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PDN Love?

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  • PDN Love?

    Hello Friends.

    Not quite a re-rider topic, but after performing a search of other forum poss, I wanted to know who is riding in a Crosby Prix des Nations nowadays. Are you using any modifications such as stirrups other than Fillis-style, half-pads or full pads, had the saddle re-flocked, etc.?

    I've tried sitting in and riding in the more "modern" saddles and I feel like... I am riding on a sofa. A cushy sedan versus a sports car where you can feel everything. It did not feel right to me to sit in a modern saddle.

    That said, I've ridden in a PDN since I was 13, and done the hunters, jumpers, equitation... trail rides, foxhunted, exercised polo ponies, and galloped horses in my PDN. A total happy camper in my saddle, which I prized and took care of through the years.

    I was saddened that the folks at a certain line of saddle shops pooh-pooed my PDN, said the seat was too hard and it would hurt a horse's back. A co-worker who rides had the same feeling towards PDN's (she rides in a CWD).

    Anyone else out there have PDN love they can share?


  • #2
    I too grew up in a PDN-cake and, after an extended break away from riding, scoffed at all the new French custom saddles on the market. My first saddle purchase as an adult ammy was a Crosby Centennial. I definitely looked around for a PDN but realized my foreseeable future is riding greenies and decided to go with something with a deeper seat.

    Hard to deny that PDNs develop great seats. I hope they're still staples in lesson programs.

    Comment


    • #3
      Absolutely LOVE my PDN. Nothing comes close!
      Life is great when you can hug a horse.

      Comment


      • #4
        I learned to ride in a PdN. Now, I can ride any horse in whatever saddle in a passable way because my body learned how to balance on the horse, not the saddle. Priceless.

        I still have a very old Crosby AGA that doesn't have any blocks. There were a few of these made. I rides just about like a PdN, but it's panels are a bit broader where the wither hollows might be on a horse. Even those it's an old Medium Crosby tree, it seems to be a pretty horse-friendly shape.

        Oh, and I have an Exselle that mimics the Crosby Centennial in a Wide.

        Both saddles are flat and well-balanced on top for me, but fit different horses underneath. I find it easy to ride in those.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment


        • #5
          I learned in a PDN knock-off. I credit it for my solid leg position (and good training, but hey....)

          That said, they are NOT the best thing for your horse's back. They are a specific tree shape, tend to run narrow, are foam flocked, it's old school foam, and since most are quite old, I have a hard time believing the foam has maintained its integrity.

          There are newer options that will give you the same type of ride. Try the Tad Coffins. Same ride, same no frills, and amazing balance
          Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
          Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

          Comment


          • #6
            They fit great on TBs, my TB didn't do well in any of the French brands. I prefer the pancake saddle as well. Less is more. I am currently riding in an older Pessoa, it's actually much more padded than I would like, but it fits the TB perfect and he's more of a project horse right now, so it's not as important to me for the saddle to be perfect for me.


            Get it re-flocked and rock on!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pokerface View Post
              They fit great on TBs, my TB didn't do well in any of the French brands. I prefer the pancake saddle as well. Less is more. I am currently riding in an older Pessoa, it's actually much more padded than I would like, but it fits the TB perfect and he's more of a project horse right now, so it's not as important to me for the saddle to be perfect for me.


              Get it re-flocked and rock on!
              Re-flocked? PdNs? I've never seen anything but foam on a PDN. I also wouldn't trust trying to pull out the foam and replacing it with wool. Not a good bet on older leather.

              Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
              Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

              Comment


              • #8
                I have an old Beval Devon, which is pretty much the same. No knee rolls, pads, blocks, and a super flat seat.

                I recently traded up to an 07 Butet (flat seat, no blocks or rolls). I'm not enjoying it as much, though my trainer says it put my leg in a better position. I don't feel like I can find my balance, and I think it's a little wide for the horse I ride.

                I wish my butt was a bit smaller to keep going in my Devon.
                The best sports bras for riders are Anita 5527 and Panache! Size UP in Anita, down in Panache (UK sizing)

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                • #9
                  LOVE my PDN—thought I was just old It's the same saddle I showed in as a junior in the 70s, so that makes it about 45 years old. Never had it re-stuffed, fits any horse I've put it on. Always took good care of it and it's just in great shape. I bought a used PDN on eBay for $250 a couple years ago so I have a spare. You can tell it was never oiled correctly or taken care of but now it's as soft and conditioned as my much older one. I won't ride in anything else—I qualified for the Maclay finals in it, I've pushed cattle in it, and I've played polo in it. I got new leathers about 15 years ago, but still use my (kids) stirrups from junior days. And just use a double-sided "fleece" pad like we did back then.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If only I could find one in a large seat!

                    I recently bought a Beval Devon in what was suppose to be an 18.5 seat.. it’s really not but it’s more comfortable for me vs the PDN, fits my horse better.

                    I had a newer Beval Natural and it was amazing!!!!! Stopped riding and sold it, haven’t been able to find another one.
                    https://www.instagram.com/streamlinesporthorses/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hey, I just bought another one last week. For $50, complete. Had another one given to me this spring for free. Because "nobody wants them, because they don't have that deep seat, knee padding, and thigh blocks,(and seat belt) and you need those things to be able to stay on when riding your horse". ROTFLMAO

                      Both are in new condition. The free one is half an inch bigger than what I normally ride in, and I actually was just LOOKING at it at the tack sale, when the owner begged me to take it away for free because she didn't want to take it home again after the sale. It's a bit funny because it does have some strange padding under the knee, that I have never seen before in a PDN. The owner of that saddle has taken up western riding instead and purchased a QH, because it's nice to have a horn to hold onto, and that is probably a good thing for her.

                      I've been a "minimalist" saddle user since the late 70's. My favourate saddle is a Courbette Stylist, which fits slightly narrower than a Crosby PDN, and I've been using this saddle since buying it new 1978. It's in perfect condition, so secure and comfortable to sit in. Fits a lot of TBs. The PDNs fit a bit wider. I had a full cutback PDN, bought around the same time, early 80's I think, but was convinced to sell it to a friend many years ago now (I didn't think I would need a wider fitting saddle, hadn't been using it much, and she needed it). I had been missing it, so started to look for one to replace it with. But I live kinda remote from the hub of English equine activity, and had only just started thinking about looking for a 16 1/2 PDN when a 16 1/2 Crosby "Olympic" was advertised on a local notice board, much to my surprise LOL. I had to go look at that. It has a slight knee pad, but otherwise is flat. So I bought that one. It has been useful. Then this spring/summer has brought these two PDNs into my life. I haven't even put either one of them on a horse yet, both needed oiling.

                      In the mean time, a couple years ago now, I saw a Passier Century saddle at a tack sale. Exactly my size at 16 1/2. It was Passier's answer to the flat saddle of the 80s. This one was built in 1992, so it's a "new" saddle for me. It had been well looked after, and not a lot of use. Bought that one for $200. It has a deeper seat than the other flat saddles I have, but it's still less deep than many, and it's OK. Passier quality is ageless, and quality like this is not seen any more.

                      Oh, and the place where I bought the $50 PDN last week, a used tack store, last year I found another Courbette Stylist there. They were so rare, and such great saddles, and here was one, also offered for $50. Because no one wants them (but ME!!!!). I bought that one too. It was actually a "rescue" situation for the saddle, it had been badly neglected, and I was not sure it was able to be rejuvenated, so dry, like cardboard. So it spent all last summer being soaked in neatsfoot oil etc. And it has recovered. It is a 17 inch, and a narrower tree than my old one, and fits my narrower TB mare just perfectly (I was having to pad out the old Courbette for her). And being half an inch bigger doesn't matter to me, it feels just like the 16 1/2 to sit in. It has had NO use, the pattern is still on the leather, not worn off like my old one is.

                      My other saddle is a gallop saddle, my exercise saddle from my race training days. It is a half tree saddle, known as a "Beavertail". Just a leather pad with stirrup bars actually. It fits every horse like a surcingle. It is the closest you can get to your horse, but it isn't a saddle that you can ride for long periods of time of course, it does not distribute the rider's weight because the tree does not extend the length of the saddle. But very close contact, for maximum security of course. I have gone trail riding in this saddle, broke babies in it, galloped and worked horses in it, and jumped some greenies in it occasionally. Then I saw an article about an American jumper rider using them in jumper competitions LOL. I love the rebel yell. Yes, they are nice saddles too, for us minimalist saddle lovers.

                      Touch wood, I have never had back issues or saddle fit problems in any of my horses for the last 50 years. I ride TB and TBX horses. I am light, and a balanced rider, and do not ride for 10 hours at a time (endurance), and the engagement of the horse's hind end and correct carriage, keeping the classical training pyramid in mind, all helps to keep horses sound and functional. And the saddle has to fit adequately, of course. Less is more.
                      www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gradytb View Post
                        fits any horse I've put it on.
                        Doubtful. but hey, it's what we all used to say...
                        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RugBug View Post

                          Re-flocked? PdNs? I've never seen anything but foam on a PDN. I also wouldn't trust trying to pull out the foam and replacing it with wool. Not a good bet on older leather.
                          It worked out pretty well for my Butet (circa 1998). That foam in the early french saddles sucked and compressed pretty fast. After a few years I had it removed and replaced with wool flocking. Then about 7 years later when I had the seat/billets replaced and had him also redo the panels. It's still working out pretty well for me.

                          (that said, happiest day of my life was when I traded that PdN in for a tiny fractional amount of the Butet!)
                          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have a 30+ year old PDN and currently no horse. It's in my super nice fuzzy zipped up saddle cover and I will never get rid of it! I do not like the newer saddles and prefer a flat seat with no blocks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DMK View Post

                              It worked out pretty well for my Butet (circa 1998). That foam in the early french saddles sucked and compressed pretty fast. After a few years I had it removed and replaced with wool flocking. Then about 7 years later when I had the seat/billets replaced and had him also redo the panels. It's still working out pretty well for me.

                              (that said, happiest day of my life was when I traded that PdN in for a tiny fractional amount of the Butet!)
                              Id be scared to try it in my 1985 saddle. I don't think the leather would hold up properly. I could feel that way, thought, because I wanted to get zippers put in my lightly worn and lovlingly cared for Dehners and they won't touch them because they are too old. I know stitching is different than pulling out foam and replacing with wool, but it makes me go eek!
                              Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                              Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Love mine. Got it in 1980 as a Christmas present when I was just a kid. Won a lot of eq/medal classes with that saddle! It was the saddle that really taught you to ride and to feel the horse under you.

                                I haven't used it in years - doesn't ft me (I've way outgrown it!) and never has fit it any of my horses once I aged out of junior's. No way it would fit a horse today.

                                So it's more of a decoration in my place - I've always stored it inside and clean it yearly. It'll always be my favorite!
                                "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My first love was a PDN. I’m probably going to buy another just to have. I wound up letting mine go because it was too small and really didn’t fit my horse, even with a good half pad. I could have had it reflocked but it wouldn’t have been worth the money.

                                  Ultimately, I wound up in a CWD SE03 - pre-2019 model, thin knee pads and small blocks. It was the closest I could get feel wise through the twist and thigh to my old PDN. I love this thing with all my heart and it will be buried with me. I’m also outrageously picky about saddles, so it will be hell if I ever have to shop again.


                                  But a PDN aid a heart saddle and will never go out of style IMO.
                                  www.thetexasequestrian.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by RugBug View Post

                                    Doubtful. but hey, it's what we all used to say...
                                    Not sure how you think you know how many horses I've ridden in it and what kinds. I'm simply relating MY experience. Geez!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have been looking for a nice, well loved one for three years now and have had no luck. Either people won't part with them or they are in terrible shape. I know there are a lot of haters out there, but what I found to be strange is that the PDN actually fits my horse better than the pro panel saddles of today which are purported to fit a range of horses. I also find the blocks of today's saddles to be more bulk that I don't want. But I also ride my guy bareback from time to time and have always preferred nice direct contact with my horse.

                                      Currently I have a custom Voltaire which is his daily saddle, but I would love that PDN to use from time to time. To all those speaking to the foam panels and degradation over time, couldn't one have new panels placed on it? I paid $650 to completely remove the old panels and replace with a different style on my Voltaire panels when my horse's body changed. Given that a custom Voltaire made to be as flat as a PDN runs $6+, I would say that replacing panels would be a bargain!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by gradytb View Post

                                        Not sure how you think you know how many horses I've ridden in it and what kinds. I'm simply relating MY experience. Geez!
                                        I don't know anything about you. I do know that the 'it fits everything' was pretty much what we all said back then and it's very unlikely that it was true. Perhaps it has fit all of your horses, but I'm skeptical.
                                        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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