Flapless saddle question

I’m trying out a ReactorPanel Heraldic, which is a flapless saddle. I am very pleased with it all around – my last saddle was also an ReactorPanel but with regular GP flaps. This saddle with all the fittings weighs somewhere around 18 pounds, and offers a wonderful feel of your horse. Since my legs are ultra-short, and my horse a wide-barreled Morgan, I find this a huge improvement over flaps.

But there is one issue – my calves get soaked with horse sweat – right through my half chaps and breeches. I’ve consulted with the owner of RP (the original founder, Carmi Weininger, has spun off RP to concentrate on just dressage and jumping saddles under the name EQ Saddle Science). She opines that adding fenders (they offer them) would mean losing the feel I want, and adding a fleece stirrup-leathers cover might not actually protect my leg the way I want.

Does anyone have experience with flapless saddles? Did you have this problem? What did you do about it?

I have a Pandora and ride with sheepskin-covered webbers. I, too, ride in half chaps tho use tights instead of breeches. I have wet legs when the horse is sweaty, but I also have that issue with my tradition Rubicon. Never really noticed a difference with a flap or no flap, as my calf is on the horse regardless.

Huh. I never had this issue with my flapped saddle. RP makes a fender I am going to try. Also might try the sheepskin covers. It’s really hell on suede half chaps.

It has been interesting as no one, from my dressage teacher to my saddle fitter, could believe that a flapless saddle had a chance of being comfortable. Then I went riding with my endurance friend and she was totally familiar with them.

I think Pandoras are even stranger-looking that the Heraldic!

I agree they are unusual looking (and mine is a pretty sedate black carbon fiber pattern), and I also find it to be pretty darn uncomfortable for me if I have to do much walking. But my horse loves it, so I suck it up.

I have only sat on a Heraldic on a dummy at convention, but the seat seemed nice and padded. I hope the fenders solve your issue.

The Heraldic is very comfortable to walk or trot in (still have not quite figured out cantering in it). I went ahead and bought the saddle, as it truly fits my horse, not the easiest to fit with her curvy back, big shoulders, and wide barrel. As you say, the horse’s opinion is the most important!

Dana Gasner who now owns RP, tells me she is not very happy with the fenders for sale on her website, as they are rather thick, negating the close contact feel of the flapless, and they won’t fit me anyway as my stirrup leathers are very very short, to accommodate my very very short legs. She is confabulating with a leather-worker friend to come up with a better design. Meanwhile I put Sno-Seal on the insides of my half chaps … for now.

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