Switching Saddles - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-16-2012, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canadensis, Pennsylvania
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Switching Saddles

Now I am not a dressage rider, and I'm not taking lessons

but today I was working with my mare on leg yielding.
I was bareback and she had a halter on ( Was that bad to teach her this way? /: )

It was only at the walk, but in both directions I got three correct steps
I was working towards the rail, it felt more natural to me (guess i need to work away from the rail, huh? haha)

Anyway, I was joking and saying that now I need to buy a really nice dressage saddle, just because! Then my instructor said I was welcome to use one of her two dressage saddles! (yay) totally going for the Stubben.

I probably will use it once or twice, if it fits my mare

Onto my questions:

If a horse was being trained in dressage, would it be beneficial to use a dressage saddle?
If so, why? Does the shape of the saddle effect the horse?

I'm assuming it effects the riders position, and not only because of the length of the stirrups (I will feel so weird, being that I mainly focus on jumping)

What's with the billets being SO long and the girths so tiny? I'm not sure about my instructor's saddles, but I've noticed that about SO many dressage saddles!

I apologize for the thread having no real point, aside from the satisfaction of my curiosity! Thanks you very much!!

I live to ride and I ride to live
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11/01/09 <3 my horse left hoof prints on my heart
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-17-2012, 01:29 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: West US
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Leg yielding towards the rail is a good way to teach it, at least in my experience. The horse is used to riding on the rail, so it is natural to go towards it. Even in dressage tests you usually go down the quarter line or center line and leg yield towards the rail. It's good to teach the horse both ways, but since you're just introducing it, I think it's completely fine and expected.

The billets are long and the girths are short so that you never get the girth/buckles under your leg. It provides a close contact feel, which is important in dressage since you're using your body so much.

Although I wouldn't say you have to have a dressage saddle to train dressage, there are some benefits. Dressage saddles have deep seats which aid in a close contact feeling. The stirrup bar is usually farther back, allowing your leg to hang down from your hip more naturally so you have a longer leg. In dressage you really want to sit deep and feel the horse, and be able to use your body. In jumping saddles, you're more perched, since the whole idea behind it is to get off your horse's back.

I hope this makes sense. It's late over here ;)
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-17-2012, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canadensis, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,313
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It makes tons of sense! Thanks!!!
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