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Saddles with SHORT flaps?

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  • Saddles with SHORT flaps?

    As a barely 5' rider, I have trouble finding any off-the-shelf saddle that fits my leg. I'm specifically looking for a 17-1/2 or 18" seat with a med/wide to wide tree. What are some brands that offer saddles with these specs? I may just have to bit the bullet and order a custom, but am trying to avoid it if possible. I only ride about twice/week at most and I just can't justify the expense unless I ride more often!
    Cindy

  • #2
    Good Luck! I have the same problem but need it in a 16-16.5" saddle. I prefer my flaps between 11-12" (I'm 4'11") and it's been very hard to find. Seems like a lot of saddles are 13"+ What is you budget? I know that some of the Beval saddles have a short flap option. You can also call them and special order a short flap which I don't think will really cost you any more. I know that the Stamford or Gladstone that I had had been in a group of short flaps they made and were on sale years ago. Always worth a call to see if they have something like that again. I had been talking to them about doing a 16" Salem with a 17" saddle's flap (I need something a little more forward and the 16" on the Salem isn't quite forward enough) I have a Millbrook and a used Stamford coming to try. The Millbrook has a 13" flap. I'm sure I could order it short but it can take a couple months it sounds like. (not that I'm in a hurry) So I would try that. I have found that Collegiates are pretty long in the flap and of course with the larger seat you are getting an even longer flap most of the time. When I spoke with Lynda at Classic Saddlery she didn't think that they had anything in the Toulouse's that would be short enough either. But it depends on how short of a flap you want. I think Beval would be a great option. Might as well give them a call and see what they say!

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    • #3
      I previously had a toulouse annice with a wide tree and a 17" seat. It had 13" flaps. This was the shortest I found off the rack and I'm 5'1.
      Last edited by armyaaronswife; Jan. 1, 2013, 07:36 PM. Reason: typo

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      • #4
        My Black Country Ricochet has pretty short flaps. The Quantum model does too, the Ricochet tree is just curvier then the other. My flaps are either 13 or 13.5", I don't recall which. You can talk to Trumbull Mountain if you want specifics. The only problem with short flaps is fitted pad are all too long. I had to go with just a fleece 1/2 pad when I switched saddles mid-season as I didn't find anything off the rack that didn't look ridiculously long.
        2leftsocks.blogspot.com

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by shadowanne View Post
          My Black Country Ricochet has pretty short flaps. The Quantum model does too, the Ricochet tree is just curvier then the other. My flaps are either 13 or 13.5", I don't recall which. You can talk to Trumbull Mountain if you want specifics. The only problem with short flaps is fitted pad are all too long. I had to go with just a fleece 1/2 pad when I switched saddles mid-season as I didn't find anything off the rack that didn't look ridiculously long.
          I was just on the Hastilow website looking at the Black Country saddles. I liked both the Quantum and the Wexford models. I'm not worried about saddle pads, because it's doubtful I'll be doing any showing.
          Cindy

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          • #6
            Do you have any brands in mind? I would contact a few different companies (of saddles you are interested in) or tack shops because you can sometimes get custom flap options without the high price tag of custom (and especially since you want something shorter, not longer). You can also get flaps cut if you take your saddle to a professional saddler but this wouldn't be my first suggestion because with knee rolls may pose a problem. I have the opposite problem as you- I have a LONG inseam (plus my horse is a hard to fit tank) and I am ordering a custom saddle flap configuration for only $200 more then the normal purchase (standard flap) price. This was the only way I was able to pretty much go custom for under $1500.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have a Black Country Quantum (actually my 2nd as I had to fit a different horse) and I don't consider it to have a short flap. I'm 5'5" and short legged (~30" inseam, more calf than thigh) and the standard flap on the 16.5 that I have now is too forward and long for me, but I had to compromise to fit that horse. My previous BC Quantum was a 17" also standard flap, and also a bit long and forward. The best fit for me has been my short flap (special order) County Stabilizer, but obviously not the off the rack suggestion the OP is looking for.

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              • #8
                I'm 5'1'' and my ADT Gazelle fits me perfectly. I also used to ride in a Courbette school saddle while I was waiting for my new one and found it had a very short flap too.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mali View Post
                  I was just on the Hastilow website looking at the Black Country saddles. I liked both the Quantum and the Wexford models. I'm not worried about saddle pads, because it's doubtful I'll be doing any showing.
                  BC and Annette Gavin at Hastilow are both wonderful places to start.

                  Being a Shortie and Research Queen, I have walked in your path before. My own survey suggests that 14" is about standard for flaps on CC saddles, perhaps until you get to 18" seat sizes.

                  What you also might want is a straighter flap, not just a shorter one.

                  Asking for a short flap (less than 14") and a 17.5-18" seat suggest to me that you might find what you want in a Black Country Quantum (or the plush, calfskin version, the Maelstrom). That's because the balance in these saddles is nice and the seat is "open."

                  What I mean by "balance" is that the relationship between the center of the seat, the stirrup bars and the knee pocket is not one of extremes. Those points are relatively close together, horizontally speaking.

                  What I mean by an "open" seat is that the seat on the Quantum tree has a long "valley floor." You can put your tush where it works for your leg without a fight from a saddle that had a more distinct "bottom" to the curve between pommel and cantle.

                  Annette is very nice and knows her stuff. As with all saddle companies, you'll have to advocate for your own fit and become good at deciding when a saddle does it for you or does not. But she's great with fitting horses.

                  Black Country makes a nice product for a nice price and they have options that let you customize. You *can* have them cut a one-off flap to specs, but once you order it, the saddle is yours no matter what.

                  I hope this helps and than you can find the right saddle for you, short sistah.
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I found the County Innovation I tried to have short flaps, even on their normal length flap. I really liked it though, as I don't love the look of a lot of flap. I think I may have measured and it was like 13 inches from bar to bottom? This was on a 17.5 saddle. They would also be able to accomodate your tree requirements, as long as the shape of the tree was also good Fit for your horse. Loved the saddle too, would definitely recommend checking t out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you would consider an all-purpose, the Stubben Roxane VSS might work for you. It has a deep seat and thigh blocks, which some folks used to a close-contact don't like. (I do!) It also features a short flap though I don't have the exact measurements. There are a couple of used ones on the Stubben website that might work for you:

                      http://www.stubbennorthamerica.com/s...allpurpose.php
                      I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

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                      • #12
                        Just FYI, the Quantum and the Wexford fit quite different backs. The tree on the Quantum is quite flat, and suited to lower withers and a longitudinally flatter back. The Wexford, otoh, has a more curved tree and a deeper panel in the front (almost but not quite a K), which makes it suitable for a horse with a bigger wither and/or dippier back. Both saddles can be ordered with a shorter flap option, usually at no extra cost, and some places will allow you to return the saddle if it's not quite right as long as the flap isn't *extremely* short. There's also the Black Country Ricochet, which is sort of a hybrid, being the Quantum built on the tree and panels of the Wexford. However, I'd recommend riding in a stock model with a standard flap before you order anything. I'd also recommend working with a knowledgeable fitter like Annette at Hastilow USA or Kate Wilson at Dutchess Bridle and Saddle (both rep for BC) to determine which saddle would be best for your horse.
                        Kitt Hazelton
                        Saddle Fitter
                        www.pantherrunsaddlery.com
                        www.saddlefitter.blogspot.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          PMing you, OP

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by shadowanne View Post
                            My Black Country Ricochet has pretty short flaps. The Quantum model does too, the Ricochet tree is just curvier then the other. My flaps are either 13 or 13.5", I don't recall which. You can talk to Trumbull Mountain if you want specifics. The only problem with short flaps is fitted pad are all too long. I had to go with just a fleece 1/2 pad when I switched saddles mid-season as I didn't find anything off the rack that didn't look ridiculously long.
                            Trumbull does have a selection to try and once you find a decent fit with use of the trial policy, a short flap can be ordered. BC does not charge extra for short or straighter flaps.
                            Jay McGarry
                            saddle fitter
                            www.trumbullmtn.com
                            800-442-9672

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have an Amerigo DJ with a short flap and it is divine I found it on CraigsList of all places, and it was a steal. When I went to pick it up for a trial, I didn't even know it was a short flap until I got there. Turns out, it was a custom order which never got picked up. Apparently there is someone out there who is built exactly like me! Never having ridden in a short flap before this one, I had no idea what a difference it makes. I love it!!
                              "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH

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