What size dressage saddle?
   

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What size dressage saddle?

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  • How to afford a dressage and a jumping saddle
  • Are dressage and jumping saddles sized the same

 
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    06-23-2012, 03:49 AM
  #1
Weanling
What size dressage saddle?

If I ride in a 16.5 close contact jumping saddle, about what size of dressage saddle would I need? I'm about 5'4, and have shorter legs, any thoughts?
     
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    06-23-2012, 05:53 AM
  #2
Yearling
That's going to depend on the saddle. When I was buying my dressage saddle, I tried eight saddles in the store, and four of those on the horse. They were all the same "size" and they all felt completely different. Some of them felt cramped, some felt too big. A lot of it seemed to do with the shape of the tree and the size, shape, and position of the blocks. I'd start by checking out a selection of 16.5 saddles down at the tack shop.
     
    06-23-2012, 11:51 AM
  #3
Weanling
The only thing around here is: my closest tack shop that would maybe have a few sizes of dressage saddles is about an hour away. My state isn't real big on English riding disciplines.

Maybe when I start dressage lessons, the instructor could give me some insight. I've just been checking out what additional tack I may need if I get into dressage.
     
    06-23-2012, 12:54 PM
  #4
Yearling
Bear in mind that although your comfort is fairly important, the horse's is paramount. The saddle needs to fit him before you :)
     
    06-23-2012, 11:54 PM
  #5
Yearling
Saddle needs to fit *both* of you. A saddle that fits the horse but doesn't fit you is going to put you into the wrong position, causing problems fro both of you in the long run...if you're taking dressage lessons at a facility, perhaps they'll have several types of saddles you can try?

Also, several of the tack shops that have online presences (I'm thinking of Dover and Smartpak to start) have saddle try-out programs where you can try before you buy. If you can narrow down your search to a few brands or styles that seem to work OK for you, you can do some experimenting that involves the horse too.
     
    06-24-2012, 01:31 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
Agree with above. I would think you would be ok in a 17 inch, too.
     
    06-24-2012, 05:44 AM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThursdayNext    
Saddle needs to fit *both* of you. A saddle that fits the horse but doesn't fit you is going to put you into the wrong position, causing problems fro both of you in the long run...if you're taking dressage lessons at a facility, perhaps they'll have several types of saddles you can try?
I call BS. If you are a decent rider you can ride in any size saddle.
In the showring in the UK most horses have an 18 inch saddle because the judge will ride and for male judges you don't want a tiny saddle. Most of the women who ride on the go round could be quite happy in a 16 inch saddle but having an 18 inch saddle doesnt affect thier position.

I personaly can ride in anything from a 15" to an 18" and have never thought twice about saddle size. Infact I would say that if you are relying on the saddle to hold you in position then you seriously need to go back to basics.

Get the size that is best for your horse and then lear to ride in it.

ETA when I had stans saddle Made to measure for him I went with a 17.5" saddle as it was the best size for him and looked the best when on him. He could not have taken an 18 inch despite needing occasionaly to be ridden by the judge. I ride Reeco in a 16.5" (and got over 69% in our 2nd ever dressage test) and the horse I am taking on whilst Reeco is on box rest has an 18" saddle. Pride has a 16" saddle.
     
    06-24-2012, 05:54 AM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by faye    
I call BS. If you are a decent rider you can ride in any size saddle.
In the showring in the UK most horses have an 18 inch saddle because the judge will ride and for male judges you don't want a tiny saddle. Most of the women who ride on the go round could be quite happy in a 16 inch saddle but having an 18 inch saddle doesnt affect thier position.

I personaly can ride in anything from a 15" to an 18" and have never thought twice about saddle size. Infact I would say that if you are relying on the saddle to hold you in position then you seriously need to go back to basics.

Get the size that is best for your horse and then lear to ride in it.

ETA when I had stans saddle Made to measure for him I went with a 17.5" saddle as it was the best size for him and looked the best when on him. He could not have taken an 18 inch despite needing occasionaly to be ridden by the judge. I ride Reeco in a 16.5" (and got over 69% in our 2nd ever dressage test) and the horse I am taking on whilst Reeco is on box rest has an 18" saddle. Pride has a 16" saddle.
Not BS. I can tell you haven't had a lot of experience riding in a saddle that is an inch and a half too small for you. Too big for you is not great, but it's massively better than too small. Or one that has big blocks that don't work with your hip joints. This isn't as much of an issue when you're 20, but if you're 45 or 50, it can be a major problem.

OP says only that s/he is considering LEARNING dressage, is not already a competent dressage rider.
     
    06-24-2012, 06:25 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Yep I have ridden in saddles that were very small. (15" saddle on an 12.2hh pony) not the most comfortable to go out on a hack in but doesnt affect your position.
I'm 5ft4 and according to some should be in a 17" saddle.

I've experiance of rideing hundreds of horses. I school horses all over the place and ride in what ever saddle i'm presented with provided it fits the horse so that can be dressage saddles, jumping saddles, half panel show saddles (i.e no knee rolls at all) i've even tried a horse in a bareback pad! I source horses for other people (notably para riders who can't afford to take a fall so i'm the one that gets on the horse first)

I was on UNI teams where you have 10 mins to get used to a horse and then have to do a 1.20m showjumping course and a novice/elem dressage test doesnt matter what size the saddle is you get on and ride the horse.
I also get catch rides at shows this can be anything from a 12.2hh pony to an 18hh HW hunter.

This is me riding in a range of saddles, these are all horses that I either owned or schooled for a significant amount of time (over 6months)
16.5"

18"

17.5"

This little lad had a 16" saddle
     
    06-24-2012, 06:33 AM
  #10
Green Broke
Oh and moi doing some pony squashing on the 12.2hh pony in a 15"saddle (i have since lost a significant amount of weight)
Harvey was being an absolute brat in the showring for his tiny rider, so I took over and gave hima sort out!

And a couple of years later haveing lost a lot of weihgt
     

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