Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
Is it just me, or does posting in a western saddle just seem awkward?...
Depends on the part of the country and the saddle design. There was a thread some years back on posting & western riding. Some parts of the country swore by posting in a western saddle, and other parts tended to swear at it.
We have 2 western saddles that see regular use. The Circle Y my daughter likes places your thigh closer to horizontal. It is tough to post well in that saddle. When I've tried it, I had to give up any hope of a balanced post and use my legs more like diagonal shock absorbers. The Clinton Anderson/Martin saddle I'm using now allows me to move my leg where I want, so I can get my heels under my center of gravity and post (or ride two point) without a problem.
When I took western lessons, I was not taught posting. The lady who gave my daughter lessons, an ex-barrel racer, did teach posting.
However, because of the saddle design, my daughter looked very awkward. The angle of her thighs forced her to squeeze with her knees and thrust herself forward, which usually resulted in her heels going way back. In that saddle, and at her height, I don't think there was any other choice for her. I suspect she found it awkward too, because I almost never see her post any more - although she is taller now and can do a better job of it.
From some years back:
This was taken a couple of days ago. It was her own idea for how to practice cantering. Trooper dealt with it without a flicker...Mia would go ballistic if I tried it:
But notice the angle of her thighs, and where the stirrups are hanging. That is just the way that saddle is - and she refuses to use any other saddle. She has briefly tried my Australian saddle and the English ones...they fit her better, but it isn't "her" I guess.
But she is happy and Trooper considers her to be a minor deity, so who am I to complain?
BTW - "on your pockets" is something I heard a lot of when I was taking western lessons. It is 'right' for the design of a western saddle, since the weight-distributing tree extends well behind the cantle. It isn't required for general purpose riding, and I always lean forward at a canter because I learned using English and Australian saddles, where the tree ends at the cantle. Leaning forward also feels better to me when my horse goes fast, and my mare doesn't really believe in a slow canter...
FWIW, this is my favorite video on cantering in a western style: