork in a full tree steeplechase saddle. Now all of us have sore backs.

                      It's good to know there are some flatter ones out there. Thanks for the info

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                      • #12
                        i like less saddle

                        my dressage instructor hates those big blocks. She feels it puts you in an unnatural position and that its up to the rider, not the saddle for the correct position. that you look more "on top" and not "with" the horse with the over stuffed. that a nice balanced saddle is all one needs. or sometimes when training, ya just need to move differently to make a point. I used my trainers older passier grand gilbert for years.

                        Because of that background, I like the flatter saddles too, so i was thrilled when I was able to get a tad coffin dressage saddle about 10 years ago. My first saddle made just for me. very comfy and fits most horses without help. when tad made the saddle, he noted my long femur and made the flap about an inch or so forward from a regular dressage saddle. he said that it would help me for when i rode a smaller barrelled. I could shorten my stirrups and get my calf on the horse. that was huge! I never thougth of doing that for smaller horses and would end up with my feet dangling way below the belly, so now i can adjust and look alittle more appropriate and they wont get spurs in the belly (LOL). I also have to be more judicious with my seat and my breath because my horses can really feel it through the saddle too.

                        I always get a laugh from people who are used to the big bucket saddles then try to use mine. While my saddle is butter soft but not over stuffed..they complain and complain.."it's too hard", my seatbones are digging in", I cannot keep my leg in place"... I'm not a grad prix rider, but it's my own personal giggle when DQ's can't ride in my saddle. I can say that every professional and clinician that has hopped up on my horses during a clinic to demonstrate or see how my horse rides (usually to see what i'm doing wrong), they always comment how much they like my saddle....but that's just my personal opinion.

                        cuz of that , I also love jumping saddles that do not have alot to them and when I discovered a monoflap..ya cannot get me out of them!!
                        I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!

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                        • #13
                          I prefer a saddle without bulk, too. I like to ride in older Passiers with a narrow twist and small seat (17"). No blocks.
                          Blugal

                          You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

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                          • #14
                            I do not like those big, bulky, blocky dressage saddles AT ALL (has anyone seen the new Bates?!? yowza. I sat in it just for the hell of it ). But minimalist saddles to exist, but can be hard to find if you are shopping right off the rack (so, not ordering something made to your preferences) or if you shopping consignment. I lucked out when I found a Neidersuess of all things that was exactly how I like my dressage saddles (not too deep, a little knee roll, but not a ton) AND it had a short flap for my short legs. But I found it after probably 2 years of shopping around (And I actually snubbed my nose at it twice since it was a Neidersuess). So, they do exist, you just either need to be prepared, usually, to order what you want, or spend the time slogging through consignment.
                            Amanda

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                            • #15
                              I recently bought a Stubben Roxanne D dressage saddle, and it is somewhat minimalist. I was not trying to avoid big and bulky dressage saddles, except none of them put me in a comfortable or correct position (except for a $7000 Hermes, which I could sleep in). Roxanne has a medium-deep seat, and very small knee rolls. I don't feel locked in, and seem to find a comfortable, balanced position.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by SEPowell View Post
                                Why is there so much saddle in front of you and so much behind you? No to mention those thigh blocks I need something for flat work but dressage saddles terrify me, how do you bail out if you need to?
                                The main reason for the way the Dressage are made is for support of the rider.
                                Especially for beginners this helps them learn the proper seat position. After learning and establishing proper position then they could move to a less substantial saddle. I like the seat on some of the Dressage saddles that are supportive but not too deep in the seat. It really is a matter of choice and also of progress in learning the seat.
                                Some of the Dressage saddles are a bit extreme. I do not like the huge kneeblocks and thigh blocks. It feels like I am trapped in them.
                                But that is just my personal opinion.
                                Bail out? I don't know. I try not to ever have to do that. I don;t think there is an equestrian parachute out there.
                                Just kidding.
                                I try not to ride any horses that cut up on me now days. I am too old to bounce off the ground now.

                                Regards, sadlmakr

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I really can't stand dressage saddles with the gigantic knee rolls. I feel like if you can't hold your position without the saddle, you're probably doing something wrong. I've ridden in one once before and it was an awful experience. I actually hit the pommel when I posted! I'm sorry, but a saddle that's too deep-seated to allow you to post? That's just crazy.

                                  I ride in a Wintec 500 right now, but if I ever do get a nice, leather dressage saddle, it won't be on of those!
                                  Blue-eyed Eventers

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                                  • #18
                                    Neets, my dq friend would say "post? who posts in a dressage saddle?" (I know, I know, but that is seriously what'd she'd say).

                                    My last saddle shopping go round my saddle fitter brought out a steffen peters something-or-other (is there a brand called Custom, that isn't? cause that's what I remember). This thing looked like a Toyota. Seriously, it was ridiculously huge. Why does anyone need this saddle?
                                    Luckily I had no interest in it as the twist was WIIIIDE and I am apparently...not. Good thing I didn't like it as I would be honestly embarrassed to ride in public in it.

                                    Wait, I found it. The pic does NOT do it justice. The Toyota

                                    I ended up with a slightly middle-aged Albion (not the newer bigger ones) and I have to say that I really like it, but I still sometimes would prefer less saddle.
                                    The big man -- my lost prince

                                    The little brother, now my main man

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by sadlmakr View Post
                                      Especially for beginners this helps them learn the proper seat position.
                                      In my experience it just helps them become dependent on the saddle to hold them in position.

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        One more question, why such long flaps? Why can't I have 13 inch flaps for everything?

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