Dressage vs AP saddle - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Dressage vs AP saddle

OK, I ordered the two Thorowgood saddles that I thought might fit. Please, please, please, let one of them fit!

One is an AP style and one is a dressage style. That's not the important part, though; the important part is that the trees are a little different. So they should differently. And whichever one fits, that's the one I'm going to get.

Having said that, on the off chance that both of them fit him, I thought I'd ask.

For groundwork and maybe low jumps, does it really matter what kind of saddle I use? I've found that personally I prefer to have my leg long, so I have gravitated toward dressage saddles. I know that dressage saddles put your legs in the right place for dressage, and AP saddles put your legs in the right place for nothing, but for someone at my level does it really matter? Like one of my trainers said, I'm not going to the Olympics. I just want to ride, have fun, and have both of us be comfortable. Am I OK taking low jumps in a dressage saddle, or doing dressage in an AP saddle?

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 02:26 PM
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Dressage saddles do tend to have a straighter flap than AP saddles do, and maybe deeper seats which might make it a little hard to get out of the tack to jump (but if youíre basically just bunny-hopping over cross rails or something, it really isnít going to make a difference if you two-point enough for a super giving crest release or something). I have a friend who did a couple of jumping lessons in her dressage saddle because that was all she had at the time.

You can of course do dressage in an AP, especially if itís more of a VSD model. Which two did you end up ordering?
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by CaliforniaDreaming View Post
Dressage saddles do tend to have a straighter flap than AP saddles do, and maybe deeper seats which might make it a little hard to get out of the tack to jump (but if youíre basically just bunny-hopping over cross rails or something, it really isnít going to make a difference if you two-point enough for a super giving crest release or something). I have a friend who did a couple of jumping lessons in her dressage saddle because that was all she had at the time.

You can of course do dressage in an AP, especially if itís more of a VSD model. Which two did you end up ordering?
I ordered the Thorowgood T8 Compact GP Saddle and the Thorowgood T4 Cob Dressage Saddle

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 02:44 PM
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Someone at one of the yards I visit regularly is mostly jumper (competes very regularly) but could only afford one saddle and had a hard fitting horse. It is actually so funny but boy does she make it work! All the sacrifices we make to get a nice fitting saddle eh... I think it was @Foxhunter that also mentioned doing something wild in a dressage saddle, xcountry? Wouldn't surprise me!
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
I ordered the Thorowgood T8 Compact GP Saddle and the Thorowgood T4 Cob Dressage Saddle
Oh thatís funny, I was looking at those 2 and started to comment about them, but wasnít sure exactly which two you were going to try so I thought Iíd ask before I opened my mouth kept typing.

The T4 dressage cob has a much more open seat that the other two models so Iím sure itíd be easier to jump in. And the T8 compact has some pretty straight flaps compared to other AP saddles. Either one is probably fine for what you want to do, plus trail riding.

Fingers crossed for you 🤞🏻
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yes the seat on the dressage saddle is noticeably open. It's funny, I like dressage saddles for the longer leg, but I don't necessarily like that penned in feeling with the high cantle. And yes the AP one does have fairly straight flaps. I will see how I actually FEEL in them, but just from looking at them I think either would serve my purposes.

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post #7 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 06:29 PM
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what are you built like? I mean, we know that Pony is a 'barrel' shape, but are you short and thin? tall and thin, short and plump?


Sorry to be so blunt . . .but it matters in terms of how your leg will lie against such a round shape as Pony's barrel.


my guess is that you will find the AP more comfortable. The dressage one has a pretty straight flap, that on a very round horse (where a person will need to have a bend in the knee to maintain more leg in contact with the horse), the straight flap might not be as comfy.


AP, or GP (general purpose) saddles are harder to sell, becuase fewer people want them, but if it works for Pony, and you want to keep Pony, then it matters not. Best of luck! I look forward to seeing you posts.
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
what are you built like? I mean, we know that Pony is a 'barrel' shape, but are you short and thin? tall and thin, short and plump?

Sorry to be so blunt . . .but it matters in terms of how your leg will lie against such a round shape as Pony's barrel.
I appreciate you asking. I'm skinny. I'm 5'5 and about 115, mostly muscle. My legs are apparently longer than normal. All of my instructors are like "You have long legs!" but I want to know why, if that's true, pants are always too long for me? I am still trying to figure out if I have narrow hips or wide hips. They're wide in proportion to my waist, but narrow relative to the average person's hips.

You may be wondering how I look on Pony. I don't actually look weird. His stomach "takes up" plenty of leg, as they say, so my feet don't reach past his belly.

My guess is, given the different tree styles, that at most one of these saddles will be really "right" for us, and I won't really have a decision to make. I think I would be OK with either one of them. I SO hope that one of them fits!

And yes, the resale value of the saddle is about the last thing I'm thinking about. If one of these fits him, and I ever sell him, then the saddle is going with him. Save the next person the headache. If he somehow slims down and muscles up and the saddle no longer fits, I'd still keep it just in case.
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-07-2020, 08:35 PM
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long skinny leg might do well in either saddle. Best of luck!
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-08-2020, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalraii View Post
Someone at one of the yards I visit regularly is mostly jumper (competes very regularly) but could only afford one saddle and had a hard fitting horse. It is actually so funny but boy does she make it work! All the sacrifices we make to get a nice fitting saddle eh... I think it was @Foxhunter that also mentioned doing something wild in a dressage saddle, xcountry? Wouldn't surprise me!
Yes, I hunted my last horse in a dressage saddle! Thismwas a fairly flat saddle without any deep knee and thigh rolls which I hate.

I grew up learning to ride in flat old fashioned saddles so it didn't seem odd.

I find it interesting that cross country saddles the top riders use are all fairly flat. Not so long ago there were several riders killed with rotational fall cross country. I wrote a letter the the Horse and Hound with the idea that deep knee/thigh rolls were holding a rider's in the saddle not allowing them to get clear in the case of a horse falling. Obviously I wasn't the only one thinking this as saddles changed for the flatter versions not long after.
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