Saddleseat lessons for a good base?

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Saddleseat lessons for a good base?

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    10-25-2010, 11:59 AM
Question Saddleseat lessons for a good base?

Alright, I'm looking for a place to take my neice to get riding lessons. She's just about six and I've done lead lining with her for awhile. She's started riding Lily "alone" now, but I'd really like to get her lessons.

Unfortunately the place I like is too far away for weekly lessons, so I've been looking at other places. I came across a stable that looked pretty good, but I didn't realize that they are a saddleseat stable.

I have NO experience with saddleseat, but it seems that a lot or all of the riders I've seen are riding with a pretty pronounced chairseat. Is that normal or expected? Can she get a good "base" in all types of riding by starting with a saddleseat instructor?

I would go check out their program before I signed her up of course and I'm leaning more towards a jumping type program anyways..... But I'm still curious about this.

Please don't take this as an "attack" on saddleseat riders either, as I said I just have no experience with it.
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    10-25-2010, 12:09 PM
No, I would not have her take saddle seat lessons, she will develop habits that are not correct when jumping. Like the chair seat for example. Habits like that are really tough to break, and if she started out saddle seat then went to jumping she is going to have to relearn a lot of things.
    10-25-2010, 12:17 PM
I rode saddle seat for 10 years, and now I do reining (and I've now ridden in a few different types of English saddles).

In saddle seat, the horse's conformation and the saddle type both require somewhat of a chair seat. However, when you ride a horse with different conformation in a saddle that's built differently, it's very easy to adjust your position.

I think saddle seat gives you a GREAT foundation for other types of riding because it gives you an amazing seat and great balance. Have you ever ridden in a cutback saddle? They have a very flat seat and no padding and are very insecure compared to other types of English saddles.
    10-29-2010, 01:09 PM
I started with saddleseat because it was the closest stable we could find and fell in love with it. I've done it for 8 years now. If she really does want to do jumping, saddleseat probably isn't a good base for that. It's so different from other styles from english, it might be difficult to transition. The equitation is so different, like the chairseat you mentioned.

But I agree with Mystique, saddleseat has given me great balance, which would benefit jumping. It's really fun, I'm hopelessly addicted :P
    10-29-2010, 01:27 PM
Thanks for the responses guys. I'm still stable searching. She seems to be really interested in jumping and games.... I'm not surprised, she's 6. I'll probably end up going with whichever program has the best attitude about horses/training and can give her good basics. I don't want her to end up somewhere that's all about gimmicks or heavy handed riders.
    10-29-2010, 01:51 PM
I rode saddleseat for years and it does really give you great balance. My cutback saddle is as flat as a pancake. Saddleseat is very popular with the kids because it is moving pretty fast and the horses just look amazing.

What could it hurt to have her try out one lesson. Just let the instructor know that you are 'shopping disciplines' and looking for a good place to start. Chances are, the instructor has experience in other disciplines too.
    10-30-2010, 02:58 AM
Green Broke
Correct saddleseat should not be giving a chair seat. To post correctly, you need your legs under you, not bouncing up into it.

I knew of several hunter/jumper riders who were taking saddleseat lessons to develop their hands too, as well as balance.

I would keep looking for what you think she would be most interested in, as well as you if you will be most likely to drive too, as too expensive to drive far nowadays weekly. If she expresses an interest in saddleseat, then I would let her try it. If it is Saddlebreds they are using, those are some amazingly people oriented horses, and very talented too.

I would let her try it, as closer to travel to.
    10-30-2010, 10:42 AM
Maybe I'll take her to a couple of the area stables and have her do a try out lesson at each of them. That way we can figure out exactly what fits her. I don't want to drive too far and I know when my parents take her they aren't going to want to go far.

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