Saddle Flaps

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Saddle Flaps

This is a discussion on Saddle Flaps within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • 18" western saddle with long flaps
  • How to fit riders leg to dressage saddle flap

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    09-18-2013, 08:11 PM
Saddle Flaps

I figured I would ask here about dressage saddles because I figure here would have more experience.

Any how, I own a 14.3 hh but small barreled mare, mind you she takes a med/wide saddle. I found a 17.5 med/wide dressage saddle that fits both of us good, probably is the flaps look long on her (down her sides), if they were any shorter on me they would catch on the top of my half chaps. Being 5'9" I know we're a bit of an odd couple but we have fun together, I do have to cue with the upper part of my calf because my legs are too long to reach higher up even in a western saddle.

Where should the flaps hit lay on the horse to be okay (picture would be good), where would be to long? It may be because I've never owned a dressage saddle, but honestly if I have to sell it and go back to a AP saddle I guess I have too. In this saddle she needs a 26"-28" girth. How long are the flaps on a dressage saddle normally? What's considered long/short/normal?

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    09-19-2013, 12:59 PM
Here is a link to a websit that has a drawing which shows the dressage saddle's position and length in comparison to the horses girth.

Best Dressage Apparel for Beginning Riders

Here is another site which shows a dressage saddle on a pony:

You can see that the poniy's saddle pad comes lower than the horses. (At least one other picture on that site shows the pad and saddle VERY low on the horses side.)

Where should the flaps hit lay on the horse to be okay (picture would be good), where would be to long? See pictures above. Flaps should ideally not cover your entire leg (half or less coverage is acceptable) as too much coverage would "dull" the horse to your leg aides.
    09-19-2013, 01:26 PM
Sorry I mean when is the flap to long on the horse? Or maybe you answered that, it looks like 2/3rds of the way is normal. But how long is too long?
    09-20-2013, 12:01 AM
Green Broke
The flap length really is more of a rider fit thing than horse fit. You're unlikely to find a dressage saddle whose flap is too long for your horse unless it's HUGE, in which case it would be too long for your horse's back too. Your horse sounds very similar in build to mine (15hh, med wide, 28" girth) and a regular flap length looks perfectly fine on him.
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    09-20-2013, 06:51 AM
Thanks, I think its just something that is bothering me because I am use to close contact or Ap saddles. It has a 17" flap from the stirrup bar to the bottom, which seems to be normal.

But the saddle only leaves about 10" of her belly showing and that's well into the curve of her barrel, so I've decided to sell it. I hate too but I guess we are not meant to ride in a dressage saddle and it's not worth keeping around to try on the Clydesdales. Money will go towards a more suiting saddle.

Thanks for the help
    09-20-2013, 07:08 AM
Double post
    09-23-2013, 12:25 AM
Green Broke
There's definitely something to be said for what you're used to seeing. My barn is primarily dressage- when I got a jumping saddle for my horse (which DOES fit him) the first person who saw it on him giggled and asked why I had gotten such a small saddle.

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