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Dressage saddles for ponies

I just purchased a lovely 3 yo German Riding Pony, that I plan on training with help from my wonderful coach and eventually passing down a very nice solid pony to my daughter.

I’m looking for a saddle that will work for this mare and none of the saddle fitters locally have anything used that will work. I would prefer used only because I assume I will need a new saddle as she fills out and matures. I’m not 100% against buying new but if I can find something used that’s what I would prefer. The local Ikonic rep wants me to look into her saddles since they are adjustable but I don’t know anything about them.

What saddles tend to work well for sport ponies? She has a shorter back than my 17 hand Appaloosa sport horse, but I wouldn’t say it is an exceptionally short back. She is not very wide right now but if she ends up like her parents she will be wider. My Custom Advantage R is way too wide on her and my Black Country Quantum jump saddle is also too wide and bridges slightly. I would say she’s more of a medium tree in her current stage. She’s currently 14 hands. I’m intrigued by the MacRider since it claims to be designed for shorter backs and the panels and tree are supposed to be adjustable. Does it require a MacRider rep to adjust or can any fitter adjust it?

I emailed Highline tack and they suggested a MacRider and a Loxley which I liked. They also sent an Albion but I have never been a huge fan of Albion. My budget can be what it needs to be but would be nice to be under $4k. I’ll have to buy online since nobody seems to have anything locally.

Thanks in advance!

What about an EQ Saddle Science for now while she’s growing?

Passier young star is a nice super short upswept panel slightly curved tree that’s great for many ponies if you can swing the seat size. Stubben also makes a juventus that’s pony minded and I believe prestige has one as well.

I find a lot of ponies don’t visually have very short backs but they are longer in the loin and have less available territory for a saddle.

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My 13.3 pony was fitted with a very old Passier Baum dressage saddle. Finding something not too large with an upswept panel was difficult in a newer saddle; the fitter suggested this kind and I found it for about $300 on ebay. She stip flocked it and customized it for us for about $800. If you don’t mind a flatter minimalist saddle, it could work. Everything more modern looked like a Lazy Boy recliner on his little body,.

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Prestige ‘Lucky’ is a reasonably priced well-made adjustable option.
We love ours. 10 years old and going strong.

Try the Loxley. It’s nice option for a horse with a short bearing surface, and it’s very comfortable.

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My Connemara Pony cross (14.2-14.3) loves his (now discontinued) Fairfax Cob Dressage saddle. I am able to fit a 17.5" seat on his pony back. I relied upon the adjustable gullet as he was started under saddle but he now lives comfortably in a MW with flocking adjustments.

This is probably the closest to my saddle, just not a monoflap:

Note: the Kent & Masters offers a similar configuration for a little less $$.

They Fairfax just brought back the Cob tree. It is now available.

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My previous pony I rode in a Prestige Lucky for years. Don’t let the 16” measurement fool you, it rides more like a 17” in my opinion.

Currently for my 14 hand mustang pony I’m riding in a 17” collegiate Mentor. It puts me in a good position and it’s adjustable with different gullet plates. We went from a medium, to a MW, to a W to an XW and then back down to a W and now the MW so it’s been worth its weight in gold during this early muscle building period (she also got a little fat which is now under control lol). I’m excited to get something a little nicer down the line but it really has been a fantastic saddle especially for the price.

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