Dressage comes from a French term meaning “To Train”. This type of riding is a style of Equestrian Sport, which requires a very high expression of horse training. In dressage competitions, both the horse and rider are judged on a scale from zero to ten based on their performance in a series of predetermined movements. One (1) is absolutely not executed, and ten (10) being excellent. The Horse Ballet (as it is commonly known) riding is meant to prove the ability of the horse and its willingness to follow input from the rider.
Custom Made Saddles for Dressage Riding
They are different from other saddles due to the nature of the riding style which they are used for.
Longer flaps for a longer leg position for more contact with the horse to give it more aids and input while riding.
The Cantle is also higher than other types of saddles.
This higher Cantle helps establish a deeper seat in which the rider is positioned. This is necessary for the rider to stay balanced in the seat of the saddle during the numerous movements of dressage riding and competition.
Internal or external knee rolls at the front of the flaps on the saddle.
Knee rolls provide some stability to the rider and aid in the rider maintaining proper position while riding. Some riders prefer internal knee rolls to the external knee rolls. This is all rider preference; both options should be explored when looking to buy a saddle.
Girth & Billets
Shorter girth than many other types of saddles. This is due to the longer billets, which are present on the dressage saddle. Placement of a dressage saddle is just as important as placement of any other English saddle. It should come to rest naturally behind the shoulder blades. The original Logic girth from County Saddlery is important due to its ergonomically designed shape. Since it has unique curves designed to fit behind the horse’s elbows, it maintains optimal saddle positioning.
The tree points should not interfere with the shoulder blades. This would impede movement of the horse and would cause obstruction of the horse’s movement.
The length of the saddle should not extend behind the 18th thoracic vertebrae of the horse. This is important due to the compression of the spine. Anything further back is not considered to be an appropriate load-bearing portion of the horses back.