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Monoflap Saddles

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  • Monoflap Saddles

    Hey, first of all Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it! Anyway, I have a question about monoflaps. I recently bought a horse that takes quite a bit more leg than I’m used to using (so at the moment my leg is a bit weaker than it needs to be) but I’m also super short (5’) and find that I have a hard time using my leg in a regular jumping saddle as my stirrups have to be shorter. So I’ve been using my dressage saddle instead and I started talking to a girl at my barn who owns a monoflap and she said that she feels that she has much more contact with her leg in a monoflap than in a normal short billet jumping saddle. So, finally, my question is what do you guys think? Leg contact in a short billet saddle vs. the contact in a monoflap. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I think (as a 5'1" short person) my ability to get leg on the horse had more to do with the saddle balance and horse's confirmation as it does with having a monoflap/dual flap.

    I had a stubben monoflap and now have a cwd 2gs and a different horse - and I am more able to put my leg on now than I was before.
    Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
    you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

    Comment


    • #3
      ^
      What she said in 1st paragraph! (I'm same height, too)

      Comment


      • #4
        Yup, you just need the right saddle-- I'm 5'3 but with super short legs. I actually use my jumping saddle (Stubben Roxane) for dressage right now because my horse can be naughty and I find it feels more secure-- I put my stirrups down 4 holes for flatwork.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
          Yup, you just need the right saddle-- I'm 5'3 but with super short legs. I actually use my jumping saddle (Stubben Roxane) for dressage right now because my horse can be naughty and I find it feels more secure-- I put my stirrups down 4 holes for flatwork.
          HA! There's a thread in Dressage right now about the same thing! You should re-post this for that thread's OP over there (@wexiao is the OP)

          Comment


          • #6
            I hate Monoflap jump saddles. The blocks arent where I need them.

            My reg flap jump saddles all have long billets. If they come with short billets, I have them converted to long.

            I just recently bought a monoflap dressage saddle.
            I feel no difference between monoflap vs reg flap jump or dressage saddles. I feel the difference when a saddle doesn't fit my leg.

            Probably you just need a custom short flap. Or a saddle that comes stock a little shorter in the flap.
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            Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

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            • #7
              My monoflap was difference between staying with my horse when he jumped and sliding back a few inches. It was more a function of getting the girth out from under my leg than the monoflap itself.

              My horse was wide, and stretched my legs wide enough to reach the point of strength loss in squeezing ability. I thought it was me until I got the monoflap and suddenly stopped slipping back every time my horse jumped a fence.

              Comment


              • #8
                I recently (as in just this Wednesday) had a saddle fitter come out. He tried a bunch of different saddles (more than ten) and found three he considered a best fit from the horse’s perspective for me to ride in. Two different brands/makers (two other brands were in the group rejected entirely). One of the makers, both a “jump” saddle and an “eventing” monoflap saddle were viable. While all three were tremendous improvements over what I had been riding, the non-monoflap “jump” saddle was overwhelmingly the best option for me as a “returning”, out of shape, 5’3” person with stubby legs and a coming 4 year old BLM Mustang, who has delusions of doing a “puddle jumping” degree of eventing at some point in the nebulous future. I just felt my legs wanted to go all over the place with the monoflap (and with the other brand’s non-monoflap), and with the non-monoflap jump I felt “locked and loaded,” like I could direct my pathetic remnants of muscle memory into actually applying leg aids effectively rather than trying to keep my legs someplace more or less under me. I won’t go into the specifics because they are probably not relevant. So much comes down to individual body shape (both horse and rider) and individual preferences. My trainer is a big, big fan of the brand of saddle that was the third option, which was by far the most expensive, and the fitter made some comment as he put it in the lineup for ones to ride in that “You’re going to hate me for this since I know you said it’s more than you want to spend,” implying that he thought it likely I would love it so much I would feel compelled to buy it. Nope, not even close. Who knows, maybe a different maker of monoflap would fit us both. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll feel that I have both enough of my muscle and balance back, and enough need for more freedom of movement in my leg, that something like that monoflap will be the right choice. But right now, it’s not. Do you have a fitter in your area that carries several makers for you to try? Can you borrow some saddles from other riders at your barn to try?

                Comment


                • #9
                  At 5'2 on a good day, I'm another short rider! I agree with what everyone else has said - it's really more a combination of how the saddle fits you and how it fits your horse instead of standard or monoflap. My old TB gelding was built like a tank - he was VERY stocky. I rode him comfortably in a county stabilizer (standard flap), but LOVED the voltaire lexigton (monoflap) on him. It just put my leg in the exact right spot and I felt incredibly secure.

                  Fast forward to my current TB mare, and while she is the same height, she is much more slender and refined. I find I am much more comfortable and can use my leg more effectively on her. Interestingly enough I got a lexington and absolutely hated it on her. I felt like I couldn't sit down and stay in the tack....just goes to show that the perfect saddle fit for you also includes the horse you are on. If you have access to a saddle fitter, I'd definitely take advantage of having one come out. That way you can sit on a wide variety of different models and see what fits you and your horse best.
                  I just started a blog!
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                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've ridden in a monoflap for 20+ years. I hate when I have to ride in a dual flap saddle. I can't stand the bulk.
                    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I like the contact in a monoflap, but there are a lot of variables. I had a big name monoflap that should have been perfect, and while it was not a problem exactly, I never felt as though I got the security I wanted from it. But I am shopping for a jump saddle now, and my preference would still be monoflap. Just don't be dogmatic about it. Certainly there are great dual flaps, and terrible monoflaps. The trick is trying a lot of them.

                      And my secret tip for buying used saddles? Buy one from somebody built kinda like you are, and who broke it in while riding really, really, well. Such a saddle puts you in the right spot, and makes it easier to ride well. If you buy a new saddle, getting a lot of good instruction during the break in period would also pay off in the long run.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am 5'11", ALL leg and LOVE my monoflap saddle. I feel like I can get my leg on better and tighter. I ride a draft cross, but he is a very streamlined creature so width isn't really a factor. I think it's just the balance of the saddle and the absence of bulk under my leg - all personal preference.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am short and built like a corgi. I love my monoflap. I had an Amerigo Pinerolo monoflap that I loved, but my horse outgrew. I ended up getting a regular flap Schleese, which fit him perfectly and was okay for me. When my Schleese fitter said they had a monoflap coming back from a rental that I could purchase, I jumped at the chance. So happy to have a monoflap again. I really appreciate the extra closeness.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It totally depends on horse, rider, and the saddle.

                            The only monoflap I've ridden in was a Berney Grand Prix Olympic and I was blown away by it - I felt so close to the horse it was like riding bareback, and yet I was incredibly tight in the tack. Doubly impressive as I'm 5'1 on a good day, and was in a man's saddle, probably a 18", on a giant field hunter.

                            I also feel great in my 16.5 Stubben Portos, however - which is a regular length double flap. It's more about finding the right saddle and balance point for you than dual vs. monoflap.



                            www.manhattansaddlery.com - New York City's tack shop since 1912

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I LOVE my monoflap -- it's comfy plus no extra bulk. Been riding in it for years. However....

                              .... I could not find a used mono that fit another one of my horses, so had to go with a dual flap. I have to admit I couldn't tell the difference. Didn't even notice the girth + extra flap was even there. Of course it was a butter soft, full buffalo Antares Evo so perhaps that's why.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I love my monoflap saddles (both dressage and jump), but that’s because they fit me well, not because I really feel a closer contact.

                                it sounds like a better fitting saddle of any description and sensitizing the horse to your leg are needed.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  There's also the in-between option: dual flap with long billets. Then at least the girth is out from under your leg. The Prestige Event model has this option: https://www.vtosaddlery.com/product/PES.htm
                                  The plural of anecdote is not data

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Toblersmom View Post
                                    I recently (as in just this Wednesday) had a saddle fitter come out. He tried a bunch of different saddles (more than ten) and found three he considered a best fit from the horse’s perspective for me to ride in. Two different brands/makers (two other brands were in the group rejected entirely). One of the makers, both a “jump” saddle and an “eventing” monoflap saddle were viable. While all three were tremendous improvements over what I had been riding, the non-monoflap “jump” saddle was overwhelmingly the best option for me as a “returning”, out of shape, 5’3” person with stubby legs and a coming 4 year old BLM Mustang, who has delusions of doing a “puddle jumping” degree of eventing at some point in the nebulous future. I just felt my legs wanted to go all over the place with the monoflap (and with the other brand’s non-monoflap), and with the non-monoflap jump I felt “locked and loaded,” like I could direct my pathetic remnants of muscle memory into actually applying leg aids effectively rather than trying to keep my legs someplace more or less under me. I won’t go into the specifics because they are probably not relevant. So much comes down to individual body shape (both horse and rider) and individual preferences. My trainer is a big, big fan of the brand of saddle that was the third option, which was by far the most expensive, and the fitter made some comment as he put it in the lineup for ones to ride in that “You’re going to hate me for this since I know you said it’s more than you want to spend,” implying that he thought it likely I would love it so much I would feel compelled to buy it. Nope, not even close. Who knows, maybe a different maker of monoflap would fit us both. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll feel that I have both enough of my muscle and balance back, and enough need for more freedom of movement in my leg, that something like that monoflap will be the right choice. But right now, it’s not. Do you have a fitter in your area that carries several makers for you to try? Can you borrow some saddles from other riders at your barn to try?
                                    I plan on having a saddle fitter out when I'm ready to buy but I unfortunately just moved my horse to an all western barn, I own the only English saddle in the barn so I can't exactly try any of theirs. I guess I'll have to find a fitter that carries several saddles that I could try.
                                    My horse is a Curly/Draft cross and very wide and I currently have a Bates jumping saddle but I feel like it's much too bulky and makes it very difficult to keep leg on him (which he unfortunately needs a lot of). I will definitely have a fitter out and hopefully I'll be able to try a monoflap and possibly some other dualflap brands.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have a Voltaire mono flap. I love the closeness I get with my horse. I can feel his body better and the extra bulk I get with my other dial flap saddles isn't there. I clean and condition all of my saddles regularly. The grip and lack of movement with the mono flaps is one of the reasons I love it!!! It's also an extremely comfortable saddle.
                                      If at first you don't succeed, get back on the horse and try it again!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by 173north View Post
                                        It totally depends on horse, rider, and the saddle.

                                        The only monoflap I've ridden in was a Berney Grand Prix Olympic and I was blown away by it - I felt so close to the horse it was like riding bareback, and yet I was incredibly tight in the tack. Doubly impressive as I'm 5'1 on a good day, and was in a man's saddle, probably a 18", on a giant field hunter.

                                        I also feel great in my 16.5 Stubben Portos, however - which is a regular length double flap. It's more about finding the right saddle and balance point for you than dual vs. monoflap.


                                        This! I've had both monoflaps and double flaps. It's the saddle and the balance point that make a difference. Of course some saddles have a LOT of padding, but I've had many double flap saddles that felt just fine. My current jumping saddle *is* a monoflap (Jeffries JMX) but because I love the balanced feeling I get in the saddle.
                                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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