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Which is Better for Lower Level Jumping: A/P or Close Contact

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  • Which is Better for Lower Level Jumping: A/P or Close Contact

    Is there any disadvantage in doing lower level stadium & xc jumping (BN with a handful of novice jumps) with an all purpose saddle? I am asking because I thought the deep seat of an all purpose was more secure for jumping, especially some type of xc jumps like banks, drop down in water type jumps, etc. But I have also heard that a close contact jumping saddle with front and rear blocks is in reality more secure.

    The problems that have been pointed out with my a/p for jumping is that I have to work harder to get up and out of the saddle into 2pt, and that the a/p puts me in a slight chair seat (the lowest part of the seat is farther back from the stirrup bar than ideal).

    My a/p saddle is a wintec 2000 and I'm wondering if the wintec pro jump would be better.

    thanks!

  • #2
    I can tell you from experience that Wintec's typically put one in a chair seat. I rode in a Wintec 2000 for a couple of years. The saddle was like sitting in a big comfy recliner, but I really strugged over fences. I sold it and purchased a basic, but nice, close contact saddle that doesn't put me in a chair seat. I have been riding in it for a few years and really love it. I feel secure it in and don't have any trouble with 2-point.

    I don't have any experience with the Wintec Pro Jump, so I don't know about the position of the stirrup bars.
    Member of My Balance is Poo Poo Clique

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    • #3
      I far prefer a close contact saddle and have ridden in them through preliminary level eventing and 4' show jumping. I think the A/P puts you in a less good position for jumping. I also have no problem doing flat work in a CC saddle.
      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

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      • #4
        There's always the old adage, All purpose equals no purpose. Most, I find, do not put you in a good position for galloping and jumping. They just aren't forward enough. There are a few that are better, but most just don't cut it.
        Amanda

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        • #5
          One more vote for CC...

          I did dressage in a CC for years, as have many others, and it is completely workable! In fact, I found finding balance in the CC much easier than most dressage saddles, but that's probably because I have a hunter background .

          As for a deep seat being more secure, that is an individual preference, however, I have found deep seats to feel less secure, and prefer a medium to flatter seat.
          It is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

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          • #6
            I ride in one of each, and like the CC better. It's much easier to balance in, and I can get into jumping position better. The GP saddle in nicer to ride on the flat in though. Asp will be getting her own CC saddle this year!
            Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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            • #7
              I think the Wintec Pro Jump is a nicely balanced saddle that would be fine for lower level eventing. It has a pretty forward flap and a flat seat. if you choose to use the blocks (I personally hate them) you can get some extra support. I sometimes foxhunt in one (the days when I feel the need for the velcro effect of the equisuede seat and my full seat breeches ).

              If you were going to have one saddle, the A/P or the pro jump, I'd go for the pro jump, for sure. Someone at my barn has what I think is the A/P Wintec and her's has a very straight flap and a deep seat. I wouldn't want to jump in it.

              There certainly are A/P saddles that will work for lower level eventing but not every one and it depends on the horse and how it jumps. I rode through training level in an albion A/P but when I got a new horse his jumping style (big bascule) did not work with that saddle.

              Right now I have a very lovely Austrian A/P saddle that's extremely well balanced. I jump up to about 2'6" in it, but once again it's the exception rather than the rule.
              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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              • #8
                CC! But really whatever saddle fits you best (doesn't sound like your current saddle does)

                Especially since you mention that it is difficult for you to get up into two point. It is very important that for cross country you are able to get off your horses back and up into two point when galloping (or cantering) between fences.

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                • #9
                  Here I would disagree. You can ride XC in a cc saddle but it just doesn't put you in the right position for dressage.

                  When I first started eventing I had only a CC saddle (it was a Hartley Galaxie, to date myself) that was flat as a pancake. I had knee blocks put in for some added security.

                  When I bought my first dressage saddle it was a light bulb moment. The dressage saddle helped me stay in the right position and got me out of that perched slightly forward hunt seat ride . It is very difficult to get the body/leg position required to be effective in dressage riding in a cc saddle.

                  Originally posted by NE_Rider View Post
                  I did dressage in a CC for years, as have many others, and it is completely workable! In fact, I found finding balance in the CC much easier than most dressage saddles, but that's probably because I have a hunter background .

                  As for a deep seat being more secure, that is an individual preference, however, I have found deep seats to feel less secure, and prefer a medium to flatter seat.
                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                  • #10
                    If you only have a budget for one saddle, for lower-level, it is easier to do 20 meter circles in a jump saddle than jump in an "all" purpose saddle, even though a dressage saddle would be nice.

                    If it has blocks is it still considered Close Contact?

                    I'd recommend a jump saddle with a medium depth seat, moderately forward flaps - some cross country or eventing-specific saddles have very forward flaps that require a very short stirrup and are not a good balance for lower jumps - and blocks or knee rolls.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A CC. There are some good, balanced all purpose saddles out there, I had an old Crosby I loved. But the CC will serve you better over jumps. I got my CC first, showed HT's and dressage in it for a while before I was able to get a dressage saddle, it worked great!
                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

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                      • #12
                        Not of fan of AP saddles. I vote for a CC for jumping fences of any height.

                        And, count me as someone who actually does her "Dressage" better in a CC saddle. We're all built differently and frankly my body does NOT cooperate as well in a Dressage saddle... That said, I HAVE forced myself to get used to riding in a Dressage saddle, but I definitely like the ones that don't lock us in... But, I digress.

                        Carry on!
                        Seb
                        Aca-Believe it!!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ytr45 View Post
                          IsI am asking because I thought the deep seat of an all purpose was more secure for jumping, especially some type of xc jumps like banks, drop down in water type jumps, etc. But I have also heard that a close contact jumping saddle with front and rear blocks is in reality more secure.
                          thanks!
                          Real security does not come from your butt but from your lower leg. Think about it, where is your butt when you jumping? (On a good day mine is in the air--unfortunately those good days are getting father and farther apart. )

                          The more (and bigger) I'm doing banks, drops, etc. the more I want a saddle that lets me position my center of balance somewhere other than the seat. Us girls, by design, have our center of balance in our hips and rear end. Give me mobility for security--and a strong lower leg!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Most trainers and riders that I know will tell you that an AP saddle serves no purpose. It doesn't put you in the right position for either dressage or jumping. If you are only going to have one saddle, you're probably better off in a good CC saddle that you can do your flatwork with. If you have a limited budget, look at quality used saddles, not just inexpensive new ones.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              thanks everyone for your opinions and let me clarify.

                              The question about jumping in an a/p or cc has nothing to do with not having a saddle for dressage, or having to pick one saddle only. I have a dressage saddle, so thats not a concern.

                              The question was about issues, advantages, and disadvantages of jumping (aka jumping position and 2pt, etc). in a a/p verses a cc. I'm curious about how an a/p saddle hinders one's jumping position.

                              From the replies I've read it seems that no one thinks an a/p provides more security by having a deeper seat. So maybe thats a misnomer I've had all along. I also thought that if you are doing lower level jumps that it didn't really matter whether you had an a/p or cc, but that seems to be another misnomer.

                              Thanks!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Depth of seat is a personal preference but for me, a seat that's too deep is restricting.

                                Personally, I find some CC saddles to be too flat for use XC. I don't like big blocks, either. Some XC saddles are too forward for smaller fences or for flatting.

                                Best bet is to ride in as many saddles as possible and find the one that puts you in the balance spot. What you'll start to recognize is what works best for you in terms of the following:

                                - seat depth
                                - size of blocks
                                - flap position
                                - stirrup bar position

                                Lots of choices out there, for sure but I can generally figure out if a saddle will work for me by looking at those variables.

                                Good luck!
                                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The only problem I had with jumping in my AP saddle was that the flap was too straight. So when you shortened your stirrups, your knee went over the flap. Personal experience may vary.
                                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

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                                  • #18
                                    Most of the saddles at my barn are Collegiate AP's. They work great for all three phases. They don't seem to put anyone in a chairseat and they are quite comfortable for jumping. It's honestly the only kind of saddle I've ridden in and I wouldn't change a thing. I wouldn't get a newer model though... I've heard Collegiate has lost the quality it had a few years ago.

                                    IMHO Wintecs are terrible, cheap saddles. Sorry to say.
                                    Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
                                    Thank you for everything boy.


                                    Better View.

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                                    • #19
                                      There are many different styles of AP saddle. I competed very happily through prelim in my old Stubben Siegfried, and never got the "all purpose = no purpose" comment from anyone - including David O'Connor who made it to a friend in the same clinic. It's not just the saddle, but how you ride in it.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by katie+tru View Post
                                        Most of the saddles at my barn are Collegiate AP's. They work great for all three phases. They don't seem to put anyone in a chairseat and they are quite comfortable for jumping. It's honestly the only kind of saddle I've ridden in and I wouldn't change a thing. I wouldn't get a newer model though... I've heard Collegiate has lost the quality it had a few years ago.

                                        IMHO Wintecs are terrible, cheap saddles. Sorry to say.
                                        I evented at Novice extensively "back in the day" and rode my dressage and xc in my Collegiate Senior Event. For 3' and lower, it worked perfectly fine for me - in fact, looking back at the photos, my form looks just fine in it, too. I did have a Crosby PDN for stadium and larger jumps (at home), but I never had a problem with my senior event.

                                        My preference now? A mid-seat cc. With thigh blocks.

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