My DP baroque saddle looks perched on the horse, is that wrong?

My DP baroque saddle looks perched on the horse, is that wrong?

We commonly get the feed back that the baroque short paneled DP saddles look perched on the horses back. How will they feel the horse if they are that high off the horse. They don't make contact from front to back so they must have too much rock. 

The flocking in a DP saddle will compress, all flocking will compress. The synthetic wool that DP uses is resilient and will hold it's thickness longer than other wool flocking. However it will compress with weight use and time. This is why saddles need to be reflocked with a saddle fitter on a regular schedule based on your riding habits. 

The seats in the DP baroque saddles, like the El Campo and El Campo shorty are designed to help you feel the horse, while still protecting the horse from impact from the rider. The tree, panels, leather and cushioning are all there to protect the horse from you. Some riders are fantastic and connected and can have much less between themselves and the horse. We applaud you for your dedication to a soft seat. However the average rider will have hiccups in the saddle. Moments of loss of balance, irregular rhythm, off balance moments if the horse spooks, tension in hips or arms that travels to the horse. That is what the saddle is there to buffer for the horse. The El campo and baroque saddles do an amazing job protecting the horse. Your feel comes from the connection with the base of your seat and the horse, you can still feel that connection in the DP saddles. The baroque classical dressage riding is a very connected stile and many very advanced riders use the DP saddles. The panels and seat are not far off the horse where it counts.

The reason the saddle looks like it has too much rock is because of the panel design to minimize the weight bearing surface area of the saddle read more HERE. The tree itself is relatively flat from the factory, it is a flex tree so it will shape to the horse when weighted. Without weight it will remain as manufactured. Picture a ski sitting over a mogul (bump on a ski hill). With no one on the ski it is just a plank. Add a skier/rider and the force applied from them will curve the ski into the void. This is why a certified DP saddle dealer like Top Hat Tack should assist you in saddle fitting. Standard saddles are not equipped with the DP features.

Ski flex like a tree

Now that you understand the seat, tree and panels of the saddle lets put them together to show you how the saddle reacts with the rider. *photo credit to Ory Photography & Vness Tack and Sable Ranch Friesian Horses for their model horse.

DP saddle espera weighted and ridden and showing rock



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