All purpose vs close contact?

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All purpose vs close contact?

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    12-25-2010, 07:00 PM
All purpose vs close contact?

I'm looking around at getting a new saddle..or rather saving up for a new really nice saddle that fits my horse like a glove..
I'm saddle-tarded basically. My current saddle is just a cheap synthetic Riviera Pro Am all purpose saddle.
I'm somewhat confused when it comes to all purpose vs close contact..what's a close contact for?
I ride english pleasure w/t/c with some jumping, more in the future..which do you think I should get all purpose or close contact?
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    12-25-2010, 07:23 PM
As far as I know, close contact saddles are more geared towards jumping.

Some say AP saddles are NO purpose saddles, because they are not particularly suited for any discipline.
    12-25-2010, 07:38 PM
All Purpose saddles = No Purpose Saddles. They are designed to allow the rider to beable to do any discipline with 1 saddle, but in reality it does not aid the rider at all.

Close Contact Saddles stirrup bars are placed in a forward position to allow the rider to obtain a proper jumping position while in tack, to aid the rider to ride the fences as functionally as they can. The seats of CC's arent as deep either, to aid the rider to obtain a lighter seat, to beable to functionally ride in a 2 point position.

They are, designed for Jumping.

Dressage Saddles, the stirrup bars are placed farther back, to allow the rider to obtain a straiter leg to be functional for the movements desired for the sport. The seats are deeper to allow the rider to beable to sit deeper and to allow the rider to remain at the verticle, balanced over their horses center of gravity. They are, designed for Dressage.

The All Purpose, has a mixture of everything. The Stirrup Bars are placed in the middle - not forward and not back - but right in the middle. Where they do not aid the rider to obtain a proper leg for jumping, nor a proper leg for dressage.

All Purpose saddles are "ok" for beginner riders and riders who do pleasure, and trail riding, and small fences, but if you are advancing to do jumping seriously, I would suggest you invest in a CC.
    12-25-2010, 08:25 PM
Green Broke
A good AP is better forflat work and small jumps. If you're going to be jumping higher than 2', then a good close contact or jumping saddle may be better for you.

I have a fleet of AP saddles for my lesson program, all good brands (4 Stubbens, a wintec, and an Avante). They are great to learn in as they are more secure, but they're not great for jumping more than small jumps in. Any of my students interested in jumping higher are encouraged to get their own flatter jumping saddle.

My daughter wants to even, so I'm ordering her a Thorowgood AP Broadback (Cob). It has a shallower close contact seat and a square cantle, more like halfway between an AP and a CC. It's a very cool saddle, though most appropriate for wider horses with low withers.
    12-25-2010, 08:46 PM
Awesome! Thank you for all the replies! I'll be getting a cc saddle then! Thanks so much.
Posted via Mobile Device
    12-26-2010, 07:51 PM
Originally Posted by MIEventer    
All Purpose saddles = No Purpose Saddles.
On the contrary: AP's are the perfect saddle for more than half the riders out there. The reason being, more than half of the riders out there don't do either dressage or jumping at high levels.

I did first level dressage and jumped up to 3' (on a 13.2H pony) in an AP - it was what I was given, so I never knew any different. I know 2 low-level eventers who only have AP saddles - If they'd had to buy two different saddles they couldn't afford to do the sport.

Like you're always pointing out, even jumpers should still do dressage... So if a rider can only afford one saddle it should be an AP, not a CC.
    12-26-2010, 08:10 PM
Green Broke
I really hate tha ap=np statement. A GOOD AP saddle is well balanced for flat work and jumping. I agree that you can't jump high in them (IMO 2' or less is best) and they're not always suitable for showing H/J (or English Pleasure), but they are good saddles to learn in. That's why all I have are AP saddles in my lesson program, and one VSD AP.

Yes, you do need to work a little harder to keep your position with long stirrups in Dressage work, but I feel that's a good thing. It strengthens the rider's muscles and muscle memory. For jumping, an AP saddle is great as you won't fall out if you get left behind or have some other awkward jump. I like the stirrup bars as they are not too far forward. I see more chair seats in the hunter ring around here than anything else. Your heel should STILL be under your rear, even with short stirrups and even over fences. Keeping your leg back makes it easier to go in to a 2-point or half seat and stay balanced, so you don't have to throw yourself forward or stick your butt way out.

So, IMO, learning jumping is easier in an AP than a CC. However, if a rider wants to show or is past the basics and jumping 2' or higher in lessons, then a CC or jump saddle is the way to go.
    12-26-2010, 08:50 PM
Maybe. To each their own, if A/P's work for you, than great - so be it. But I think they are an unhappy inbetween. They don't aid the rider what-so-ever *depending on discipline*

I used to ride in a Wintec 500 A/P and I loved it. I swore up and down everytime I heard A/P's = N/P's, and said that was incorrect. I was able to do dressage just fine, and I was able to jump just fine in mine, and I was quite adamant on that...until I got a coach who actually made me work, and made me focus on my position.

When it came time to actually get my leg under me, and me to balance over my feet - I couldn't do it. It physically hurt hurt when I tried. I had no idea. Whenever my Coach tried to get me to get up into a functional two point, I couldn't do it without losing my balance - I physically tried over and over over and over, and blamed myself for the incorrectness, to find out it was the saddle.

Now, I have a CC, and that saddle HELPS me get into the proper position, without struggle and without physical pain. Because it is designed for it.

Your saddle is supposed to aid you, not hinder you. I've ridden in a few A/P's - and I found the same result - the struggle to get my position, and my leg under me and to stay out of my tack - could be how I am built maybe, but I hear from a lot of people the same story about A/P's.
    12-26-2010, 09:15 PM
Green Broke
MIE just curious...what would you call my saddle...the Collegiate Convertible Senior Event?

It almost reminds me of a cross between AP and CC...I would love a true CC know my unfortunate troubles with them :/
Posted via Mobile Device
    12-26-2010, 09:28 PM
I know you have a hard time - have you looked into a saddle like this:

Albion Saddlemakers

Your saddle, the Collegiate Convertible Event, is an A/P. The flaps are not forward enough for bigger fences, but it is a saddle that works for you. If it works for you, then that's great. But I do think you will find problems with your position and your knee's when you start jumping bigger fences. Your knees will surpass the flaps when you shorten your leathers to accomodate bigger fences.

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