A dressage saddle is an English style saddle tailored specifically for the equestrian sport dressage.
When choosing the perfect dressage saddle it’s important to understand firstly what the saddle is there to do.
One of the most important aspects of the saddle design is the closeness and stability of the horse and rider.
Dressage Saddle Design
Dressage saddles have a straight-cut flap that is much longer than a jumping saddle. The pommel is higher and located at the deepest point of the saddle's seat.
The flap and pommel are designed to fit the extended leg position of dressage riders, who work only on the flat and do not need to jump obstacles or negotiate rough terrain.
The seat is deeper in a dressage saddle than a jumping saddle, allowing the rider to sit comfortably and relax to best influence the horse.
The stuffing in the panels is kept to a minimum to allow a closer feel with the horse.
Some designs feature more padding in front of the knee to help the rider keep their knee down and thigh back. However, there’s minimal padding behind the calf, so the rider’s lower leg can move freely to give aid to the horse.
The billets of most dressage saddles are very long, to allow the girth to be buckled near the horse's elbow rather than underneath the rider's leg, although, some dressage saddles are available with shorter billets.
Finding the right dressage saddle
It’s important to make sure your dressage saddle is a good fit for you and your horse.
A poorly fitted saddle is uncomfortable for the horse and can cause injury and distress. It can also restrict the horse’s movement or alter its gait, evenness and balance.
For riders, a poorly fitted dressage saddle can cause discomfit, potentially injury, and affect the rider’s balance significantly affect their performance in the dressage ring.
The best way to find a well-fitted dressage saddle is to speak with a qualified saddler before making a purchase. Mustad offers a saddle-fitting service at its Kilmore, Geelong and North Richmond stores.
Explore and learn more about our full range of dressage saddles for sale online and in-store, and choose from the best.