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Monoflap saddle or dual flap saddle - which one is best for you?

If you’ve decided that this spring is the perfect time to buy a new saddle, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to choose a monoflap or dual flap style. Which style is the best option is something I get asked a lot by AMZ customerswhen they are deciding what saddle to go for. So, I thought it would be helpful to write a blog about the difference between mono and dual flap saddles, and why some people choose one over the other. Let’s start off with what the difference is between a monoflap and dual flap saddle.


What is a dual flap saddle?


A dual flap is what most of us would consider a traditionalEnglish saddle, with two flaps (hence ‘dual flap’), one of which sits next to the horse’s rib cage and then another that sits on top of the first and protects the rider’s leg from the girth buckles. The flap that sits next to the horse’s ribcage is sometimes referred to as the ‘sweat flap’ and often has a knee roll and thigh or calf block fixed on it for security. The girth used with a dual flap saddle is long because the girth billets (the three longleather straps) it attaches to are located under the flap the rider’s leg sits on.


What is a monoflap saddle?


A monoflap saddle is a slightly more modern take on saddle design that has just one flap (hence the name mono, meaning ‘one’) which sits against the horse’s ribcage and that the rider’s leg lies on top of. This design means that any rolls or blocks are placed on top of the single flap, and the girth billets hang below the saddle flap. That in turn means a short girth is required with a monoflap saddle instead of a traditional long girth. There are only two billets on a monoflap saddle, rather than the traditional three (which includes the ‘point billet’) on a dual flap saddle.


Why choose a monoflap over a dual flap - or vice versa?


The main difference between the two types of saddle - looks and girths aside, of course - is the closeness of contact they offer the rider. A monoflap saddle means there is less bulk between the rider’s leg and the horse. That’s because the girth billets and buckles are located below the leg, rather than under it andthere’s one less leather flap in the way! Monoflap saddles are also lighter, again because there’s simply less leather to carry around.


However, some people argue that a monoflap saddle could have a shorter shelf life because the same piece of leather is being subjected to the horse’s sweat and friction against their coat as is being rubbed by the rider’s boot. A dual flap saddle does boast that extra billet which can be useful for horses with very low withers and wide shoulders whose saddles tend to slip forwards. Plus, some riders love that the whole look of a dual flap saddle is less messy than a monoflap - everything is tucked away under the second flap!


It really comes down to personal preference. I always advise people to try both. I design both styles and carry plenty of mono and dual flap saddles with me when I’m travelling to fittings, to find out which works best for their horse.

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