Ah, the monoflap. Most of us have seen one or heard of them before, maybe even ridden in one, and still don’t know what exactly a monoflap saddle is or why one would use one. Fear not fellow equestrians, I’m here to let you in on the big secret!
To begin, I’m going to assume the role of Captain Obvious. The number one biggest difference between a regular jumping saddle and a monoflap jumping saddle is.. they only have one flap! I know, shocker. I think that much we all already know, but let me get into the why.
The material that would be the sweat flap and saddle flap on a traditional saddle, is considerably thinner and is one, singular flap. This leaves only a passage for the girth straps/billets to pass through, reducing the overall thickness of leather between horse and rider. This gives monoflap saddle riders a closer feel to the horse by eliminating all the extra bulk. In even further elimination of bulk, monoflap saddles tend to have longer billets that require shorter girths. These girths are so short, that they are not under your leg, further reducing bulkiness and ensuring closeness!
This picture shows the underside of an Antares monoflap jumping saddle (It’s for sale!!). As you can see, there is only one flap present, with the girth strap/billets threaded through leather pockets.
Because of the lack of extra flap, monoflaps have exterior knee/thigh blocks. These tend to be on the larger side. These more pronounced blocks help give rider’s legs more security, which is much appreciated when one is jumping large jumps, ditches, drops, and when finding one’s self in sticky situations!
Monoflap saddles are super trendy in the sport of Eventing right now. Some you ask will say because of the supreme closeness and security felt whilst riding, others will say it’s because all of the big name eventers are using them, while many say it’s a combination of both. Whatever your thoughts, it’s hard to deny the smart theory behind them. Who wouldn’t want a close contact ride with their horse? If you think one may be right for you, take one on trial, ask that girl at your barn who has one if you can try it, whatever you need to do. Give them a test run- who knows, you may be converted to a believer!