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Last updated: August 12, 2021
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We hate to say this, but your lovely horse will retire fast if you purchase any saddle you feel “suits” it. Most sellers encourage you to get a one-size-fits-all saddle without revealing that some models damage the horses’ backbone and cartilages. You don’t have to be an expert or hire a certified saddler to get a durable dressage saddle that accomodates your horse’s interest and offers optimal performance. You only need some basic information and look into key features we will discuss later in this guide.
Our team selected the five best dressage saddles in Amazon and based our selection on the shape, size, seat twist and width tree width, saddle balance, knee rolls, and warranty. Horses have different shapes from straight to curved backs, so you need to select a saddle with the right shape. It’s not possible to pick on any size of the saddle for your horse. Your horse will be uncomfortable if a saddle is too small or wide.
Henri de Rivel HDR Ventura Dressage Covered Saddle has been designed with riders and horses’ needs.
Its moderate deep seat is covered in smooth black leather, and the concealed knee block offers great leg support while riding. Some users say that the knee rolls fit well and blend with several horses.
The soft covered leather reduces your break-in time. The only shortcoming is they wear fast and scuff up more quickly than “solid” leather models.
Experts claim that the flocked panels of Henri de Rivel HDR Ventura Dressage Covered Saddle have been stocked with synthetic wool. The bottom of the flap has a reinforced area for enhanced wear. You can mold the flock panel depending on the rate at which the horse adjusts.
Experts say that Henri de Rivel HDR Ventura Dressage Covered Saddle fits well in Quarter horses.You will have to adjust to it if you’re used to close contact saddles.
Overall, Henri de Rivel HDR Ventura Dressage Covered Saddle has been crafted with ultimate performance and comfort in mind. Most customers loved how it positioned well.
Wintec is among the best sellers in the US with over 40 years’ experience offering high-quality horse saddles like Wintec 500 Flocked Dressage Saddle with a deeply seated leather seat to give you a sense of security when riding.
Its super-soft flocked panel will blend with the shape of your horse without restricting the movement.
The seller says that Wintec 500 Flocked Dressage Saddle has an easy to change gullet system. The gullets are sold separately and come in small, medium, medium narrow, medium wide, wide and extra-wide sizes.
Wintec recommends using a gullet that blends with the shape and muscle structure of your horse.
Experts note that Wintec 500 Flocked Dressage Saddle has a quick-change girth point system. The easy to change fit solution enables you to set your preferred settings for optimal balance. Some buyers claim that the Equi-Suede knee insert guarantees you security when riding.
We confirmed that Wintec 500 Flocked Dressage Saddle is perfect for beginning riders who would love to master dressage. You can customize and boost your riding experience with a stirrup keeper that is sold separately.
Most users state that the grippy synthetic leather is easy to clean using a cloth or hosing it with water to remove the dirt.
Overall, Wintec 500 Flocked Dressage Saddle is the go-to saddle for horse riders seeking to nurture a strong dressage position and train their horse for competitions.
SilverFox All Purpose Pad Flap Saddle is considered a standard tree saddle for beginners and experienced riders alike. It comes in 14, 15, 17, 18 and 19 sizes.
SilverFox All Purpose Pad Flap Saddle has a 7-inch gullet though some sellers say the pad is flat to call a specific area the gullet. Its deep seat is supple and comfy. The flaps have a suede knee leather roll.
Experts claim that the dye stains don’t come out even when you deep wash it. They loved its shiny silver look.
The manufacturer offers a regular tree that fits several Quarter horses. The seller mentions that SilverFox All Purpose Pad Flap Saddle is not advertised as a close contact saddle though it has too much leather.
It works for mini-horses, but you will have to monitor your horse for discomfort.
SilverFox confirmed that its accessories like the iron and leathers are bought separately. You can utilize the discounts that come with buying the product and the accessories.
Most customers say this saddle is comfortable and well designed. Overall, SilverFox All Purpose Pad Flap Saddle is a great saddle for the price.
One customer was amazed at how well it works well with leather straps. Its undersides are plastic, but the other sections are made of tough leather.
Thornhill Shannon Junior Dressage Saddle is a low-end dressage saddle designed by Pakistan saddlers. It is well balanced and comes in multiple sizes for different sizes of horses. The standard tree fits average-sized horses while the wide tree suits wider ones.
This saddle has a semi-deep seat that offers a close contact feeling for jumping. Experts mention that the seat is comfy and supports the leg position.
It comes with smooth leather knee pads and stuffed panels. The billets are long for you to ride comfortably without worry about adjusting your leg’s position.
Experts affirm that Thornhill Shannon Junior Dressage Saddle is the best saddle for children or beginners who would love to experiment with dressage. They can master how to position properly and balance when riding their horses.
Thornhill Shannon Junior Dressage Saddle is well priced and suits several horses and ponies. They love the craftsmanship and the balanced design it offers.
You can get compatible Thornhill accessories like the Thornhill Padded halter and Chafeless break halter, among others. The tree has a two-year warranty.
What stands out?
Smooth leather knee pads
What cons did we manage to find?
Things to Consider
Whether you’re planning to engage in dressage, general riding, or jumping, it’s essential to pick a right saddle that factors in your needs and the horse. Dressage saddles come in several shapes, sizes for different types of horses and users.
In this guide, we will cover the meaning of a dressage saddle, the features to consider when making purchases and the frequently asked questions.
What is a Dressage saddle?
A dressage saddle includes a uniquely designed athletic shoe that attaches itself to riders’ feet for enhanced comfort and optimal riding performance. They have longer, straight flaps than jumping saddles, and give riders a perpendicular posture to the ground.
Features to consider when choosing a dressage saddle
Nothing is heartbreaking, like being excited to purchase a dressage saddle online only to get a whack model upon delivery and send it straight to your bin.
It’s worth saving your shopping excitement and focus on precise features when shopping for saddles to avoid such embarrassments.
In this section, we will cover the main features you should look into, like the shape, size, saddle balance, and knee rolls.
Horses have different shapes like humans, so it’s not possible to buy a one-size-fits-all saddle for your horse.
First, confirm if your horse has a straight or curved back and if there is an unusual dip on their front or rear body parts.
You will be imbalanced if you buy curved saddles for your horse with a straight back. Saddles with curved panels are meant for horses with curved backs while those with straight panels work best for horses with flat backs.
The twist is the section of the saddle that touches your upper thigh. Dressage saddles for men and women come with specific twist measurements.
Experts recommend getting a dressage saddle with a narrow twist, especially for women due to their pelvis’ shape. Short riders should get dressage saddles with a short twist and width.
The saddle position on your horse influences your position on the seat. You will lose balance or struggle to maintain it if your dressage saddle does not fit uniformly.
You can consider Thornhill Shannon Junior Dressage Saddle that is a well-balanced, economic model. You should target saddles with sufficient padding on the less heavy side to avoid slipping since most horses are asymmetrical.
The knee rolls play a crucial role in your comfort and position while riding. An excellent knee roll allows your legs to move comfortably and offers great support.
Selecting a saddle with an awesome knee roll depends on whether your thighs are short or long.
You will create a huge space if your knee roll is too long for your short thighs. You’re likely to experience flexor pain if you use saddles with a knee roll that is too straight for your long thighs.
Saddles that pinch your horse restricts its movements. There should be 2 to 3 finger clearance on the sides and top part of the wither to accommodate the shoulder rotation.
The clearance can go up to 4 or 5 fingers for mutton withered horses. You can look for signs of sores or scratches on the top or the sides of the wither to confirm if the clearance is sufficient. You can invest in EquiRoyal Event Winner Saddle for high withered horses.
Saddle panels with narrow gullet channels hinder the movement of some muscles in your horse. Your horse will contract its back when moving.
The widths of a horse spine dictate the saddle panel allowance for your horse. Most horses require a 2″-4″ allowance on both panel widths.
Saddles with narrow channels cause severe damage to a horse’s back. The brands with wide gullet channels rip away muscles from the back of horses. You can try the SilverFox All Purpose Pad Flap Saddle with a 7″ inch gullet.
Panel contact comes next after determining the width of your gullet channel. Your saddle panel should make even contact with the horse’s back to distribute your weight evenly.
Saddles that rock signal that your panel does not make even contact with your horse’s back.
There should be four inches between the swells and the front part of your body and your rump should not press against the back of the cantle. You can test how different seats fit to feel the difference.
Wintec 500 Flocked Dressage Saddle is our second pick with a deeply seated leather seat and super-flocked panels that fit several horses’ shapes. It’s the best pick for beginners’ who would love to try dressage.
Experts also loved EquiRoyal Event Winner Saddle that is designed for withered horses. This saddle is not only reliable and comfy but retains its color for years.