Considerations When Shopping for a New Dressage Saddle

Considerations When Shopping for a New Dressage Saddle
Lesa Hocutt

While beginning dressage riders may find riding in their all-purpose saddle adequate, as they transition to dressage it will be helpful to invest in a quality dressage saddle.  Designed to situate the rider over their horse’s center of gravity, dressage saddles are constructed with straight flaps and deeper seats, thus assisting riders in maintaining a proper dressage riding position. While it may be fun popping your horse over a small jump whilst riding in your dressage saddle, it is not recommended to do so on a regular basis. Dressage saddles will not allow the rider the freedom of movement to change their position over the jump and could possibly compromise both the rider's and the horse's stability.

Double Flap vs. Monoflap Dressage Saddles?

A monoflap saddle will decrease the bulk between the rider's leg and their horse, while providing stability for the rider by allowing their leg to sit more closely to their horse’s sides. Strictly a rider preference, discuss with your trainer or instructor which they think would benefit you the best. 

Your Horse's Tree Size

A large majority of dressage saddles are constructed with adjustable trees, making it easy to adjust your saddle to fit a variety of horses. Whether you choose a dressage saddle with an adjustable or traditional tree, knowing your horse's tree size is very important.  We have expertly trained saddle fitters who can assist you in determining what tree size will be best for your horse.

Saddle fit is not only important for your horse, it is equally important for you!  An ill-fitting dressage saddle will adversely affect your position, thus affecting your riding. Personal preference, as well as the rider’s experience level, length of leg, and pelvic bone width, should be taken into consideration.  We are happy to answer any questions about saddle size and we offer a 5-day trial period for riders to evaluate a saddle’s fit for both themselves and their horse. 

Last, but definitely not least, take into account the material that you would prefer your dressage to be constructed from.  If you are using your dressage saddle for schooling and for trail riding, you may be interested in a synthetic dressage saddle.  Durable and easy to care for, these saddles are comfortable for both you and your horse. If you occasionally show, then a full leather dressage saddle may fit your needs.  If you enjoy showing on a regular basis, or just like a little bling, we offer brands that are fully customizable with exotic leather options, colors, and crystals. 

Find the Perfect Dressage Saddle

Whether you’re looking for dressage saddles, jumper saddles or close contact saddles, M&M Tack Shop has various options so you can find the right saddle for you. Please call 919.851.0102 or email questions@mmtackshop.com, and we will be happy to assist you with any dressage saddle questions.

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