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Jumping in a Dressage saddle?

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  • Jumping in a Dressage saddle?

    would i be crazy to buy a dressage saddle even though im going to show hunter?
    i cannot find a saddle for my high withered TB. he has shark fin withers and is 20y/o. after looking at many saddle and returning another close contact. i cant help but think maybe he would do okay in a dressage saddle? lots of them seem to have cut back withers.
    ive ridden in dressage saddles but never tried to jump in one. if i can get one that fits my horse would it be a bad idea to try and jump in a dressage saddle? chances are we wont be jumping over 2'6 and only showing local unrated shows. i just want my poor horse to be comfortable

  • #2
    I'm not sure about the dressage saddle. It might be a little awkward.

    Have you tried any all-purpose saddles?
    Honey badger don't give a sh!t.


    • #3
      I know people who have jumped in a shorter flapped dressage saddle but it did prove to be a challenge. I would agree you may be better off looking into the all-purpose saddles. You may want to try a pessoa, I have found they work on high withered horses and may be what you are looking for.
      "Ask often, demand little, reward generously"
      " Every horse has a chocolate side"


      • Original Poster

        i have no problem with an all purpose, just havent found one that fits.
        im waiting for a reply about a keiffer aachen AT, it looks good for high withers.


        • #5
          I would think that it would be difficult as a dressage saddle is meant to put you in a different seat than a jumping saddle so you would be fighting to maintain your position more. I don't know if you have looked into them, but have you considered a Thorowgood saddle? I don't know much about them but haven't heard any complaints and our distributor here says she hasn't had anyone unsatisfied. They make saddles specific to the shark fins and you may find something that works for you. They are also reasonably priced and I have considered getting one for my boy. Just a thought.



          • #6
            A true dressage saddle will put you in the wrong position for jumping, even over small fences. But there are many all purpose saddles that will work for you. While there are some who call them "no purpose" saddles, I disagree strongly with that. An all purpose saddle is an excellent choice for someone who is jumping rarely, and over small fences only.
            The older Passiers fit well on higher withered horses, as do older Crosbys (like the Corinthian or the Lexington).
            I have an older Stubben VSD that I have used for the sort of riding you described, and it has been just fine for me...but it may not be good choice for a horse with really high wither.


            • #7
              I don't think a dressage saddle is going to solve your fit problems. And certainly won't help your jumping. If you're finding that the pommel is hitting his withers, my initial reaction is that the tree is too wide. I'd try a narrower tree, and possibly a wither pad (the fleece edged felt 1/2 pads with a slit/hole in the wither area).

              The problem with a dressage saddle for jumping is that the seats are usually quite deep, (and thus, pommel quite high) making a half seat awkward. They also have a very straight flap, designed to accomodate a very long stirrup and straight leg, sort of the opposite of what you're looking for when jumping. If you shorten your stirrups to an appropriate length for jumping, your knee will be hanging over the front of the saddle. Not to mention the blocks and padding created to keep you in a nice position for a dressage ride, not jumping.

              If you want to ride both dressage and jump with one saddle, then an all purpose would be something to consider, although they're sometimes referred to as "no purpose" as they aren't really good at either. If you really want to ride hunters, then it's worth the effort to find a good close contact saddle, which you could certainly ride dessage in as well, at least in the lower levels.

              If you don't have a good saddle fitter in your area, I'd call Dover or Beval or one of the good tack shops. I know that both D & B have saddle fitting specialists that will walk you through the process of getting a wither tracing that you can send them and they'll give you some options, or match up to your saddle possibilities. Good luck!


              • Original Poster

                unfortunately i dont have a lot of money to spend on a saddle. and not interested in shipping one. i have found lots for sale in my area, well alot of dressage saddle esspecially.
                i have seen a couple older passiers in my price range and they do look to have good wither clearance.
                i looked into thorowgood high wither saddles but unfortunately the tack shop near me doesnt sell them any more of course lol. i might be trying a regular thorowgood on him as i have herd they are a bit more cut back than the average saddle. ive seen a few pessoas for sale but none nearby.

                i have tried both wider and more narrow saddles on him. wider ones sit right on his withers and narrower ones just pinch his withers. i should try and get a picture of his back. hes an odd shape.

                i dont want to get into shipping do to the added cost plus the chance of returning if it doesnt fit him.

                ridden in lots of all puposes and i dont mind them one bit. i realize dressage saddles are for dressage but i thought maybe it wouldnt matter much over such small fences. maybe i should just switch disaplines lol. i feel so bad for this horse. i ride him in a hdr that pinches him, same as his last owner did they just rode him with lots of half pads. i ride with a wither relief pad (not that it does much) and a sheepskin half pad right now. hes so used to being ridden in ill fitting saddles and hes so good to ride, i cant wait to see how he does with a saddle that isnt hurting him.
                going to take another look at some of the passier all purposes for sale, i think theres also another keiffer that looked cut back. they are a bit more exspensive but still affordable.

                i will give up on the dressage saddle idea lol i was just getting a bit desperate, and thinking 'what if' i found a dressage saddle that fit him


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hinderella View Post
                  The older Passiers fit well on higher withered horses, as do older Crosbys (like the Corinthian or the Lexington).
                  I have a older and by older I mean very . Crosby Corinthian. I got it 20 years ago and it was well seasoned then, to to fit my shark finned Jumper and to this day its is by far my favorite saddle. It has no extra padding no knee rolls but it fits a ton of horses and for some reason I find it very comfortable.
                  "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


                  • #10
                    I've got an Ainsley for sale, which fit my shark-finned guy REALLY well. PM me if you'd like more information


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by FraggleRock View Post
                      i feel so bad for this horse. i ride him in a hdr that pinches him, same as his last owner did they just rode him with lots of half pads. i ride with a wither relief pad (not that it does much) and a sheepskin half pad right now. hes so used to being ridden in ill fitting saddles and hes so good to ride, i cant wait to see how he does with a saddle that isnt hurting him.
                      What about riding him bareback (or a bareback pad) until you find a saddle that fits him? The thought of him wearing a saddle that hurts him makes me cringe.


                      • #12
                        A horse whose back is clearly unsuited for a jumping saddle is very unlikely to be suited for jumping, especially at 20 yo by someone who would ask such a question.

                        Look for another horse. And lessons.


                        • #13
                          If you have access to a good/trustworthy saddle fitter, it would be worth it to get a fitting and his/her advice. The fee for a consultation wouldn't be exorbitant, and many of them sell used saddles. It would save you a lot of aggravation. Jumping in a dressage saddle is going to be uncomfortable for the horse as well as you.


                          • Original Poster

                            jeez i dont think becuase my horse has high withers he cant jump. thats a bit of a stretch. no he doesnt easily fit in to most close contact. and no i cant afford a custom saddle. but i dont think its fair to assume my horse cant jump and i cant ride.

                            yes i get it i shouldnt jump in a dressage saddle. and i wont. but there is no need to be rude.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JustJump View Post
                              A horse whose back is clearly unsuited for a jumping saddle is very unlikely to be suited for jumping, especially at 20 yo by someone who would ask such a question.

                              Look for another horse. And lessons.
                              Gosh, that was kind of uncalled for. I had a really hard time finding a jumping saddle to fit my TB, for similar reasons as the OP (very high, long, narrow withers, and not a lot of $$ to spend). My horse is 19 this year. Does he look unsuitable for jumping?
                              (And I *have* jumped him in a dressage saddle a few times...)

                              OP: I know you aren't interested in shipping, and I don't blame you for that...you can spend a fortune just shipping saddles back and forth. I didn't have a lot of $$ to spend either, so even a used County, Black Country, etc. were out of the question for me. I ended up with a Phillipe Fontaine (I have the Diane, but there are several models) which fits my horse well without any additional padding or shims. Don't know if your local tack shop carries them, but it might be worth looking into. They are distributed by Stubben.

                              Adams Equine Wellness


                              • #16
                                I've popped over a fence or two in my dressage saddle, but generally small things like a crossrail or log while out hacking. It's not particularly conducive to jumping well because of where your leg sits and is positioned in a dressage saddle. It's going to be uncomfortable for you, and possibly a problem for your horse, if you're unable to get up out of the tack enough to get off his back over a fence.


                                • #17
                                  OP if CHEAP is what you need....I know someone who bought this saddle for a TB and it fits well:
                                  ...obviously not for seious hours of wear and tear but I looked at the saddle and it really was surprisingly nice for that dirt-cheap price. I have a synthetic AP kincade for knocking around and it too is comfortable and surprisingly nice for the price.


                                  • #18
                                    It's really hard to fit a high withered horse--but I'd start looking at good used saddles of the type that were used on the TB's of yesteryear.

                                    Though a fitter might help, and there are good ones around, many work for saddle companies, and simply want to sell you an expensive custom saddle.

                                    In used saddles there are many bargains around, particularly in flat saddles (no kneepads) with narrow trees, which can be purchased for a couple hundered dollars--You may have luck with one of these plus a "lollipop" pad to level out the back.

                                    Be sure to get any saddle checked out by an experienced horseman or better yet, a saddler to ensure the billets are safe and the tree is sound.
                                    Inner Bay Equestrian


                                    • #19
                                      Work with Trumbull Mtn. They have used saddles of in a variety of price ranges. Even if they don't have what you're looking for, they can probably make a good suggestion of which kind of features your tree/saddle should have so you can make educated guesses on saddles to try.

                                      They're a pleasure to work with.

                                      Look them up online.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by M. O'Connor View Post
                                        It's really hard to fit a high withered horse--but I'd start looking at good used saddles of the type that were used on the TB's of yesteryear.
                                        I agree with this. I would in fact look for the older Crosbys, which can be had for less than $400 on ebay including the shipping, and which hold up quite well. My old AP didn't fit Lucky and when I didn't want to spend a fortune I found an old PDN on ebay. It fits, and once I got used to the lack of padding under my bum, it did wonders for my leg (no knee rolls!)
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