Dressage saddles for back/seat issues
First, tks for your time! As a mature western rider, but new to dressage I am baffled by the saddle choices. I have had back/seat issues in the past so I'm looking for a very "cushioned" seat. My hope is to become a better rider, but I have no plans to show, other than perhaps training shows. I've tried to sort through the different "review" sites, but comparisons are very tricky. My trainer likes Prestige, Bates, Albions, but none of these feel right for me. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated; my budget is @$1,000 for a used saddle. cheers, kay
I really like Keiffer's, but they're quite pricey. Would it be possible to go to a tack shop and sit on some, or take one on trial and test it out?
I'll look at Kieffers. There are no tack shops in the middle of no-where, but if I can narrow down some "soft-seats" I'll bite the bullet & pay the fee/shipping charges to do a couple of trials from vendors that allow trials.
I was going to recommend Prestige and Albion. Both are very well made saddles with lots of lower back support.
You might find that instead of depending on a saddle to help you with your back that doing physio and some strengthening exercises at the gym your back will be healthier. My back stopped giving me grief once I started doing more trunk/core work and lots of back exercises. I also find that I prefer a very firm seat (ie. KN, Passier, Stubben) with a memory foam pad (I use EcoGold) underneath.
Black Country, Schleese or Elegance might also be a good fit if you are looking for a softer seat.
I love my Schleese but they are pricey. Since you don't have any tack stores near you maybe you could try some out from usedsaddles.com . I checked out two saddles that way and determined I did not like the fit for my leg and promptly returned them. I was only out the cost of the shipping but that was much better than buying a saddle that wasn't for me, then having to try and sell it.
I have a kieffer and I really like it but they are not really "cushy" (I think that's what you are looking for). At least the Lech DL isn't. I really like albions too but since you already know you don't like them I won't get into it.
When I was looking I sat in an M. Toulouse and it was amazing. I remember the saddle fitter saying that the construction on the inside is webbed so it has a lot of give and shock absorbency. I think they are in your budget too. Perhaps worth looking in to?
No matter what you will really need to try it out. I think Pelham will ship their saddles for test rides.
Love my Thornhill Vienna (that was under $1000 new), and the trainer currently riding my horses says compliments about it too all the time how cushion and comfortable it is under her butt. I'd also recommend Black Country and County - both very nice, soft, and comfortable, but you gotta be extremely lucky to find one under $1000. So far I haven't seen any.
P.S. Don't know about Prestige, but I found Albion and Bates to be pretty hard under my butt, as well as Stubben.
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