Suggestions for a dressage saddle? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-29-2013, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 131
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Suggestions for a dressage saddle?

I am having one heck of a time finding a dressage saddle that fits my horse and myself. The issue is that I am 5'1", so I need a short flap. He is a paint, so he is very wide but has high withers. So my issue has been if I find something wide enough to fit him, it sinks down on his withers. I am hoping to spend around $2,000. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have a few people in the area that have the tools to determine how well it fits, but I am looking for a place to start (as far as brand). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-29-2013, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
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I *love* Master/Mike Corcoran saddles. My saddle fitter had a Master and Marvel model that she let me try and I was actually mad at her for a little while after because it was SO much more comfortable than anything else she showed me, but even used they're generally out of the price range I had given her. I ended up saving up a little more money and got their other dressage model, Merit (it took me a while to find one anyway, so it worked out; they're a little hard to find, but definitely not impossible)

All of their saddles have a wither gusset which helps to fill in that space behind the withers so it doesn't sink down on the withers like the problem you've been having. I'm also a petite rider (5'2" with a short inseam, even for my height) and these saddles work really well for me; I didn't realize how much I was fighting my old saddle to stay in a good position until I tried these saddles.

I liked the Marvel model the most; the Merit that I ended up buying is almost as awesome. The Master that my saddle fitter had was also nice, but when I found one of those for sale and tried it out it didn't seem quite as comfortable; it was a slightly bigger seat size, so that might have been the reason.

These saddles get sold as both "Mike Corcoran Saddlery" and "Master Saddlery D. Boot and L. Bachelor" The models are built the same, but have different plates on them.

You can usually find a used one in very good condition around $2000; they're over $4000 new. The Marvel my saddle fitter showed me that I initially fell in love with was a custom made saddle with short flaps; I'm not sure if the one I ended up with also has custom short flaps or not but I suspect it might; it fits my leg length well.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-29-2013, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 979
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I bought a Verhan Iliad last year (used for $1500), and absolutely love it. No other saddle let my horse swing in the shoulder that nicely.

Verhan Saddlery

I don't think they make the Iliad anymore, but they're really good about working with customers.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-30-2013, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: NW Houston, TX
Posts: 1,360
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My horse has high withers and a wide flat back, what we found worked was a W tree Frank Baines with a half pad. He muscled up beautifully and no more half pad! Horses with high withers need a wider tree than most people think, the master saddler I used has never fit a high withered horse in less than a MW and all the horses which previously had muscle atrophy from a narrow or medium tree (though it gets the saddle off their withers it is too narrow for proper muscling) muscled out beautifully and no longer required a half pad. It appears that your horse does have some muscle atrophy, there is not supposed to be a dip where their withers are, and having high withers doesn't mean they have to have that dip

Sully ~Sullivan's Fly Supply~ [17.1 TB] RIP 2/24/14
Rio ~Camperio~ [18.0 Oldenburg]

Last edited by SullysRider; 03-30-2013 at 06:31 PM. Reason: Fixing grammar error
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