Finding the best dressage saddles that will suit both you and your horse isn’t something you can just choose off the shelf. Unlike most purchasing decisions you make, this one really has to strike the balance between getting the best one for you and the perfect fit for your horse – if it’s not quite right for either of you, it’ll be a tall order to reach your performance potential. H&H recommends consulting a qualified saddle fitter prior to purchase and following up with regular checks to tailor the fit to your horse’s changing shape. The links below should help direct you to local stockists.
You can, however, spend as much time as you like before this stage freely lusting after the latest releases and the returning models. With a range of colours, leathers, shapes and personalisation options, as well as adjustable features, there’s plenty to consider.
Here is a selection of some of the best dressage saddles on the market for you to feast your eyes on…
Colours: Black or brown, with other colours available on request | Seat sizes: 16.5–18in | RRP: From £2,890 |
This monoflap saddle from Albion is described as combining ultimate comfort and balance with outstanding technical capabilities, all delivered with a sleek style and premium quality. It was designed in response to the demand for a streamlined and sleeker-looking saddle, and it provides a well-balanced close-contact seat that ensures maximum stability and comfort while encouraging a supported, unrestricted leg position with the exterior thigh blocks. It’s crafted from hand-selected supple calf leather and the narrow, slim cantle adds to the refined appearance. The saddle is built on an adjustable wooden tree that has a more open head and lower profile – it also features a short back panel that complements the conformation of the modern sports horse and contains a pure wool felt lining that offers cooling qualities. The strapping solutions, which can be tailored for your horse, help to improve stability and distribute pressure evenly. This saddle can be made to measure and is also possible to personalise.
More info and stockists at albionengland.co.uk
Colours: Black or brown | Seat sizes: 16.5–18in | RRP: £4,350 |
This monoflap saddle has been designed for horses with short backs and not much space for the rider, and it’s made with an extra-wide gullet to accommodate wider withers. You can upgrade to a Pinerolo luxury calfskin soft leather covering on the saddle flaps and skirts. Made on a hand-crafted wooden spring tree, this wool and felt panel system. The design promotes freedom of shoulder movement and allows the horse to stretch over his topline, lift his back and move the shoulders away from the saddle tree area. The shape of the tree and the padded seat allow both male and female riders to find a comfortable and ergonomically correct position. The new soft knee roll provides support while allowing for a relaxed, free and efficient leg position.
More info and stockists at amerigo-saddles.com
AMZ Saddles Avicii
Colours: Black, brown, tan or chestnut | Seat sizes: 16.5–18in | RRP: From £1,695 |
This classically designed deep-seated dressage saddle is designed to promote a close contact feel, with seats at the centre point of gravity. It has a triple-padded seat and a large built-in knee roll that offers stability and promotes the correct position. It is available on a range of wooden spring trees to cater for different builds of horses and maximise their shoulder movement. The Avicii is available as a monoflap or dual flap saddle and is adjustable to ensure the optimal fit. It is also available in choice of five different leathers with optional coloured welting, stitching and an array of personalisation.
More info and stockists at amzsaddles.co.uk
Colours: Black or brown | Seat sizes: 0 (16.5–17in), 1 (17–17.5in) or 2 (17.5–18in) | RRP: £3,499 |
This monoflap saddle is designed to allow you to transmit your aids cleanly and directly. The Bates “SweetSpot” technology in the seat guides you to a neutral position, sitting squarely and with close contact, which allows for a longer leg, better alignment and support for your upper body balance. It has a low profile shock-absorbing panel and a monoflap design that allows you to feel your horse, while the shape of the flap is designed to allow you to transmit your aids cleanly and directly. The moveable FlexiContourbloc provides support to stabilise your leg and eliminate lift and it has an adjustable ergonomic stirrup bar allows you to customise the saddle even further to complement your individual riding position.
More info and stockists at batessaddles.com
Cavaletti Collection Adjustable Monoflap
Colours: Black or brown | Seat sizes: 16–18in | RRP: £970 |
This saddle is made from fine full-grain leathers, with a wool-flocked panel and external knee blocks. It features an interchangeable gullet system with six width fitting options (narrow/medium to extra-extra-wide) allowing you to adjust the fit of your saddle without the need to send it away. It has a classic deep seat, Y-system three-point girthing, and is also available with cantle and stirrup keeper badges to customise your look.
For more info, stockists or to buy, visit cavaletticollection.co.uk
Colours: Black or brown | Seat sizes: 16.5–17.5in | RRP: £999 |
This saddle is hand-crafted from high quality double leather, with calf skin-covered knee blocks. It has a deep seat and adjustable knee blocks, and a leather wear patch on the flap provides increased durability. It features the Opti-Fit series III changeable gullet system, a synthetic wool panel and a long front gusset, which allows for an improved fit. The adjustable Y-girthing system enables a better fit for various horse shapes, while the traditional flocked panels conform to your horse’s shape. Collegiate provides a 10-year warranty on the saddle tree and a two-year warranty on materials and workmanship.
For more info, stockists or to buy, visit collegiatesaddlery.co.uk
Erreplus Connect Mono
Colours: Black, dark brown or cocoa, with a wide range of finish options | Seat sizes: 16–18in | RRP: £4,295 |
This saddle is specifically designed for the typical shape of the modern dressage horse. It has a fully adjustable flocked panel, while the tree is heat-adjustable to enable fine tuning for a good fit – 10 tree widths are available. The twist is narrow for a close-contact feeling and the panel design allows for freedom of movement at the shoulder and the trapezius muscles. It is made from luxury Italian doubled bull leather, which gives excellent grip, contact and durability, and there are three different adjustable flap projections to suit different rider leg requirements. This saddle is only available through experienced SMS saddle fitters.
More info and stockists at erreplus.com
Enzo Treviso Lucia Mono
Colours: Black or black/brown | Seat sizes: 16.5–17.5in | RRP: £2,899 |
This saddle is hand-crafted from what is described as rich, lavish, supple and luxurious European leather that provides an impeccable level of comfort, grip and rider security. The contemporary style deep seat promotes stability and security, while the monoflap design encourages a connection with your horse. The traditional flock-filled panels contour to your horse‘s shape and provide adjustability over time. The panel has a strategically broad bearing surface that helps to distribute rider weight without causing interference to your horse’s movement. The versatile Opti-Fit gullet system allows you to easily alter the width of the gullet to fit your horse. Enzo Treviso provides a 10-year warranty on the saddle tree and a two-year warranty on materials and workmanship.
For more info, stockists or to buy, visit enzotreviso.co.uk
Colours: Black, brown, Newmarket or red brown | Seat sizes: 16.5–18in | RRP: £4,900 |
This saddle has a carbon saddle tree that has been completely redesigned to better envelop the rider’s pelvis and is characterised by the taller cantle, which gives greater support. The knee rolls follow the natural position of the saddle, and the panels are designed to guarantee an extended contact area, resulting in a balanced distribution of the rider’s total weight. Saddle widths and flap lengths are custom made to fit each horse and rider requirements.
More info and stockists at selleriaequipe.it
Fairfax Rebecca Monoflap
Colours: Black | Seat sizes: 16.5–18in | RRP: £2,600 |
This saddle was developed with the help of 2014 WEG team silver medalist Gareth Hughes. They are handmade in Walsall by highly skilled Master Saddlers, using selected Italian calf skins, top grade English butt leather and 100% British wool flocking, which provides superior softness and comfort. It has a changeable gullet that accommodates narrow/medium to extra-extra-wide. The seat is formed to align the rider more forwards and “in” over the horse’s centre of balance, allowing the horse to move more freely behind. The surface-mounted thigh blocks are designed to give you enhanced support without restricting your position. This saddle has a triple billet system, which provides girthing options both on and off the point to be used with the slimline self-levelling balance strap.
More info and stockists at fairfaxsaddles.com
Harry Dabbs Platinum Mariella
Colours: Black or Havana | Seat sizes: 16.5–18.5in | RRP: £2,800 |
This monoflap saddle has a deep seat and well-placed medium-sized knee rolls that provide support and comfort while allowing you to execute correct and effective aids. It is finished in warm Italian calf leather for a luxury feel and features the effective performance panel. It is available in 10 tree options.
More info and stockists at harrydabbs.co.uk
Colours: Black or Havana | Seat sizes: 16–18in | RRP: From £1,770 |
This saddle is designed with a soft dual density seat, substantial knee and thigh blocks and stitched knee pads – all of which provide a great look, comfort and seat security. The Liberty tree has flatter rails and an open head that is ideal for wider horse types. The saddle has a generous gullet for good spine clearance, good panel depth and bearing surface. It is also available in a monoflap design.
For more info, stockists or to buy, visit ejeffries.co.uk
John Whitaker Vienna
Colours: Black | Seat sizes: 17–18in, in narrow, medium or wide | RRP: £1,550 |
Crafted entirely from a soft calfskin leather, the Vienna saddle is designed with elongated monoflaps that feature a large, shaped knee roll to encourage proper leg positioning. It is straight cut with a cut-back pommel and is finished with a subtle decorative stitch motif. This saddle is available in a lightweight heat-mouldable nylon tree as standard, but can be ordered with an easy-change gullet tree that allows the width to be adjusted using steel gullet bars.
For more info, stockists, or to buy visit johnwhitaker.com
PDS Integro Monoflap
Colours: Black | Seat sizes: 17–18in | RRP: From £3,200 |
This saddle is built on a close-contact tree and the monoflap design gives the rider a closer feel to the horse enabling a higher level of communication. The adjustable carbon fibre tree provides strength and flexibility, with narrow to extra-wide options. The Integro has speciality AMS foam and wool flock panels to provide comfort and weight distribution – different shaped panels are available to suit the shape of horse and flocking is used to add additional support as needed. It features anatomically designed knee blocks that support your leg and encourage you to lengthen through the thigh.
More info and stockists at pdssaddlesuk.com
Colours: Black, tobacco or London | Seat sizes: 16–18in | RRP: From £4,000 |
This saddle is specially designed to be comfortable for both male and female riders. It has been updated to offer a new stitching pattern and patent leather inserts that visually enhance the X-D2’s special features. The back of the seat towards the cantle is designed to be significantly wider compared to traditional dressage saddles, while the panels are shaped in the front to allow freedom at the shoulder and are wider along their entire length to distribute the weight of the rider more evenly. The front girth straps are secured using a heavy duty elastic, while the rear ones determine the balance of the saddle. It is available in three wither sizes and six flap lengths.
More info and stockists at prestigeitaly.com
Solution Saddles Smart Pro
Colours: Black or Havana | Seat sizes: Available in five seat sizes | RRP: From £2,995 |
Handmade in the UK from premium leathers, these highly adjustable saddles contain no rigid parts, such as a tree, pommel arch or cantle, which means the saddle can flex to allow the swing of the shoulder and engagement of the back. The flexible construction is said to ensure stability as there is no rigid frame to be displaced by your horse’s movement. It offers a secure, close contact feel for the rider and the interchangeable knee blocks can be repositioned as desired. These saddles are suited to the rider and then fitted to the horse.
More info and stockists at solutionsaddles.com
Colours: Black or ebony, but there may be other options to discuss at a fitting | Seat sizes: 16–18in | RRP: From £3650 |
Stübben has designed this saddle for ambitious and professional riders. Built on the new webbed spring tree, the Centurion is monoflap in design with contoured surface mounted blocks, and the features of the saddle are designed to allow comfortable close contact riding. It is also suitable for compact horses and offers a wide range of customisation. The MagicTack option on the cantle means you can vary the look of your saddle with the interchangeable crystal inlay system within moments.
For more info, stockists, or to buy visit stuebben.co.uk
Voltaire Design Adelaide
This saddle is described as having an elegant and refined look that is timeless and embodies Voltaire’s devotion to style, performance and comfort. The Adelaide was designed for and is dedicated to riders looking to improve their dressage performance by harnessing the incredible sensation, closeness of contact and precision for the rider’s leg. It has a cut-back pommel, an extra-deep seat and a narrow twist. The panels are tailor made for the horse and the tree is a great shape for horses with prominent withers. It is available in calf or buffalo leather.
More info and stockists at voltairedesign.com
Wow Ultra Competitor
Colours: Wide variety | Seat sizes: 16–19in | RRP: From £3,100 |
This saddle is designed to maximise freedom of movement at the shoulder and allow the back to elevate and swing, while if you choose the option of Flair air flocking this is said to help your horse to lift through his back. Wow saddles are known for being interchangeable, allowing you to change the specification as your horse’s musculature develops. This model includes the introduction of the Ultra ergonomic seat for professional riders, which reduces the bulk of the seat to give a close contact and feel. The saddles can be fully customised in myriad ways – including flap shapes, panel lengths, colours and stitching.
More info and stockists at wowsaddles.com
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