Saddles!!!!

NooNoo59

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Hi all happy new year! I am looking for advice on saddles. I currently have a Kent and Masters Dressage and an old GP for hacking. The GP is now too big for the boy and is a bit hard on the bum! The dressage fits him much better but it pulls my inner thigh and I am getting increasing leg hip and back pain after riding in it. I mainly do dressage and hacking so thought that I would get a new dressage and a second hand GP. But then I got to thinking maybe that the style of a dressage saddle may not suit me he is big and wide and I am short and wide!! Would a really good GP do both jobs? What are everyones experiences?
 

chaps89

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I would echo looking at VSDs. I have a Symonds and love it - it now doesn't fit the horse I have now so is sat in the corner of my room but I refuse to sell it in case one day I have something it fits!
 

ester

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I have a VSD with changeable (Velcro) blocks as my GP bit even with decent blocks I couldn’t make it ride as nice as a dressage saddle so did buy the dressage version second hand too ;). It is however amazingly comfortable and I can sit in it all day :)
 

splashgirl45

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ive got a barnsby vsd and i find it really comfy and i could easily do a dressage test in it but now only hack.....i did have a barnsby gp which i loved but it was stolen last year and couldnt afford to replace it as it was £1300 new and couldnt find it secondhand.
 

ester

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It is the foreign version of very slightly dressage ;).

It wouldn't be straight enough for proper affiliated showing really but does the job well enough for the rest. Mine is an ideal, the changeable knee rolls made it a very useful sort of saddle, I happily jumped up to a meter in it with stirrups hoiked up and hunted with my small jump blocks, hacked with my GP blocks and dressaged with my dressage blocks. We got it because it was a better fit for his shoulders than their standard GP. What happened though was I spent a week on holiday riding only in dressage saddles and was frustrated when I came home that I just wasn't able to be as accurate in the VSD and we were trying to have a little more finesse and half pass etc so I treated myself ;).

On the horse


small block


an old pic of me at stressage length in it
 

Flyermc

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or what about a working hunter?

ive a saddle company working hunter and done all sorts in it and very comfy, plus its got an adjustable gullet :)
 

NooNoo59

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so you have normal length girth on it? looks good although have just bought a dressage girth!!i have never heard of these i am so in the dark ages!
 

ester

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yup, though I guess you could have them changed to longer straps if you really wanted to but I prefer a long girth, short girths are an issue to fit my lad and his problematic elbows.
 

ester

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I thought the VS came from VielSeitigkeit /Vielseitigkeitssättel which is 'general purpose (saddle)' not from springen? Given that you get VSS too (Vielseitigkeitssättel springen) which makes the the VSD (VielSeitigkeit Dressur) automatically straighter cut.

Where's the german contingent when you need them, I did French, spanish and latin :p.
 

Nudibranch

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Very slightly dressage is rather easier to understand and describes the saddle. Mine being HM uses a dressage girth not a standard so there is some variation.
 

ycbm

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I thought the VS came from VielSeitigkeit /Vielseitigkeitssättel which is 'general purpose (saddle)' not from springen? Given that you get VSS too (Vielseitigkeitssättel springen) which makes the the VSD (VielSeitigkeit Dressur) automatically straighter cut.

Where's the german contingent when you need them, I did French, spanish and latin :p.
I bought one that had a German label on it Vielseitigkeit Springen und Dressur.

My German is rusty and was never that good anyway, but a couple of German Forums have the same interpretation in answer to the question 'can I jump in a vsd?'

I'm just being a picky language purist, of course. It just grates a bit because what it certainly doesn't stand for is very slightly dressage :)

I guess we all understand now, though, that a VSD is simply a GP that is less forward cut, better for a rider who does more flat work than jumping. While a GP is the other way round, for someone with more focus on jumping and/or flat work than flat work.
 
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Nudibranch

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Technically no. But it is a more useful description. Like, for example, using the term cushings instead of PPID....wrong, but everyone knows what is being described. Plenty of examples in the horse world.
 

ycbm

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Technically no. But it is a more useful description. Like, for example, using the term cushings instead of PPID....wrong, but everyone knows what is being described. Plenty of examples in the horse world.
Cushings isn't wrong. It's what the disease was called for a couple of centuries before it started to be called PPID. My pedantry is on fire tonight :D

Saying VSD stands for very slightly dressage is more like the manège menage mix-up, just plain wrong but become custom and practice.
 
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Nugget La Poneh

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Get a wow saddle with 'VSD' flaps so you can then move the flaps yourself according to the discipline for the day to have the German VSD or the English version of VSD :D
Removable blocks too for dressage or jumping.

Failing that, WH saddle.
 

sbloom

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It entirely depends on your riding style ie stirrup length, and bum size, compared to the space the horse has available ie maximum seat size, and what activities you want to do. WH and VSD can be very similar, and can also hugely bary within the category. The brand I fits has flatter seated WHs on the whole, very straight cut, and our GP models are closer to the one VSD in terms of flap cut, but other companies have similar VSD models, or even Event models that look like a VSD. I would focus on what fits your horse, where your knee sits at various lengths on the saddles you have, and go from there.

For someone with short legs, or who only rdes longer, but doesn't want the restrictions of a dressage saddle, then a WH or VSD will probably work best. For someone with longer thigh bones or who rides shorter then a proper GP would be better. However overall the space for thigh bones is nearly always maximised on a dressage or jump saddle...you see the issue? It's complicated :D.

Velcro blocks on a VSD/WH/GP can be very useful but will never be a full replacement for two saddles.
 

NooNoo59

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I am short wide old and stiff! Horse is chunky so I do feel a bit thelwell like. Waiting to hear from saddler who has a big selection of new and second-hand so fingers crossed!
 
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