Is it the saddle? Or the rider? Or maybe the horse? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 18 Old 08-03-2011, 01:08 PM
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It has to be the saddle. What maker is it? Please take a picture of it from the side , on this horse squared up as best you can. If you can, take another one of it on him, without a pad underneath and far back anough to see his whole back (see angle better).
It could be the balance of the saddle, or it could be that the saddle itself is not sitting correctly on the horse's back (i.e. Angled too high in front or viceversa).
I used to have a Crosby dressage saddle that I loved and I could ride very well in it , but the angle of the twist in the front made my peepee mighty sore, making married life difficult. (wink wink).

Pictures and or videos please!
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post #12 of 18 Old 08-03-2011, 01:24 PM
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First off, get up higher than the horse and check his back for symmetry. If there is quite a difference the saddle won't be sitting as it should, which then throws you out of whack. Is this horse's back uphill or downhill ie. Does the pommel sit at the same height as the cantle or higher or lower. This can throw the rider out of sync. I'd like to see a pic of the horse standing square with no saddle, then one with the saddle. The horse needs to be standing square with it's head up in a fairly natural position.
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post #13 of 18 Old 08-03-2011, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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I'll try to get some pics on Friday when I go to ride again. Horse Camp is on, so I have limited time to get this guy tidied up and ready to go since the barn is super busy. If I get a quiet minute, I'll get some shots. I'll also check out some of the things you guys have suggested!

I changed horses for a couple of reasons. Former Lesson Horse got, I think, a bit Arena Sour. He REEEAALLLLY likes doing trail rides - the difference between how he strides on the trail vs. how he strides in the ring is breathtaking. He's been doing almost nothing but arena work all summer, though - he's been doing some Horse Camp, working with me a couple times per week, and training hard with his owner. He's been really cutting up and making a super PITA out of himself over the last three weeks or so, to the point where it's getting harder to ride him than it needs to be. He isn't really a Horrible Lesson Horse at all, but he's learned to play one on TV lately. When I showed up on Mon he'd thrown a shoe so he was out of commission. I think that the trainer is going to put this horse to work under a very good rider who can break the new bad habits, rather than just spending the entire time trying to learn to deal with them.

Trainer seized this opportunity to put me on New Horse, who she'd wanted me to ride for quite a while anyway. Not sure why, but she's had good judgment and has a ton of experience, so I trust her. He's been out of commission because he's got arthritis from a long and serious show jumping career (former Grand Prix jumper) and went lame towards the end of April, and he's just gotten his condition back after having been laid off for a while due to the a bone spur or something (I was told what, but I can't remember) from the arthritis.

So Former Lesson Horse being temporarily hors du combat due to thrown shoe, and New Lesson Horse being newly available, it looked like a good time to make the switch. I'm glad, too - New Lesson Horse is the sweetest thing on the planet, and Former Lesson Horse was starting to teach me bad habits due to his tricks. New Lesson Horse, as I mentioned, is SUPER responsive, so I'm about to get my new bad habits broken, and hopefully be able to develop a little more finesse and lightness.
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post #14 of 18 Old 08-03-2011, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
Mattes Seat Saver < Seat Savers < Horse Tack|Dover Saddlery. There are cheaper out there too, but I believe that's what I got years ago (still use it).

I use it during winter too on my dressage saddle (keeps butt very warm).
I'm sorry I can't contribute, but is that ad supposed to say 'ideal for people who spend long horses in the saddle'?
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post #15 of 18 Old 08-03-2011, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegoldenpony View Post
I'm sorry I can't contribute, but is that ad supposed to say 'ideal for people who spend long horses in the saddle'?
I know! I saw that too, and had to read it three times before I was sure I had it right.

That seatsaver looks GREAT.
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post #16 of 18 Old 08-03-2011, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegoldenpony View Post
I'm sorry I can't contribute, but is that ad supposed to say 'ideal for people who spend long horses in the saddle'?
Bahahahahahaha! I spend couple hours at the most. Still adds plenty of comfort!

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post #17 of 18 Old 08-04-2011, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegoldenpony View Post
I'm sorry I can't contribute, but is that ad supposed to say 'ideal for people who spend long horses in the saddle'?
I catch myself switching "hours" and "horse" all the time actually.

RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
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post #18 of 18 Old 08-05-2011, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Aha! We have an answer! It is not the tack, at all. (Although the saddle is definitely a little small for me, it is not causing the main problem.)

Here's what it turned out to be:

This horse has a soundness issue in his right rear leg - he's got arthritis and was out of commission for several months due to lameness + recovery from that. He's no longer lame, but his *is* still a little stiff in that leg, and he's getting a little off balance in his hindquarters, and the net effect of that is that he's pushing his barrel out to the left.

Which, since I didn't realize this and compensate for it, was pushing more of my weight into my right (thus pinching my right ankle and causing that foot to go numb) and off of my left (thus causing my foot to float and the stirrup to slip back).

It took about a half-hour of riding, stopping, riding, inspecting, etc. to figure this all out.

So I had a great learning opportunity, whereby I found out that I can use my seat and legs to cause the horse to shift his weight between his butt and legs. I'm not good enough yet to really "feel" his barrel shifting onto my leg, but I can DEFINITELY feel when this all happens because I feel *my* weight go onto my right hip and my left foot start to float in the stirrup. Now when that happens, I need to bend his head left and press on his side with my left let and make some room with my right leg, and he straightens his whole body out. Voila! No more stirrup slippage, no more numb foot!

I'm sure there is some kind of technical term for this process, and if so, I would love to know what it is. At the moment, I'm just happy that I learned something SUPER useful this morning (not just about helping fix his shape, but about the relationship between my hips and his hips).

The saddle, is, unfortunately throwing me out of balance a bit and causing me to carry my legs in the wrong place, which is making it difficult to efficiently use my legs to keep him going forward. Even more unfortunately is that the solution to this is to close up my hip angle and carry my weight forward (so my legs can go back), because this means I'm getting banged up a bit on the pommel. Worst yet is that we're pretty much stuck with this saddle for now. :( Ah well, it will be VERY helpful in prompting me to keep my descent on the rising trot nice and light!
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