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saddles for the long thighed rider?

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  • saddles for the long thighed rider?

    Child is currently riding in a Bates Caprilli CC which was purchased as the "in between" saddle when he was moving up from ponies but had not found "the" horse yet (I did not want to spend a ton on a saddle that would probably need to be replaced). Saddle has a slightly forward flap and we purchased 1/2" larger seat size than needed to help accomodate the unusually long thigh. Saddle fits horse well but I think the problem is that the stirrup bars are too forward for kiddos long thigh and tend to force him into a chair seat. We have compromised by using a correction pad with rear riser but need to move on to a correctly fitting saddle at this point.

    Here is my problem.....there are no tack shops in our area with a large selection of saddles for him to sit in to check bar placement and even fewer saddle fitters that sell anything we would be interested in (County is the only one in our area that might work). I have no problem with doing trial saddles but the shipping fees can really add up if we have to try more than a few saddles. That said, I would like to try and narrow the search down before we start ordering. Any long thighed riders who have had similar problems and can make recommendations? Any links to articles about properly fitting a saddle to a human or how to measure correct bar placement for the long thighed would be helpful too. I am looking for a good quality, used saddle in the $1000-2500 range. Thanks!
    Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement

  • #2
    I have a long thigh, and the 2 saddles that have fit me best are a PJ Pro and any custom french saddle (CWD, Antares, etc) with a forward long flap. Both can be gotten used in the middle to top of your price range.
    Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles


    • #3
      Originally posted by theoldgreymare View Post
      Saddle fits horse well but I think the problem is that the stirrup bars are too forward for kiddos long thigh and tend to force him into a chair seat.
      My solution to this problem was to get 2 pieces of about 3/4 inch radiator hose and install them on the stirrup bar, then put the leathers on. This moves the leather back. Worked for me, and may be a complete solution for about 50 cents and two minutes of work.
      * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


      • #4
        I too have a long thigh and like my PJ and Smith-Worthington. I don't like extra-forward flaps as I find they put me in a chair seat -- I like slightly forward, extra long flaps that are built more like an EQ saddle.

        I do think buying a bigger seat is helpful. My PJ is an 18", and while I am tall I am not fat. I prefer a bigger seat to buying a more forward flap on a smaller saddle, something about the bigger everything seems to make the balance of the saddles feel better to me. I like to feel in the middle of the saddle, not like I'm squirting out over the edges everywhere like a gawky Olive Oyl.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by Madeline View Post
          My solution to this problem was to get 2 pieces of about 3/4 inch radiator hose and install them on the stirrup bar, then put the leathers on. This moves the leather back. Worked for me, and may be a complete solution for about 50 cents and two minutes of work.
          Wow, will have to give that one a go! Bars are curved, not straight, on his saddle so not sure that it will work but is worth a try!

          Kiddo has tried trainer's Devoucoux with the same result (I believe it was a forward flap but not long/forward) and also an Antares forward flap that did not work. Also tried my old EQ saddle (Steinkraus) and it was a no go. Maybe the difference is in the long/forward flap as opposed to just forward flap as Sidesaddle Rider suggested? He is not that tall so not sure if a long flap would work out.

          In truth, the saddle that worked best for him was one of the County eventing saddles that he rode in on a horse we were looking at (had to be ridden in his custom flocked saddle). Put him in such a nice balanced position. This is worse than trying to fit a horse!
          Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement


          • #6
            We are saddle shopping, too and my DD has a very long thigh for her size. We were at Beval over the weekend and the manager had her try the Natural in a 16" - it fit her beautifully, had her in a very nice position but unfortunately the regular flap was a smidge too long for her and the short was too short. The Beval Salem fit her perfectly - though we had to go up a seat size, but the flap is the right length and not too forward. She liked the way both saddles felt - both gave her a more close contact feeling than her current saddle which is a CWD type (too much leather and padding plus doesn't fit the horse)

            We found that a lot of the other saddles we tried had either too forward a flap (ie: the Gladstone) or altogether too much leather. So, we're trying the Salem to see if it will fit the horse, since we're not going the custom route right now. Hopefully, it will fit him as well, even though he looks pretty normal - he's not so easy to fit either - LOL!

            So, based on my experiences with them both on this and other purchases, I would call Beval and describe the child and the horse and I'm sure they would be able to recommend something for you to try.....
            Last edited by ponymom64; Nov. 29, 2010, 03:14 PM.


            • #7
              Originally posted by theoldgreymare View Post
              In truth, the saddle that worked best for him was one of the County eventing saddles that he rode in on a horse we were looking at (had to be ridden in his custom flocked saddle). Put him in such a nice balanced position. This is worse than trying to fit a horse!
              County can put a square cantle on their eventing saddles. In fact, you might look to see if you can find a used County close-contact with a forward flap (the Stabilizer and Conquest - event saddle - are built on the same tree)... have a County rep come out, let your son ride in several of their saddles, see what you need, and start stalking eBay!
              If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
              Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


              • #8
                Try an Exselle Debut. I have long thighs and it was one of the few that fit me without having to order an extra long flap. You can find them used in your price range (and possibly new).


                • #9
                  I have richard Castelow that is a 17 and is a forward flap that is to big for me!!! The seat is flat!!


                  • #10
                    My friend is super tall with incredibly long legs and she has great success with a Devoucoux forward flap with a roomy seat to let her move around, works very well for her and Devoucoux are lovely saddles.


                    • #11
                      I'm of average height ( 5'6") but super long hip to knee. Best fit for me is Antares with a 17.5 seat and the long forward flap.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by theoldgreymare View Post
                        Wow, will have to give that one a go! Bars are curved, not straight, on his saddle so not sure that it will work but is worth a try!
                        I have it on a BAtes with the curvy bars. Looks like it might be a problem, but it wasn't. NArrow leathers might give more peace of mind.
                        * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


                        • #13
                          I am extremely long from hip to knee and I currently ride in my trainers Crosby XL E, it has a longer flap but it is forward enough for me. Crosby also made an XL H which has a more forward flap, they are tough to come by though.


                          • #14
                            How about an ADT? (Arc de Triumphe) Their saddles are well made, and a new, non-calf model can be had for a little above the upper end of your price range. I'm small, but long from hip to knee, and that's what fit me the best.
                            It's 2018. Do you know where your old horse is?

                            www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.


                            • #15
                              I have the same issue -- long from hip to knee. My Butet has a 3 flap, and fits me great. Unfortunately, as my greenie has filled out, it doesn't fit him as well, so I'm going to have to sell it. PM me if you're interested.


                              • #16
                                I have the same issue... it came down to a County or a Jeffries for me. I sat in an Exselle in a tack shop back east, but there aren't any dealers out here that I want to work with.

                                Try a bunch of the Countys first - they're all quite different from each other.
                                "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thank you all for the responses and suggestions! Madeline was kind enough to email me pics of a Bates stirrup bar with her "Rube Goldberg stirrup fix" and we will give it a try this afternoon and see how it goes. Hoping it works so I don't have to go saddle shopping before Christmas!
                                  Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement


                                  • #18
                                    We had the best luck with the Antares AB flap, it is slightly forward (they have a AA-double forward and an AAA-triple forward flap) and then there is additional room toward the bottom of the knee roll.

                                    With the AA and AAA flaps of other saddles, it put my daughter in the chair seat as she is long hip to knee, so in order to place her knee in the right position on the flap she had to shorten her stirrups. The AB flap is a little forward but more forward at the bottom 1/3 of the knee roll where your knee would hit if you have a long femur.

                                    This AB flap allows her to ride with proper length of stirrup and then the flap goes where she needs it. She's in a 5AB flap, yikes!

                                    In Devoucoux, she fit pretty well with a 3A flap in the Socoa. Truly, it is hard to say what size flap/saddle you need without sitting in a bunch. The other Devoucoux saddles didn't fit her very well, we tried the Biarritz and the Oldera.

                                    In the Antares, she has a 5AB with a 17 C (deep seat).

                                    PJ's just didn't fit her well at all, neither did the Childerics. We've tried a ton of saddles.

                                    Everytime I see a trainer with long legs, I ask them what they are riding in. One of the trainers here swears by her PJs and the other one is an Antares girl. So, it really isn't all about the long legs, it is the angle of your hips too that makes a big difference.

                                    I believe Chris Kappler rides in Butets and he's really long. The Butets didn't fit my daughter well at all.

                                    Beg, borrow and steal all of your friends saddles and have her sit in them. See what she likes and dislikes. The more info you gather, the better decision you can make.

                                    It is a great time to buy used saddles as I've seen a ton of deals (under $2000) as of late in Antares, Devoucouxs etc.


                                    • #19
                                      I'm also insanely long from hip to thigh, and I ride in a Smith Worthington Avalon plain flap - I've had it since I was a teen, and it's still going strong!

                                      Good luck!!


                                      • #20
                                        So far the best fit for my kid with uber-long thigh has been a PJ. Unfortunately, that saddle wasn't in our budget. She's been okay with her Crosby Centennial, but can look chair-legged at times. She sat in a Beval Natural last weekend and it looked really nice. The seat was actually correct AND her legs were in a good place..... We're hopeful.
                                        Y'all ain't right!