Does anyone else get a chair-seat on a wide horse?
I usually have a pretty decent leg position - except on this boy. Chair-seat every time. Lots of things wrong in this picture: horse is turned away, so I'm twisted, on a sidehill, my hands are just finishing up petting him, pretty sure I'm considering the need to rearrange my undies, etc when my husband says "smile". So don't rip me apart here.
But what on earth is going on with my leg? It only happens on this horse (a true widebody). My saddle sits correctly - I'm in the deepest part of the seat, and feel well-balanced. I've tried having a longer leather, but then I actually barely reach it and my foot comes out at a canter. So I tried just dropping my leg without the stirrup at all to see where it ends up, and it naturally falls right where it is in this pic. So for kicks I've tried to force my knee further down to bring my heel into better alignment with my body, but I can't - it's like doing the splits, and my leg loses most of the contact with the horse's body. It's no biggie. I ride trails, I'm comfortable, I'm in control, but for someone who's always been a stickler for correct position, it's REALLY annoying. Why is this happening? This is the widest horse I ride. Any suggestions for getting my leg fixed?
Don't go off of my advice alone, but is that saddle a bit too forward? It seems to be kind of sitting on his shoulder a bit.
What happens when you take your feet out of the stirrups?
Try taking your feet out, bringing your knees together at the pommel, stretch up and let them slide down.
It could also be that saddle + that horse doesn't work well for your position. It almost seems you're a bit far back on your seat bones and not on (well not ON, hope you know what I mean) your pubic bone. But I'm not there so I can't really tell for sure.
"Strengthis the ability to use a muscle without tension"
Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 05-01-2012 at 11:07 PM.
FWIW, I also tend to get a chair seat on a wide horse. My horses are pretty slender, and my 54 year old hips have gotten used to stretching far enough to straddle them.
But put me on a wide horse, and my legs just won't stretch that far apart. Moving my knees forward slightly takes the pressure off my hips and takes the tension out of my legs. When I took up riding at 50, I had to do the same thing even on my slender horses.
Other than stretching exercises, I can't think of much to help.
... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)
I do feel like I'm sitting on my pubic bones and not the butt-bones.
You might be onto something about the saddle being too far forward, though. That could make sense. He isn't just wide. He's, well..fat. The girth tends to want to be in the smallest spot, and that's pretty far forward on him. I'll try forcing it a little further back next time and see what happens. It is a forward-flap saddle, so it could look deceiving.
When I drop my stirrups, my leg ends up right where it is in the picture. I haven't tried the raising the leg and stretching it first though - I might be a little locked in when I do that test,
But put me on a wide horse, and my legs just won't stretch that far apart. Moving my knees forward slightly takes the pressure off my hips and takes the tension out of my legs.
Exactly. When I move my legs forward, I feel like I'm cupping his body well without straining my hips and knees by trying to bend around his holy wideness. I know that people ride beautiful equitation on wide horses, so I know that's no excuse, but that's what happens. I might just be subconsciously choosing the path of least pain.
Bit against the grain but have you tried shortening your stirrups? I have an AP saddle that puts me in the most awful chair seat until I shorten my stirrups to jumping length and then my position is acceptable.
My close contact saddle is absolutely fine, but of course I haven't ridden in it with longer stirrups - I ride in my CC to jump, and my dressage to do flatwork/trails, so I don't really have to change my stirrups. I have lent my AP to a friend for now, because she doesn't have a saddle to jump in that fits her horse, and I'm not using it.