Dressage saddle for small Morgan
My horse is getting delivered next weekend and I need to start saddle shopping for her.
The current owner rides her in a Pessoa AO close contact saddle, medium tree size 16.5 and it fits her very well.
How does that translate into Dressage saddle fit? Is there are cross reference somewhere?
Any small Morgan owners out there who ride in a Dressage saddle?
She's on the smallish side 14'3 and has lost most of her muscle tone over the winter.
Thanks in advance
Shameless advertising, but I am selling a 16.5 Dressage saddle with a medium tree..
Honestly, I haven't heard of much cross over in terms of sizing, but every saddle fits each person and each horse a little differently.
Close contact and dressage will be pretty similar size-wise, but you'll find a good amount of variation between brands, though. Medium trees are a good starting point, with the seat size depending on your own measurements :-) When in doubt, look for a good saddle fitter!
There aren't any saddle fitters in my immediate area. However, I did find a lady online who specializes in fitting Morgans and she recommended the Thornhill Vienna or Klasse to me.
Trumbull Mountain is great with saddle fitting, and do distance fitting I believe!
16.5 is a small seat size. Is that what you need? Don't buy a saddle unless there's a written guarantee of a refund if it doesn't fit your horse. When I sell a used saddle I request full payment and there are conditions such as date it has to be returned by (usually three days), in the same condition it went out the door (no cleaning or oiling), not marked and I will issue a full refund.
I don't know what seat size I need but the horse's previous owner had a 16.5 saddle on her. It kind of fit me. I probably would have been more comfortable in a 17 but since the horse is so small, don't I need to take that into consideration?
This is my first horse so I've never had to buy a saddle before. I would venture a guess that most saddles I've ridden in were not the best fit for me but I just made it work. So I'm kind of excited to actually buy a saddle that fits me and my horse.
Can you go to a tack store and sit in some different saddles so you get a better idea of what seat and flap size you need? How tall are you and how heavy if you don't mind my asking? I know you were asking about short flap saddles, so if you're shorter you may be able to get away with something pretty small, but if not, you may find a small saddle puts you in a bad position, and the reverse if you're really short and buy something with a regular flap. What kind of budget are you working with?
I like youth saddles for small horses if you can fit and don't have the budget for a high end saddle, but I think you could get away with up to a 17" or maybe 17.5" depending on your horse's back length. I rode my 14.2 h QH in a 17" forward flap saddle, and can actually ride my 14 h pony in it, but I think she looks silly since the forward flap looks like it swallows her whole. Also keep in mind that if she's missing muscle, if you get her fitted now, the saddle may be too narrow in 6 months, so I'd either look at adjustable trees the right shape or consider going a hair wide and shimming, or possibly borrowing something for a few months. My TB came without topline and has gone up at least half a tree size since October, so it's lucky my saddles started too big.
You may be overthinking the saddle a bit :-) See what your local tack store has in a medium tree, sit in them and see what is most comfortable for you, then take 2-3 of them home (if your tack store allows this; most in my area seem to) and see which one(s) fit your horse as well. If you can't get a saddle fitter, try and get a trainer, vet, or experienced friend to help judge the fit.
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