Tuesday, October 29, 2013

County Warmblood - #3 fit (medium tree) – 17.5” seat - Dressage

This is not your modern, comfy dressage saddle. The seat is not terribly deep. The pommel is somewhat higher than most. The thigh blocks are there, but they are minimal. The seat is hard.

I love it! I could not drop my thigh as far as in some of the other saddles I have ridden in, but I feel like that is more of a musculature short-coming on my part. Built-up saddles can “hold” me in a more classical position, but it may be less correct for my current level of fitness and comfort. However, I still dropped my thigh from where I had been riding, which indicates an increased level of comfort and control. I didn’t fight to sit vertically, but I did feel the slightest tendency to want to lean forward ever so slightly. Again, I think this is less a saddle-to-rider fit issue and more of a core-strength-musculature issue.

The Fancy Pony seemed perfectly happy in this saddle, despite the billets being so long that I couldn’t tuck them into my girth and had to leave them hanging out so that they could hit her knees… She was willing and quiet in the trot, happy to come into the bridle, although she was feeling just a bit lazy. Now that we are getting relaxed and supple, it is time to bring the “oomph” level back up. There was no fuss at the canter, and we even schooled some decent walk-canter transitions without any attempted levade movements, no head-tossing, and no shoulder-dropping. That is a huge step for us!

Without the big thigh blocks, the seat may have been just a touch too roomy, allowing me to slide around wherever my core could not hold me. Overall, it is a very suitable saddle for the both of us, and I would be happy to keep an eye out and pick one of these up at a discount.

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