Saddles (which one?):
TackTrader Item ID: 311893 - TackTrader.com Classifieds -- Love everything about this saddle, except it being two toned.
TackTrader Item ID: 314096 - TackTrader.com Classifieds -- Seems alright, I like straighter flaps, but I guess that is just me.
TackTrader Item ID: 317886 - TackTrader.com Classifieds -- Just a tad small for me, but it looks like a nice saddle. I have heard that Kieffers are nice.
Flex Rider Inga Dressage Saddle - Dover Saddlery. -- Seems nice enough...
Bridles (which one?):
Ovation Dressage Bridle Bling 2009 CLOSEOUT SALE - Over 2000 Products Clearance - Huge Savings HorseLoverZ.com -- Really like!
Henri de Rivel Raised/Padded Dressage Bridle with Jawband Crank & Flash with Web Reins Bridles Tack English HorseLoverZ.com -- Not a fan of cranks, but seems all right.
Jaguar Rsd Self-Padded Bridle with Crank & Flash - Black - Oversize OUTLET STORE - NAME BRANDS for LESS Clearance - Huge Savings HorseLoverZ.com -- Again, not a fan of cranks, but MAN what a nice bridle! It is normally $450! O.O
Coronet Cyprium Oval Link Ring Bit - 5" Loose Ring Bits English HorseLoverZ.com -- The oval link seems to be real popular...
Coronet French Link Loose Ring Bit Loose Ring Bits English HorseLoverZ.com -- I know some horses work better in french links... "/
Kensington Saddle Pads from SmartPak Equine -- In blue, for schooling.
Still looking for a show pad. =]
I have a black Mattes half pad, which I love dearly. Will this be okay for showing dressage, or do I need a white half pad?
So tell me which "set" would be best for up to 2nd level dressage. My horse is a lightly flea bitten gray.
My current get up
A Thorowgood dressage saddle, which is a little to small for me, but fits Bear alright (I still use a half pad just to play it safe)! Then he has a nice dressage bridle (sadly the little brand screw fell off some time before I bought it). It is black with what was hunter padding (now is navy colored). The picture that is a close up of the saddle and such has my Mattes hald pad under it. =]
For tack - I use the same stuff I use at home. Same bridle, girth, saddle, bit and kind of saddle pad. The only thing I switch out is I put on a nice browband.
For saddle selection, you can't just look at something in a picture, decide you like it and buy it. You need to select something that is built for your horse's back and for your seat/leg. When I bought my saddle I wasn't particularity fond of how it looked on the rack, but it fits my horse and I so it's what I bought. Also make sure you are not buying something simply because it is cheap, you want high quality tack so you can have it for tens of years.
For bridles, buy the highest quality you can afford and take care of it properly. It is a good investment like a high quality saddle.
For bits, use what is good for your horse.
For pads, because you have a half pad, you want to make sure that anything else you purchase pad wise is very thin. We want to minimize bulk. The saddle pad you posted looks bulky.
A black half pad is fine for shows.
If this stuff is for you then I'm not sure about some of your comments. "Seems alright, I like straighter flaps, but I guess that is just me."...well this saddle will be yours so don't get one whose flaps you aren't happy with. Same with the one that you say is possibly too small...if it's not going to fit you, there's really no point in looking at it no matter how nice the saddle is.
I wouldn't get somethink I didn't like just because it's normally super expensive and you can get it cheap. A 4000 dollar saddle that I don't like doesn't get better if it is suddenly being sold for 500 dollars.
Anebel is 1000 percent spot on about not getting a saddle based on a picture. There were so many saddles that I sat in that looked like they would be fantastic that I just didn't enjoy sitting in. It took me about 2 months to find the right saddle for both me and my horse.
I think the county just doesn't look as straight because of how it is sitting on whatever they have it sitting on. The ones I have seen were straight. I like county's and I just got to ride in a kieffer for the first time on Monday, it was super comfy and has a huge cut back if your horse has higher withers.
The flex riders are a knockoff of the wintecs, I would suggest just getting a wintec if you want to go that route, I was not impressed with them when I saw them at the local tack shop.
I select a bunch of different saddles I like, and that I know fit me, then from those pick which fits my horse best.
I bought a fleeceworks half pad and used it a few times. This was when fleece works first became popular/mainstream. Even without an additional "regular" pad underneath the half pad made my saddle slide all over. I think my saddle fit to well, before, to even need the half pad. If the saddle doesnt fit when I use a regular square pad, I sell it and get a new one. I believe saddles are ment to fit right on a horses back, the pad just keeps the saddle from getting sweaty, hairy ect.
Now that I really look at your saddle, it looks like the pad is making it front high which could be putting extra pressure of the back of the horse's back. Why are you using it? Is your saddle too wide? Don't thorowgoods have those fish things?
The fish add a little area between the flaps, not all thorowgoods have the fish. Just like an easy change gullet, it doesnt do to much to change the fit of the saddle. They are incerts you stick in just below where the flap meets the tree. It goes in horizontally. I think they are ment to be taken out as the horse develops more back muscle. But in my case, with my stock horse she dosent need them.
WOW, thanks for the replies everyone!
I used the half pad for Bear, as I was told that he needs the extra padding until he gets his top line back. The Mattes I have has the inserts for the little fleece things... The front inserts have then in right now, and I am going to see how he does with them in the back, and then see how he does with them out all together. Bear has a very sensitive back, so I have to be careful. Now, I know you all are going to say, well dont ride him until his top line is somewhat muscled, well trust me, im working on it. I finally got my side reins and such, so starting today I am going to start that up with him.
So I still really like the Ainsley (I think it was), but I have heard some great things about Thornhill dressage saddles. I have heard that the Vienna II fits TBs pretty well. Jeffer's has it on sale super cheap right now, and I am also looking to one used one. I am going to sell both my saddles and just buy the best dressage saddle I can.
Vienna® II Dressage Saddle - Dressage Saddles
Right now, I do have a Thorowgood, which is a little wide for Bear, and I would keep it (it would fit him great once he filled out), but I dont like how I ride in it (it is just a tad small for me, though they do run large by .5") and I need a leather saddle. I know a few people who use the Vienna and they just love it!
And by the time I have the money, and if the sale is still going on, I think I will buy the Jaguar bridle and get a nice browband for shows. =]
Sound like a good plan?
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