Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
Unless you're going down a hill or bracing against the horse's mouth or the back of the saddle for security, I cannot imagine a chair seat being more secure than a balanced head-shoulder-hip-heel seat for *most* instances.
Some of it depends on the horse and saddle. With a broad back horse and most western saddles, I find I have
to put my feet forward or else my butt won't go into the saddle. Maybe it is tight thighs, but I cannot get my thighs down and my butt in the seat at the same time with a big horse & western.
With my Arabian mare & my Aussie style saddle, I start each ride by shoving my knees down. My mare isn't very wide, and the saddle allows my knees to go down and still have my butt in the saddle. However, if I have my heels under my hip, they will not
be down. But when my heels are at my belt buckle, my heels go down - if my toes can go out. One toe more than the other. My mare is my horse that feels free to make full power conversions from movement to the "OMG Crouch".
My mare is used to me riding her and expects my legs to kind of wrap around her. My gelding was spurred bloody years ago, and he still hates lower leg contact. That is OK, because my wife and daughter ride him 99% of the time, and they do not ride with lower leg contact.
So it depends. That is why I love the tag line provided by V.S. Littauer
, who was famous as a proponent of the forward seat.