Trainer is keen for me to get a monoflap and I guess I just… don’t see the need. Reasoning is security, but I am not always falling off and my leg looks fairly stable in this saddle compared to others I have had (floppy ammy aboard!)
I have a slightly different question than posed by previous posts: why does your trainer think the monoflap would give YOU extra security? Depending on anatomy, some riders do better in monoflaps and some do better in dual flaps.
- Has anyone had the blocks on a Voltaire swapped out for big ones? I do like that locked in feel. I’ve reached out to Voltaire to ask if they can do it, as saddlers I have spoken to say they are Not Allowed to work on Voltaires because… the Voltaire Gendarmes will get them?
I’ve not done it on a Volatire, but it’s REALLY easy to remove blocks and replace them with velcro so you can stick on whatever block you need. I’m sure it would void any warranty you have with Voltaire if it’s done by anyone other than a Voltaire approved person.
- Voltaire saddles have billets with nylon loops at the top that attach to metal rings so that they can be swapped out easily. Clever design! What’s to stop me swapping them for long billets? Or am I missing something that monoflap long billets bring to the table, being attached to the flap as they are?
Go for it. Having a dual flap with long billets is sort of an in-between step from dual flaps to monoflap. It removes the bulk of the buckle from under your leg.
- Speaking of which, having the billets attached to the flap as in monoflaps I have seen, doesn’t that restrict the angle and location of the girth? Girth comfort is a Big Deal when I ask the mare.
Yes. And it makes it nearly impossible to have someone other than a rep for the brand replace your billets. And I’d bet it makes replacing billets more expensive than if they were not attached to the flap.
- Speaking of which short girths always catch at my ankles are are annoying. i can’t be the only one this happens to?
Your ankle should be enough behind the girth for this not to be an issue. Sounds like your legs are short relative to the circumference of your horse’s barrel, too. Or maybe I’m missing something because it seems several people are having the same issue.
- Monoflaps are held up as a paragon of being closer contact, but I don’t feel especially distanced from my horse - nor have I felt especially closer in a monoflap. Am I an unfeeling lump or is this all a load of hype?
It’s a fair amount of hype. There is at least as much variability in close contact between 2 different dual flap saddles or 2 different monoflap saddles as there is between a dual flap and a monoflap version of the same saddle. I feel a smidge closer in a monoflap than a dual flap, but if I’m not paying attention, it’s not enough that I’d necessarily even notice. I think the biggest difference is as Beowulf says, the potential for movement between the flaps. The most important thing is that it support your anatomy, and depending on your build, a dual flap may do that better.
- I could just remove the outer flap of the saddle. Or sew the two flaps together. Or some other insanity that would result in pearl grasping I am sure. Has anyone ever done this? (Why not just buy a new saddle? All money spent, sorry)
A lot of monoflaps ARE made by just sewing the two flaps together, or almost. That’s why there is so much variability between different monoflaps. A Black Country Vinici is not much different than a dual flap saddle with the top flap removed (I mean, the flap leather is way softer and has some extra design features so the billets won’t pinch your leg…). I had a client wanting a cheap but secure dressage saddle to start her young jumper prospect in and she was given an otherwise solid saddle with badly damaged flaps. Removing the flaps and riding in what was left was one of the options I gave her but she found the saddle uncomfortable so kept looking for a better option.