I totally agree with Mildot and I have never in my life rode one of those silly little english saddles. If you are riding your HORSE instead of your SADDLE then there should be no problem with the man parts. When you get behind or off balance then there may be some danger to them. If ou want to know the best seat position take your feet out of the stirrups and point your toes then hold your arms straight out to your side and close your eyes. Feel where your wieght is on the saddle and then keep it there when you ride.
Being behind your horses motion is a good way to sore yourself and your horse. Being too far forward is a good way to fall off and bump your nose. Ideally you should be with your horse and going together. The really good horsemen are so "with" thier horses that the horses legs become thier legs. When you can stay centered on your horse they don't leave you behind and you don't have to drag them along.
Unless you are riding a forward seat, you are almost always behind the horse's motion. That isn't bad. Or good. It depends on your goal. With a western saddle, you are almost always behind the horse's motion. It is more stable, which is good in rough country. It also sets you up well for roping. The forward seat trades security for making it easier for the horse to move well.
Read it. Hate it.
In the 1800s, people rode to DO something. Cavalry often covered 200 miles in less than a week. And in the 1800s, almost no one rode in an arena. And the horses were often owned by someone else, and trained minimally. Don't discount what worked for uncounted thousands of riders based on arena riding, or light recreational riding.
Almost no one today, apart from ranchers, ride as long or in as rough of country as what was done in the 1800s. And most ranchers and cowboys still ride more like old-time cowboys than dressage or jumpers...and FWIW, I like a forward seat & jump saddles. But western riders are not "wrong"...
And lets not forget the old Cav endurance test for horse (and trooper).
300 miles in 5 days.
People who ride for pleasure should spend some time riding for work. It will give them a different perspective on riding....and saddles. Riding all day for at least 5 days a week every week can really put things in a different perspective.
Went from Dressage to Hunt to Western (for working, and for pleasure). They each have their differences. Hunt served me well for situations where I needed to jump something later on (although not as fun if I happened to on a Western saddle). Dressage taught me balance and feeling comfortable on a horse (but just because I did it first). Western taught me how to ride all day and still have my horse and myself fit and ready to ride the next day (and many more days in a row).
The fun of working on horseback does wear off eventually (it's not always a fun or easy job), but the lessons learned from it are quite valuable to me. Caused me to ride the saddle I prefer today and the way I ride today. I'm not a fan of the "English" (still have problems with that, since it's not really an "English" saddle, but German/Austrian/Hungarian) or "Western" (another technical miss named sadde, but what can you do ) saddle. But they serve their purposes. Just as the Trooper serves mine
taught me how to ride all day and still have my horse and myself fit and ready to ride the next day (and many more days in a row).
The fun of working on horseback does wear off eventually (it's not always a fun or easy job),
Oh same here! I had the joy of exercising 8 horses in a day (just walk, trot, figures, a little hill work nothing fancy) around 4 days a week in the summer and then riding mine on top of that every single day... I was so fit haha and prepared to ride again the following day. I was switching between a wintec, bareback, and my current saddle.
First, almost all western saddles will put you behind the horse's CG at speed. It takes a fair bit of forward leaning to get the rider's CG in the same spot as the horses, because the balance point of a western saddle is further back than with an Aussie or English saddle. I LIKE riding forward at a canter or gallop in a western saddle, but it means my shoulders are also forward. Well forward.
Although this guy is campdrafting, it illustrates riding forward in an Australian saddle, which is already more forward than most western saddles:
"One can be with the motion and the only way to do that is with a balanced seat where the heels and the CG of the body happen to be in vertical alignment. For flatwork, that means shoulder, hips, and heels in a vertical line."
CG and the stirrups ought to be pretty well aligned, but your CG is not determined by having a vertical line to heels, hips, shoulder. The guy in the photo above almost certainly has his CG with the horse's.
For WALKING, it is true. For a collected horse, it is pretty true. For an extended horse, trying to cover ground, it is not true. That is why you will never see a jockey riding with "shoulder, hips, and heels in a vertical line". In any forward seat, at speed, you do not have "shoulder, hips, and heels in a vertical line".
Being 'behind the horse' means your CG (center of gravity) is behind the horse's CG, which is roughly at the heart girth, but it varies with what the horse is doing. If your horse needs to make sudden stops, being behind the horse is GOOD, just as leaning back is good if you are standing on a bus that stops suddenly.
None of this applies much to the OP question. The OP is obviously not asking if an experienced rider has a problem while riding in ANY of the riding styles. You will never see a top dressage rider get off his horse and grab his balls - nor a top cutter, roper, or jumper.
Most of the concern is based on ignorance. Most men know how to ride a bicycle, and they don't grab their balls getting off a 10-speed either. It really shouldn't take a man more than about 5-10 seconds to find a position in a saddle that doesn't crush his nuts.
My advice was geared to a beginner rider, since experienced riders already know the answer. A mild chair seat (heels aligned with the belt buckle) and carrying some weight on the thighs and in the stirrups will help a first time male rider stay comfortable. And any male will sometimes do something that will feel a bit uncomfortable, but being smarter than a rock, he will figure out to adjust and not repeat.
If he enjoys riding, he may branch into jumping, dressage, roping, or trail riding to whatever extent he wants. When he does, he'll adjust his style of riding and, again, quickly figure out if something is causing a problem. It simply isn't that hard.
I have never boasted about my riding, but for reference, here is what I mean by a mild chair seat. And yes, my CG is behind the horse's at that point (ie, behind the base of the withers):
"The location of the horse's center of balance depends on a combination of speed and degree of collection. For a standing or quietly walking horse, it is slightly behind the heart girth and below the withers. If a horse is moving at a trot or canter, the center of balance shifts slightly forward, and it moves even more forward when the horse is galloping or jumping. If a horse is highly collected, the center of balance will be farther back, regardless of gait, than if the horse is in an extended frame."
The article below is from the Department of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia:
"The center of balance of a horse standing or walking freely lies directly over a point a few inches behind the withers.
As the horse moves forward at speed, the point of balance moves forward. Jockeys provide a good example of weight well forward on the shoulder, permitting full potential performance of the horse. Even pleasure riders find that "getting forward" is not only comfortable for themselves, but it also seems to allow freer movement of the horse."