Short billets versus long billets?
Bare with me here… I’m a complete dressage newbie. I’m currently looking at purchasing an older Passier dressage saddle and it has long billets, but I’ve seen some with shorter ones too. Now, I know long billets require a shorter dressage girth and short billets can use a longer, more all purpose style girth. Is that the only difference? Is there a reason most dressage saddles have longer billets?
To be honest, I’m not a fan of the longer billets because I like them to stay hidden. As I’ve been researching dressage saddles, I’ve seen quite a few where the billets are actually showing when the girth is tight and I don’t really like the look. If I get this Passier, I would definitely consider replacing the billets for shorter ones because that is my preference… but is there a reason I shouldn’t?
Thank you, and my apologies for the silliness of this question. :)
Long billets on dressage saddles serve to stabilize the saddle better, and reduce bulk under the riders leg. When you are riding dressage with a long leg, you will be thankful for the reduced bulk!!
I did have an old military dressage saddle which had short billets, had I kept the saddle I would have replaced the billets with long ones.
If you buy the saddle, I would highly suggest leaving the billets as is, as when you are learning you will want a close contact between your leg and the horse.
That definitely makes sense! I never even considered the fact that shorter billets create additional bulk under a rider's leg - I guess I've become so used to it that I don't even notice, but I can appreciate what you're saying about them possibly hindering a dressage rider's close contact with the horse. Is that why a dressage saddle has less padding in the flap as well, to allow for that contact between horse and rider?
Yes, and there are a lot of companies that have also come out with a monoflap to reduce the bulk even more. Glad I could help!
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So THAT'S what monoflap saddles are! I've heard a lot about them, but never knew exactly what they were or what made them different than other saddles. Can you tell I don't normally use a saddle? haha.
Thank you! You've been very helpful.
You can tuck the ends of the billets into some of the girths - for example this girth
Thorowgood Airoform Dressage Girth | Dover Saddlery
I prefer shorter billets on my dressage saddle.
I find the problem with the long billets and short girths is that the buckle then often lies right where the horse's elbow goes when in motion. The other thing that I like about short billets is that I can use the same girth for both my dressage and jumping saddles.
I think it all depends on if you like or don't like the feel of the buckles under the saddle flap.
Okay -- bumping this thread back up. My Passier saddle arrived yesterday and I was surprised to see that it had two long billets on each side and 1 short one. I'm almost positive there's a reason for it, but I don't know what it is.
The short billet is first, with the two long ones being the middle and last placement. The short billet also doesn't hang straight down... it kind of angles toward the front of the saddle a bit, but doesn't show when the flap is down.
courtney, the front strap is a point strap, used normaly to keep a saddle from slipping forwards on a roly poly pony.
it would indicat that at some point your saddle has had short straps and been on something rather round. adding point straps is easy enough, removing them will damage the saddle so when it was converted back into long straps they would have just left the point strap rather then do damage to the saddle
Faye -- very interesting! Thanks for clarifying that for me. :)
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