Functional difference between monoflap and regular flap

Getting closer to ordering a saddle. (getting the big boy fit so we can remeasure…padded up my dressage saddle to more or less fit him). Going with an Ideal. The model I am considering comes in either regular flap or monoflap.

thoughts on pros and cons of each flap type (for a jumper)

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I talked to a saddle store representative that mentioned in used saddles mono flap is what is selling now, others hardly moving.
Didn’t give a reason, just that fact, so if you are thinking of reselling later, mono flap seems to be what will sell better.

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The biggest difference between a monoflap and a traditional saddle, IMO, is the girth placement. A monoflap uses a short girth while the traditional flap uses a longer girth that fits under your leg. A lot of riders prefer the monoflap as they feel closer to their horse without the bulk of the girth under their leg. Some horses have conformation that make one type of girthing arrangement preferable. For instance, a horse with no withers that has a history of causing saddles to slip forwards may not do well with a monoflap since there’s no point billet to keep the saddle from sliding forwards.

If all else was the same it really comes down to personal preference. Try to see if you can test out one of each and see how you like them. I honestly don’t feel much of a difference in bulk between a monoflap/traditional flap. If they were the same price and both fit the horse the same I would probably pick the monoflap since there is less leather to clean :joy:

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Functionally not much difference with the exception of girth placement. Long billets = short girth, which works great for some conformations and not so great for others (if your dressage saddle has long billets you’ll know which is better/if both are fine). Less to clean on a monoflap as pointed out above, but CAN be more wear and tear on the saddle since the flap taking abuse from your boots is the same flap getting sweat on it from the horse. I would NEVER buy a full calf monoflap saddle.

Are you ordering a black jumping saddle? Benefit of this is you might be able to use your dressage girth with it (and same bridle if your horse can go jump/XC in that bit like mine can), BUT black jumping saddles are less popular here in the states even for jumpers and eventers. An understated style (including flap forwardness) dual flap brown saddle works for any jumping discipline so if resale or potential use on a future greenie/hunter are a consideration, go with dual flap, IMHO.

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I forgot I also have to think about colour! I think I will go dark brown - the dressage saddle is my mare’s saddle; somehow my 15.2 hand mare fits the same girth and bridle as my 16.3 hand gelding.

I am thinking brown is the better colour on a palomino?

Given his odd shape, I do wonder if a lower girth placement would be better, so the buckles aren’t sitting right at the wide part of his body? I assume they will sell girths that match?

I am not a calfskin saddle person: I like the thicker leather.

@Bluey given how utterly odd this horse is built, I am hoping this saddle can be adjusted to fit him near indefinitely, so not really thinking resale, but that is interesting to note. I don’t really see monoflaps here, other than the odd eventer.

I absolutely love my monoflap, I won’t go back to the dual flap! Much closer feel and less “stuff” between me and the horse. It’s the first jump saddle that’s fit me so well I think is partially why I’m so in love with it.

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My favorite is a dual flap saddle with long billets. I feel like the dual flap saddle has more side to side stability and support for my leg. Adding the long billets reduces the bulk under my leg for a close contact feel. To me it’s combines the best features of a mono flap and dual flapped saddle.

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My jump saddle is a traditional, my dressage saddle is a monoflap. I definitely liked the monoflap better. My horse is big and an odd shape. I also like the feel and connection I feel with him using the monoflap.

When in the far future I replace my jump saddle, I will definitely try some monoflaps.

Just a personal story.

I am curious as to why a dual flap saddle would have more stability/support?

I had a devoucoux rep out a few weeks ago who left a monoflap for me to ride in over the weekend. I loved the saddle itself (lovely balance and kept me feeling close to the horse), but hated the fact that it was a monoflap. Monoflaps do seem to be a little more popular these days in the jumper ring. Or at least it seemed that way a few years back when everybody and their mother suddenly seemed to have a Voltaire monoflap. But IMO, it’s more of a fad than anything, and reflective of the push by saddle companies to “do something different” in the jumper world.

Personally, and having the devoucoux on hand reminded me of why, I hate monoflaps. I don’t like to have the girth buckle at/below my feet. I don’t like the additional difficulty in tightening the girth from horseback, and I don’t like my feet feeling the buckles. And I feel absolutely no difference in “how close” I feel to the horse whatsoever…as in, the flap has zero to do with that factor. The tree/seat/twist has so much more to do with that.

So given a choice, I would pick regular flap 100% of the time.

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LOL, my 14.2 mare wears a bigger girth than my 16.2 gelding :flushed: she’s not fat she’s curvy!

Definitely dark brown in my humble opinion, especially on a palomino!

All these posts just emphasize how much the difference is personal preference. Definitely try both if you can and choose what you like best.

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Truth. I bought a used Hastilow in “traditional” for about $1k less than the same model in monoflap, in approx same condition, and it was harder to find.

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In general there is no functional difference between a mono and dual flap. Different brands have their quirks so definitely check with your stockist to be sure that this is true for your particular model. @equinelibrium : A monoflap can just as easily be made with a point billet as a dual flap.
In my experience, more riders prefer monoflaps than dual flaps, but there are still a lot of riders that prefer dual flaps, and quite a few feel no difference at all.
The same is actually true for horses - that close contact of the monoflap that allows you to feel every move your horse makes? They can also feel every move YOU make and it’s too much input for some sensitive horses.
Monoflaps are usually appreciated in direct proportion to how wide the horse is: with a really well-sprung rib cage every smidge less bulk you can have will be appreciated, while on a slab sided horse the bulk of a dual flap may be preferable.
In short, you really have to try it to know how it will work for you.
I still have far more people buying dual flap jump saddles than monoflap, but monoflap dressage saddles beat dual flap easily.
As for color, consider doing something like brown with black trim…

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I personally prefer monoflaps because I feel they are less bulky and I like the short girths because I use just one for my jump and dressage saddle. I also just like the way they feel when I ride.

I do have a dual flap Butet that I use on my TB gelding and I like it and really, its not bulky under my leg. It’s comfortable and fits him so I suck it up. Ill probably get long billets put on it at some point. I just prefer the closer feel but it’s for sure a personal preference.

For resale it seems like popular brand monoflaps sell quickly. That’s after watching a bunch on ebay and in sales groups trying to find the perfect one for my boy.

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I usually prefer monoflaps because it’s slightly less bulk under me and I like to be as close to my somewhat wide horse as possible. I also find them easier to clean, one less flap :sweat_smile: but that’s minor.

Some dual flaps feel better than others to me. My current Amerigo is dual flap but the under flap is really quite small/thin. I didn’t want to wait to order the model in monoflap because everything else about it worked and it was available right then. I find the Italian saddles usually a bit less bulky in general. So I’m open to both, but prefer monoflap.

Some horses don’t like the way the buckles on the short girth sit on them. For some horses a short girth seems to pinch at a sensitive point.

It may be that with your dressage saddle you’re already using a short girth, but it’s worthwhile thinking about whether the girth will be done up tighter on a jumping saddle than it is on the dressage saddle.

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I’ve always wondered if there had been any studies done on the pressure areas long billets create versus a long girth/short billets.

I’d imagine some horses would find the thin straps of the monoflap uncomfortable. I don’t know though.

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I like the idea of a monoflap but when I put long billets on my jump saddle a few years ago, I found it really annoying how the stirrups would clang on the girth buckles. That was obviously never an issue with my monoflap dressage saddle due to longer stirrup length, so it hadn’t occurred to me. I had to switch back to short billets because the edge of the flap of the saddle actually started cutting through the billets! Apparently Smith-Worthington leather is very sharp. :rofl:

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My dressage monoflap has the front billet attached to the front panels/padding, and the back billet runs through a slot in the main flap, so I don’t think their would more pressure created by the billets then there would be with a dual flap. This is a good point though, I should make sure the saddle I am looking at has a similar configuration.

Same! At least on my current “string” of horses (aka the motley crew) the monoflap is less stable due to the position of the billets. And good Lord. Trying to tighten the girth while mounted in a dressage monoflap is basically impossible thanks to my long legs/T Rex arms. :no_mouth:

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