I feel like a goober! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-29-2010, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Idaho, USA
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Question I feel like a goober!

So, I bought this older courbette saddle at a secondhand store for $50, which is pretty amazing. It is a 17", which is my size, and I can fit a hand between the cantle and my behind~ so apperently I fit in it okay. . .
BUT, I feel ridiculous! It seems like my legs have nowhere to go! I've only ridden in forward cut saddles before, so I'm wondering if I will get more comfortable as my muscles become accustomed to it, or if it actually doesn't fit me after all. . .
Dressage people: did your saddle feel weird as all get out when you started riding in it?
Here's a picture of the saddle. I'll try to get someone to take a picture of me in it soon.
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-30-2010, 01:51 AM
Green Broke
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I don't ride dressage(as badly as I would like to), but I used to ride in a tiny CC, and I just recently switched to a AP with MUCH longer flaps, and I, too, feel quite awkward. I keep wanting to bring my stirrups up, but when I do my knees go over the flaps. I have gotten a bit more accustomed to it, so i'm sure it's just going to take some time to get used to. And that saddle is gorgeous, BTW. What a steal!
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-30-2010, 02:49 AM
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Ohhh i know that feeling all to well lol.
I went from a 15" pony saddle which was to small (had it since i was 9, then i got back in it and was 13) to a 16.5" that fits me properly now (i am 15) but when i go to my other 16.5 which has smaller flaps i feel so **** ******ed lol. I can jump really well in it but i hate it, it feels so awkward and on the flat i loose stirrups in it constantly. lol

R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-30-2010, 09:04 AM
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The fit of a saddle to the rider isn't just about seat size. You can have a tiny backside and fit in a 16", but if you've got super long legs you may need to ride in an 18" to accommodate your legs. If you have long legs, it may be that the flaps are too short for you, and it's not going to fit you. It can also go the other way like myself, I have short legs and find some saddle horrible to ride in becomes of how my legs are positioned in it.

In saying that, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by your legs having nowhere to go in it? They should not go over the front of the knee roll, and in dressage, unlike jumping, you should not rely on your knee and lower leg to balance, hence the longer stirrups and neutral heel position. Take your feet out of the stirrups, the correct length stirrups will knock against your ankle joint (the bottom of the stirrup). It may be your stirrup length that is making your feel uncomfortable as you are not yet used to riding in longer stirrups and having to rely on your seat for balance.
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-30-2010, 12:10 PM
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- Payette - if a saddle feels uncomfortable when you first get on - it won't get better after a time. You should acquire from the very beginning a saddle which firstly fits the horse and secondly which feels comfortable for you.

You don't use a dressage saddle for jumping and preferably not for trail riding.

I have four saddles in my tack room - none of them can be used on my present horse because they don't fit her broad back. To me they are worthless.

Do a search on the internet for 'saddle fitting' and learn the principles involved - the saddle and the bit are the two most important items of tack for you to buy. Make sure you acquire the correct types and sizes to fit your horse.

A badly fitting saddle will be cause for your horse to behave badly.

xxBarry Godden is offline  
post #6 of 16 Old 06-30-2010, 12:32 PM
Green Broke
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^^ She wasn't referring to how it fit her horse, but how it fit her. And yes, it most certainly can get more comfortable over time, when you get used to longer flaps/stirrups, so long as the saddle is her correct size. I have recently moved to a saddle with longer flaps that looks quite like a dressage saddle with its long flaps, and it has deffinately become more comfortable over time as i've gotten accustomed to the change in posistion.
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Last edited by Sunny; 06-30-2010 at 12:37 PM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-30-2010, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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It seems to fit my horse well, but my horse is very green still, and I usually ride her in a western saddle, because we are trail riding, generally. But, I've stolen my kids' pony, firstly to pony my green horses off of, and secondly to give him a little refresher, because it is spring, and he's young and full of himself . . . I ususally ride him bareback, because there is no saddle that fits him well and me. . . However, I have ridden him in this saddle a couple times. It might be perched a little high because he has a broad back, but all in all it seems decent on him.
The weirdness arises when I sit up there. First my stirrups were too short, and my knees went over the thigh blocks. Now they are long enough, and if I contort myself enough, my legs seem to hang where they should, but as soon as I don't pay attention to keeping myself contorted, I feel like my legs want to stick out in front of the saddle. Also, my feet feel floppy in the stirrups. When I rode with the stirrups removed, it was a bit better, because then I only had to remember to torque my legs backward periodically, instead of fishing for dropped stirrups simultaneously. . .
I think it is mostly unfamiliarity, but I'm also thinking an 18" saddle might work better. I am 5'8", so my legs are fairly long. They're not very flexible though!
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-30-2010, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry Godden View Post
- Payette - if a saddle feels uncomfortable when you first get on - it won't get better after a time. You should acquire from the very beginning a saddle which firstly fits the horse and secondly which feels comfortable for you.

Sorry, I disagree with the first sentence completely. If your seat isn't very good and your position is not accurate, a straight cut saddle will accentuate it and will feel uncomfortable until you get used to straightening your leg down.

As for not jumping in a dressage/straight cut saddle, if you have a broad or big shouldered native, chances are that a straight cut style will fit your horse and allow more freedom of movement than a forward cut one.

My butt fits in a 16.5in saddle (although I have long legs, you need to reach round his belly because he is so big) unfortunately that looks like a pea on a drum on Jack's back and wouldn't fit anyone else in future, or distribute the rider's weight properly, so I ride in an 18in GPD/straight cut made specifically to fit him
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-30-2010, 06:03 PM
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Sorry, but first priority is that the saddle must fit the horse's back then if it fits the horse, both in width and length, then it must fit the rider as well.

The rider must be able to sit in the correct seating position on the saddle which is on the horse - the rider must not adjust his/her riding position in order to adjust to an ill fitting saddle.

A poorly fitting saddle will transfer the rider's weight unevenly onto the horse's back and the most likely result will be pressure sores. The horse will feel pain and will react accordingly.

The rider's seating position is the key to his/her riding ability. The saddle should fit the rider not the rider the saddle.

If a cheap saddle fits the horse, fine, but if it doesn't fit the width and length of the horse's back then throw it away.

If this horse has a broad back then it needs a wide or extra wide saddle.

A western saddle spreads the rider's weight across the horse's back and is for this reason more flexible in use. An English saddle has a much smaller footprint and must fit correctly.

But the internet is not the place to discuss the correct fit of a horse's saddle.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-30-2010, 06:17 PM
Green Broke
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^ I'm pretty sure shes just not used to going from a jumping (or western) seat to a dressage seat. the saddles are very different, shes probably just no used to the deep seat of a dressage saddle, compared to the lighter seat of a jumper.

If there are no horses in heaven... im not going.
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