Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: dark side of the moon
I've ridden XC in many types of saddles, the most important thing is being able to get your stirrups short enough and still fit the saddle/be balanced. I had a Wintec AP that I started off in, but to get my stirrups short enough, my knee went in front of the knee roll of the saddle, so when I went over the fence, the saddle would push my leg back, and the cantle would hit me in the butt, not fun and not secure.
I then used a Pessoa A/O (it was sold to me as a Blythe Tait) and I had the same issue, except there was very little knee roll or cantle, so my leg slipped back, aside from that, the tree was wide in the front, but narrow in the back, so it made the saddle sit weird and I ended up on my horse's neck about 10 times the day I was learning to jump brush fences!
I then switched to a Crosby Sofride AP, which I did most of my recent eventing career in, it is awesome, I could get my stirrups very very short, or ride with them long, and it was balanced at every stirrup length. It was a saddle that was easy to get out of over the fences, and (more importantly!) back into.
Unfortunately, the Crosby does not fit either of my horses anymore (gelding grew and got too wide almost immediately, and mare has undetected ulcers for a very long time, has gotten rid of them and is now much, much wider!), my go-to saddle is my Beval Natural, it's actually a flat seat with no rear blocks, but it does have knee rolls and a padded flap (the Natural has tons of options!), it's not a XC saddle, more of a H/J/Eq type, but the balance is so nice on it that it's nice for stadium and XC both. It has a narrower twist than the Crosby so I feel closer to my horse and actually a bit more secure, despite that flat seat.
Good luck and keep us posted what you get :)