Help me find the right dressage saddle!

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Help me find the right dressage saddle!

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    02-15-2011, 09:37 AM
Help me find the right dressage saddle!

If you've seen my other threads, you know that Zee tore his suspensory and jumping is not recommended for his future... But, I still want to keep him challenged and I don't think riding around in circles doing hunter flatwork is going to keep his brain in the game.

He is such a total hunter horse, but he has his lateral leg yields, shoulder in, haunches in, etc down pretty well. We spend a whole lot of time working on rhythm and engaging the tush as it is. I think low level dressage would be great for him at his age, to keep him stretched and strong, without pounding away at his legs and joints. He may not every do it pretty, or have a perfect frame, but I think it would be the best thing to keep us working towards something.

Soooo, I recently sold both of my saddles to buy a new close contact saddle. Since I am "saddle-less", I thought it would be the perfect time to make the switch over to dressage full time. But, I've had a heck of a time finding any saddles that fit him when I was shopping for a close contact. He needs flat panels (typical hanoverian flat back), has a decent wither, and asymetrical shoulders. He needs a tree that's about 4.5" felt to felt, with a wide gullet and not too much curve to the panel. I like a saddle with a flatter seat then a deep dressage seat. I also like a forward-ish flap (I'll always be a hunter on the inside and can't drop my stirrups all the way to full length for dressage). Oh, and I would LOVE to find something with a monoflap since my boy is so stinkin lazy!

I've been looking at these and would love some opinions. I'd like to save some cash with something like the Toulouses, but have a budget up to about $2500.

Fine Used Saddles | Best French, German, & English Saddles for Sale | Current Availability

Fine Used Saddles | Best French, German, & English Saddles for Sale | Current Availability

Fine Used Saddles | Best French, German, & English Saddles for Sale | Current Availability

M. Toulouse Aachen Anatomic Seat Dressage Saddle - Dressage Saddles from SmartPak Equine

M. Toulouse Verona Monoflap - Dressage Saddles from SmartPak Equine

MTL-13- Marcel Toulouse Octavio Dressage Saddle 17-1/2" M

I have a photo album from Zee's saddle fitting if you'd like to see his back too... Saddle Fitting pictures from horses photos on webshots
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    02-15-2011, 09:51 AM
To clarify the seat preference, I don't like a high pommel. When I work on dressage, it takes me a LOT of time to get my upper body in the right position, so I end up spending most of my ride hitting the pommel in a deep seat when I post. If you're a girl, you understand why this is unpleasant! Although, I guess that would be pretty unpleasant for a guy too...
    02-15-2011, 09:52 AM
I got a Thornhill Vienna for my flat back horse and is very happy with it. Thornhill Klasse is even better, but it didn't fit her quite well, so I ended up with Vienna. Thornhill Saddles from Maryland Tack, Inc.

Black Country is AWESOME (but costly), however the used ones are definitely in your price range.

My saddle fitter didn't like MT much because of the way billets are done - too easy to pull off in long run.

BTW, my horse had asymmetric shoulders and the folded no-bow wrap fixed it (saddle fitter advice).
    02-15-2011, 10:20 AM
Thanks! I'll definitely check them out too.
    02-15-2011, 10:25 AM
Ooh, just found a new one that went up on Fine Used Saddles... I love their descriptions and pics! Fine Used Saddles | Best French, German, & English Saddles for Sale | Current Availability
    02-15-2011, 11:25 AM
Sorry for all the options. I think I've narrowed it down to these two...

Fine Used Saddles | Best French, German, & English Saddles for Sale | Current Availability

Fine Used Saddles | Best French, German, & English Saddles for Sale | Current Availability

I like the Black Country more, but the Schleese has the integrated half panels, and my local saddle fitter is a Schleese fitter / rep so I know she can do anything to that one... Anyone have opinions on either of these??
    02-15-2011, 12:43 PM
Zim, do you know where they located? I tried to find contact info and without success (which makes me little suspicious). Those saddles you posted look great, BTW.
    02-15-2011, 01:17 PM
It is a woman in Texas. I've spoken with her in the past when saddle searching. She does not have a store front, internet only for consignments. She seems very knowledgeable, especially about dressage saddles. I've never taken anything on trial from her, but have seen great recommendations from other forums.
    02-15-2011, 01:36 PM
Sorry to be off topic, but what the heck is a monoflap?
    02-15-2011, 01:38 PM
A monoflap only has one flap (no under flap) for more feel through the saddle. A few of the Toulouses listed above (the Larissa and Verona) are monoflaps.

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