Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
Bsms, get on an English saddle and ride out in the desert, 5 mile lap, in a forward sear ONLY. No cheatin .....you'll understand the balance-unbalance " debate"...
Actually, I have often used a *******ized forward seat, with longer stirrups since I don't need to jump anything. My Aussie-style saddle rides almost identically to my Bates Caprilli AP saddle. Seated, with eyes closed, not moving, they feel almost identical. In motion, the Bates with CAIR bounces a bit more...
There is nothing unbalanced about it. Maintaining the position requires more work, but it has greater balance front to back, which is a part of why jumpers use it. I have used it because Mia used to sometimes bolt forward, or suddenly brake without warning. Particularly on the leaps forward, a forward seat is easier to maintain than a vertical seat. A wider base, measured front to back, means greater leeway for error.
There were many problems with the analysis the author gave. Lowering the center of gravity is not bad. A wider base is not bad. There is no pendulum effect. There is a reason tightrope walkers carry a long pole - it helps them balance:
There is a lot of riding analysis done based on where your pelvic bones is, for example, while ignoring things like thighs and how your muscles drape around the horse. A typical analysis of a rider with his feet forward usually assumes the rider is arcing around the stirrups, bouncing up and then slamming down into the horse's back. It doesn't work that way, and anyone who tried riding like that for a while can say why - a combination of where your center of gravity is, plus the effect of your thighs and the flexibility in your hips. But someone would have to TRY it to know.
The motion is more like this:
The center of gravity moves forward with your feet, your thighs take an active part, and you open and close the angle of your body to move with the horse - kind of like Craig Cameron does in the video.
I am certainly not saying anyone has to ride like that. If you are in a jump saddle, your horse won't be very happy. I know, because I've tried it and Mia got grumpy. In a western saddle, or my Aussie-style saddle, she acts relaxed and happy. But if I want her to go fast, I need to adjust my balance to a forward seat.
I use it as an example of how many instructors and books will say things they know nothing about. If you can find a good instructor, great! I'm all in favor of learning different styles and approaches, and adapting what you learn to your particular situation. But if someone has done a lot of riding, and it is working for them and their horse, then they need some caution.