Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
bsms - to your post :) Let me tell you my experience.
I used to own a Wintec 500 A/P. It was the only saddle I had for about 3/4 years....I cannot recall the exact # I owned it....but anyways - it always put me in a chair seat. I just "went" with it, and continued on doing what I was doing with it.....
Until I rode with Buck Davidson at a Clinic that our local Pony Club put on. He looked at me in this Wintec and said that I need to invest in a new saddle that put me in a better position. During our session, no matter how hard I tried to get my legs under me, I couldn't - it even physically hurt to attempt to keep my legs under me.
He told me that our saddles should aid us, not hinder us. I couldn't, for the life of me, stay up in a functional two point, without collapsing back into my saddle, because I couldn't get myself to balance over my feet.
Now that I am in a new saddle, a Harry Dabbs Origional Event - I am put in a very comfortable position. I can get my legs under me without any hinderance. I can stay up in a 2 point position, balanced over my feet and remain up there through all 3 gaits. While yes, I still have to solidify my lower leg and strengthen them to remain being my posts - it isn't a fight or a struggle to do so.
I could not progress forward in my riding, I could not improve until I found a saddle that aided me, instead of hindering me.
Buying a saddle is a science - it isn't about "Oh it's a 17.5", so it'll fit me" - that's the absolute basics to choosing a saddle for yourself. There is also the twist, the flaps, the stirrup bar placement, the deepness of the seat, the shape of the cantle *square, round* and of course, the seat size. Every saddle is designed to fit a particular body type - what may work for me, wont work for you. What may work for you, wont work for me - etc, etc, etc. That is why it is very important to sit in as many saddles as you can, to find what fits you perfectly or as close to perfect - because, each "flaw" will hinder you and your progression of your riding....especially where jumping is applicable.
I could of just accepted the position that Wintec put me in, but I knew I wouldn't of been able to progress forward in my riding, or improve in my riding, until I got a saddle that worked with me, instead of against me.
See what I am saying?
SO - if your saddle isn't aiding you - you aren't aiding your horse. It isn't about having "perfect" equitation - it's about having functional equitation - so that you can stay out of your horses way, so that they can do their job as best as they can.