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Incitatus32 01-05-2013 12:41 PM

Dressage Saddle Brands
 
I've been riding dressage for about 2 and a half years now (3 years come spring) and so far have been riding in an all purpose english saddle. I've decided to pursue dressage further and am now in the market for a dressage saddle. I've found this brand: Thornhill Germania Klasse Saddle and was wondering if anyone had any experience with it. Or had any recommendations as to brands. (My budget is not over a thousand dollars severely; I can go over but not outrageously so. Definitely not close to $2,000!) The other brand I've been looking at is the EquiRoyal Newport Dressage Saddle.
I live in an area where there are very few dressage riders (only three that I know of) and there are no tack shops (let alone any that sell dressage saddles) so a good trial policy/return policy that any specific company has would be great! :)

Here are the links to the ads of the saddles I've been looking at:

EquiRoyal Newport Dressage Saddle Pkg - Horse.com

Thornhill Germania Klasse Saddle - Horse.com

So any help would be greatly appreciated! :)

kitten_Val 01-05-2013 12:55 PM

I have Vienna by Thornhill and like it a lot (also was the best fit out of bunch of saddles I tried). I use it for 3 years or so, and it still looks like new after I clean/condition (which I do usually once a month or 2). Several other people on forum own Vienna and also very happy with it (it puts the rider in a correct position and very comfy to sit on).

I did try Klasse as well, and it was a very nice saddle (although more expensive than Vienna). Unfortunately it wasn't such a good fit, so I passed on Klasse. Keep in mind though that Thornhill is a good fit for wide horses, and Klasse seemed to be even wider than my Vienna (therefore bad fit even with medium size tree).

P.S. Stay away from all those cheap "packages". You get what you pay for - junk that doesn't usually fit the horse and uncomfortable to ride.

DraftXDressage 01-05-2013 12:57 PM

I would not consider the EquirRoyal or any other low end "package deal" saddle. They are not well made or well balanced, and if that were my only option, I think I would vastly prefer to ride bareback.

I ride in a Thornhill Zurich and have been riding in various Thornhills for several years now. I think they are an excellent value for the price.

That being said, though, it may or may not fit your horse. The Klasse also has a fairly sizable external block, which also may or may not fit you terribly well. I cannot ride in the Klasse, as my femurs are too long for a flap cut that straight and bearing such a substantial external block. I know you have said there are not many options local to you, but if you have to buy online, I would suggest working with a retailer who will allow you a trial period.

Incitatus32 01-05-2013 01:07 PM

Thanks! I've been trying to avoid anything synthetic or cheap material with a fiery passion! My horse that I do dressage with is a draft cross and now that he's put on some muscle and finished growing he's pretty wide. I'll have to check that one out!

DraftXDressage: do know of any retailers who are good with trials? I remember one that was like 'something something.... mountain shop' or something similar but if you could recommend anyone that would be great! Thanks for all the input!! :)

kitten_Val 01-05-2013 01:11 PM

Trumbull Mountain, you mean? :wink: Yes, they are very good about trial policy (and just overall, and you can get their advice on fit). Other ones are Classic Saddlery, Pelham Saddlery, and Middleburg Tack Exchange (I went there in person, and they usually have lots of used dressage saddles of nice brands). Good luck!

DraftXDressage 01-05-2013 05:44 PM

Classic is my favorite shop to work, but I do not believe they carry any Thornhills. That being said, I recently purchased an M. Toulouse jump saddle from them, and that is another maker I would recommend. I was not a huge fan of their saddles in the past, but the newer models are quite nice for the price.

kitten_Val 01-05-2013 06:35 PM

^^ They carry used ones from time to time. BTW, another brand to look into (for wider horses) is Duett - also nice one for the price (Trumbull Mountain carries them).

As for MT dressage - the one I tried run narrow for my horses (plus my fitter didn't like the way billets were made). I do own jumping MT though (I had to go with the wide one while I have medium Thornhill).

Incitatus32 01-05-2013 06:48 PM

Thank you so much! :)

nikelodeon79 01-05-2013 09:50 PM

Do a search for saddle fitters in your general area. You'd be surprised how far they'll travel!
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DraftXDressage 01-06-2013 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kitten_Val (Post 1830496)
^^ They carry used ones from time to time. BTW, another brand to look into (for wider horses) is Duett - also nice one for the price (Trumbull Mountain carries them).

As for MT dressage - the one I tried run narrow for my horses (plus my fitter didn't like the way billets were made). I do own jumping MT though (I had to go with the wide one while I have medium Thornhill).

My Thornhill is a 35 cm (the widest tree the Zurich comes in), but I have not had any issues getting my MT jump saddle to fit. However, I do have the Genesis tree, so I don't know how the widths stack up, but I will say that my jump saddle could go way, way wider than I have it set.


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