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Author Topic: Dressage saddle for trail riding?  (Read 4081 times)
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Teffer
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« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2003, 02:18:40 PM »


I think even a novice rider would be fine in an English saddle.  Security on the horse doesn't come from excess leather or a horn (which you should NEVER grab in an emergency - think twisted saddles, bucking, wrenched backs, getting hung up on the saddle!), it comes from good riding and balance.  Dressage saddles are usually fairly deep-seated for comfort and position, and they also typically have blocks to help hold your legs into position, which is helpful on hills and the like.  
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Tammy--MI
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« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2003, 07:20:31 PM »

I think Teffer is right that for trail riding the deep seats and blocks provide all of the security an experienced rider would need...but Luvmyrocky is also right that a less experienced rider might benefit from a bit more saddle....

Also, be aware that dressage saddles aren't much good for breaking broncs Grin
I found this out on my mule....she tossed me so hard and fast I thought I was a rocket Wink Shocked  I sure wish I would have had my deep barrel racing saddle with the bat-wing pommel...I think I could have held out for at least 8 more seconds Grin Grin
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Faustina
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« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2003, 01:04:01 PM »

Yes, but if she lost her balance, you are all but trapped in that barel saddle Tongue...I love my dressage saddle, for training my green horses and for trail riding.  The biggest factors are that the saddle fit both the horse AND the RIDER!  If it is tipped where it sits on your horses back, then you are out of position or trying to get into position too much of the time.  If the seat is too small, you can't get a good, balanced, deep seat.  Too big and you'll rattle around Wink.

NO saddle can truly make up for a rider who doesn't have a deep, secure seat, but a proper fitting, balanced saddle, can make all the difference in the world in learning that seat.  ChollaCat, the primary thing is to be certain you are comfortable, your horse is comfortable, and that you ride where in areas (and with friends) that match your limitations...don't go for the Rockies if the hill in the pasture feels like a hard climb, and don't go out with the group who rides "Hell bent for leather" if you're still in "2 gait" mode.

Good luck!

Oh, and you can add Dee Rings to a dressage (or any other) saddle-easiest for a locl saddler, if you have one, or anyone who does shoe repair if you have a shortage of saddlers!
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surchester
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« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2003, 02:26:15 PM »

I just got back from a wonderful 3-hour trail ride with a dressage saddle. I felt very balanced and stable in it. What also helped was a mullen mouth walking horse bit a friend loaned to me. I have a pad that also has saddlebags attached although I didn't use that pad today. I have seen lots of them on Ebay. I got mine in a store for $27.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2003, 02:29:09 PM by surchester » Logged
sj
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2003, 05:43:10 PM »

What kind of dressage saddle was it? (brand???)

sj
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surchester
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« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2003, 03:55:53 PM »

Courbette Obrist -- It's my friend's saddle. I found one for $350 used on this site.... http://www.pelham-saddlery.com/trader/dress.htm  in case you are interested.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2003, 04:03:19 PM by surchester » Logged
Teffer
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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2003, 09:05:28 AM »


Ok, about that sadle pad I bought, you know, the one with the nice fleece underneath and the pockets.  She HATES it!  Angry I tried it yesterday for the first time because my sheepskin pad had fallen off the rack in the trailer and gotten poopy, so it was drying after I washed it.  I was careful with it because I haven't ever ridden her with a long pad that might tickle her hips, so we wandered around the arena to make sure that didn't bother her.  After I worked her a bit and she started sweating, she tried to reach back and scratch herself behind the saddle.  We were stopped talking to a friend who had just returned from a show.  I told her "NO!" and picked up the opposite rein and held it.  She put her head down and seemed to rest for a minute, then took a deep breath, and LAID DOWN!  She didn't roll over or anything, just waited for me to get off and remove the saddle, then kind of gently rolled on her side and itched her back(arena sand is perfect for that :Smiley).  I was worried that there was something wrong with the pad after that, and I wanted to go get a wool pad and contnue riding her with that, but my husband looked it over and couldn't find a thing wrong with it.  So we put it back on and went down the road.  About half-way home, she started trying to scratch at her back again every time we stopped to wait for an older horse to catch up.  I was worried she'd want to roll again, but she didn't seem to think that the road was a comfortable place for scratching, so I just tried to rub at the spot myself as we rode.  As soon as I got home, I remove the pad and saddle, and she started scratching both sides. I heard her neck crack and she swung it from one side to the other!  She didn't bother to roll, just scratch with her teeth and I hosed her and curried her, and the itching seemed to go away.
I had to think about why this pad bothered her.  It could have been the seam between the fleece and the cotton pad.  She has such a narrow back and she's so thin there, that she might have felt that.  Her stablemate that has one has a well-devloped dressage tableback and traditonal unpadded pads rub her.  I thoght it could also be the synthetic fleece, as I have always ridden her in wool or sheepskin, but her blankets are synthetic materials and her western pad is also synthetic (although she doesn't sweat in that saddle - it's just for showing, not working).  She has always had a marked preference for wool - she lovs the wool cooler we use on Jazz and has tried to put her head and nose on it when it's on the rack or on her - she cuddles it, I swear!  Any thoughts?  I'm so bummed because I really liked that pad, and now Jazz and Joe get to have it! Cry      
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Holly
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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2003, 09:43:19 AM »

I am a such a fan of wool pads that I ride in nothing else anymore.

Years ago, I bought a 100% wool dressage pad that I paid some decent coin for.  I don't regret one cent I spent on that pad.  It's been the best pad I've ever owned, by far.

With my western saddle, I only ride in pure wool blankets now.  

As for dressage saddles, well, today's dressage saddles are way too secure, if you ask me.  If you try to find a dressage saddle with a flat seat and little or no thigh blocks or knee rolls, you'll be hard pressed to find one.

Most of the dressage saddles today have seats that make you feel like you're sitting in a bucket and thigh rolls as big as Texas.

My dressage saddle is a Schleese CHB and those models come with large thigh blocks (interchangeable though - I swapped the large thigh blocks out for smaller ones) and a very deep seat (had that changed too - had padding added to the seat to make the seat less deep and the seat softer).

This saddle is, by far, still the most secure feeling saddle I've ever ridden in.  Would I feel secure on a youngster in it?  You bet!  Would I feel secure on trail in it?  Most definitely.
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Joanna
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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2003, 09:59:56 AM »

Hey Holly,

Bring that saddle when you come in October and ride Lynde.  Grin  <teehee>

Joanna
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Faustina
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2003, 10:27:43 AM »

I do understand what you mean, Holly-my synthetic dressage saddle had those blocks, but they were velcroed in-I just completely removed them.  The seat isn't TOO deep-I can shift my weight in it if a horse seems to be ignoring a cue...but I've seen the "buckets" too...I just got lucky finding this one!
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Holly
Guest
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2003, 10:35:36 AM »

LOL, Joanna!  I'll have to bring my saddle fitter, too.

She was out last week to fit this dressage saddle to Asa's back and boy, did she ever have to widen that tree!

He is a much wider boy than my old Appendix.  I bet Lynde wears more of a medium tree, no?    

Asa loves this saddle though.  <sigh> I have a feeling my new western saddle is going to sit for a while and gather dust.  I betcha' I'll ride in this dressage saddle on trail, too.  

And, to think - I had this dressage saddle for sale on various web sites, too.  What was I thinking?  LOL!
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Teffer
Guest
« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2003, 01:04:20 PM »


Schleese, huh?  Expensive stuff!  I think I'd have to take out a second mortgage or at least sell one of the horses to afford one!  My friend just laid out 3G for hers, but of course, the horse is worth 25G, so all is relative!  She's also in nursing admin and I'm a teacher - all is really relative!

I love my sheepskin pad!  No more synthetic fleece - cotton or sheepskin for Ruby!  I checked out a thin cotton pocket pad they had at National Bridle that would fit a dressage saddle and I can put a wool liner underneath it if I need to.  I'm trying depserately to stay away from the saddle bags!

Faustina, lots of saddles, the Wintecs especially, are going to the removable velcro block system.  It makes much more sense then having to have a fitter out every time you need an adjustment made.


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Holly
Guest
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2003, 05:06:13 PM »

Schleese saddles are expensive ONLY if you buy them new.  Which I don't.  LOL!

You can get a used one that is in topnotch condition for half the price they want for a new one.

My CHB model retails for $3200 new and I bought it for $1800 used, but in like-new condition.  

I see a lot of used Schleeses - JES models, especially - for $1200 used, but in excellent condition.  I think the JES models retail anywhere from $2400-2600 new.  

The JES models are just as nice as the CHB that I own.  You just pay more for the CHB because of the name.  The initials CHB stand for some famous dressage rider that participated in the design of the saddle - I forget who.

The number one thing that made me choose a Schleese is their adjustability.  The tree can be widened or narrowed to fit ANY horse.  You can have it widened as many times as needed throughout its lifetime with no structural damage to the tree.  Their trees have a lifetime guarantee (I just got a totally brand new tree put in mine for $0).

I bought mine for my dressage horse when I had him in training and I knew his back and topline were going to change shape dramatically over time.  I had the fitter out every three months to tweak the width of the tree, as his back changed.  

Considering that fact, my Schleese was a heckuva' lot less expensive option than if I'd had to buy a new saddle every three months or so.  Wink

Oh, and once you sit in one, you'll never want to sit in another brand of dressage saddle again.  They are that comfy.  Smiley  
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