"Bad" Saddle -- Help or Hindrance - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-17-2013, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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"Bad" Saddle -- Help or Hindrance

Hi --

I've recently been spoiled by being allowed to borrow a very well fitting and comfortable CWD saddle. After riding in the borrowed saddle about 1 month, I was feeling really great (as a releatively new rider (1 year)), that my seat and leg positions were solid.

I lost being able to use this saddle last week, and went back to my school saddle - a very worn saddle, bit too big for me, with virtually no padding (esp. At the knees).

I noticed now going back that in posting I have to work harder to keep leg still, and I feel like I'm bouncing a bit more when I do sitting trot (with and without stirrups).

My worry is that the good saddle "spoiled" me by making things too easy. Or, is it just a real pain to ride well in a bad saddle?

My feeling is that I should be able to have no problems in either saddle if I'm strong and solid enough -- ever forward I guess.

Thanks for any observations and advice.
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-17-2013, 12:11 PM
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I think it's a bit of both. A person should learn how to ride well and keep their balance and position regardless of what saddle they ride in. However, riding in a saddle that doesn't fit you and isn't comfortable is fighting a losing battle.

IMHO, you should start working to get a better saddle but in the meantime, work your buns off learning how to keep your legs still and keep your seat solid in the crappy saddle. After all, if you learn how to ride well in a crappy saddle, then you'll ride that much better in a good one.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-17-2013, 01:18 PM
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I agree with Smrobs. However, it is simply amazing how much difference a saddle can make! And how subjective it is. I have sat in saddles that someone said was "Awesome", and I hated it!

A saddle that doesn't fit you is a real drag.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-20-2013, 10:02 PM
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I've never had issues riding in any saddle but definitely prefer mine over others.. so I think that you should be able to ride in any saddle without issues. But a better fitting-to-you saddle will be easier to ride in.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-21-2013, 04:55 PM
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The first thing to know is that the saddle has to suit the horse. A saddle which isn't adapted can make big damages.
If the saddle isn't adapted to the horse, it may cause a bad position of the rider.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-22-2013, 08:01 PM
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If the saddle is too big for you, there's a good chance the stirrup-bar is too far forward, giving you a bad leg position (heel not under your hip). Also if it doesn't fit the horse right, it may tip you forwards or backwards. Both will make if difficult to keep a still leg when posting or being correctly balanced doing anything at all. You should be able to ride well even with a saddle that puts you in a wrong position. You learn to compensate, and it's good to know how. But you are absolutely correct. If the saddle fits you correctly and is nicely balanced on the horse, everything falls into place so much easier. It's much easier to learn when you're not fighting the saddle.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-26-2013, 12:35 AM
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I had a similar experience. I rode in a borrowed Wintec for years, but when I finally bought my own horse I wanted to get a saddle that really fit him (and me) better. The saddle fitter let me borrow a saddle for a little while that really just let me fall into the right position. When I had to give the saddle back, I realized how much I had been fighting the Wintec to maintain that ideal position.

A saddle that puts you in a good position is a real asset. It's not to say that you can't ride well in a "bad" saddle, just that you can ride better in a good one. Saddles are definitely a very personal fit, though. One that works amazingly for you might be terrible for someone else. (And of course, it needs to fit the horse well, too!)
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