Back in the good old days. - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 88 Old 03-19-2012, 01:41 PM
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The horses used for cattle back then were smaller than now. The picture below is pretty typical...add in that the average height of an American soldier in 1940 was under 5'8", and it is obvious they did not use large horses:

Pink Murray, famous wagon boss of the OR ranch in southern Arizona, mounted on his favorite horse. Navajo Indian blankets were used as saddle blankets, and "Pink" had a good one. OR Range, Arizona, 1909



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... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)
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post #42 of 88 Old 03-19-2012, 01:46 PM
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The horn may be part of it, but the drawings I've seen of cavalry manuals from the mid-1800s would probably look fine to QHriderKE's Dad. Even dressage riders had some points in common:



Look at the long leg, somewhat forward, hips back, feet forward in the stirrups...

Cavalry (if he would just 'home' his feet in the stirrups):


Uhhhhh, no.

Instead of taking some old illustrations as proof that the classical seat is some modern invention, why don't you read some books by de La Gueriniere and see what he had to say about it in the 17th century?

He was most definitely NOT talking about riding in a chair seat with the feet home.
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post #43 of 88 Old 03-19-2012, 02:13 PM
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Uhhhhh, no.

Instead of taking some old illustrations as proof that the classical seat is some modern invention, why don't you read some books by de La Gueriniere and see what he had to say about it in the 17th century?

He was most definitely NOT talking about riding in a chair seat with the feet home.
Probably because this thread isn't about dressage, and I said SOME points in common. I did not at any point even suggest that I was trying to prove "the classical seat is some modern invention" ...

But the classical seat is classical only for some types of riding, and it certainly was NOT practiced by the US Cavalry or by many cowboys of the 1800s. The dressage seat is ill suited for roping and cutting, which is why it isn't used by ropers or cutters today, either. It is A style of riding good for SOME purposes, most of which don't involve cattle and rough country.
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... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)
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post #44 of 88 Old 03-19-2012, 02:31 PM
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The dressage seat is A style of riding good for SOME purposes, most of which don't involve rough country.
A balanced seat is superior to anything else when the going gets rough. Not theory, real world experience.

I couldn't care less about working cows though.
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post #45 of 88 Old 03-19-2012, 02:37 PM
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I just sit on the horse and do whatever I can to make the experience good for both me and the horse. It just happens to be that I ride forward to accomplish that.
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post #46 of 88 Old 03-19-2012, 02:41 PM
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Well, I'll wait and hold my breath until the ropers and cutters start riding like dressage riders. Then again, maybe I won't...

Balanced is not interchangeable with 'dressage seat'. Cutters, reiners & ropers are balanced without using "the classical seat". Same for jockeys, polo players, steeplechase riders. Balance IN MOTION...and appropriate for the activity, horse & terrain.

... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)
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post #47 of 88 Old 03-19-2012, 02:44 PM
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I believe being balanced is being able to ride the horse doing whatever, dressage, jumping, roping, racing ect ect... without falling off. It's just different seats are practical for each circumstance.
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post #48 of 88 Old 03-19-2012, 03:17 PM
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Probably because this thread isn't about dressage, and I said SOME points in common. I did not at any point even suggest that I was trying to prove "the classical seat is some modern invention" ...

But the classical seat is classical only for some types of riding, and it certainly was NOT practiced by the US Cavalry or by many cowboys of the 1800s. The dressage seat is ill suited for roping and cutting, which is why it isn't used by ropers or cutters today, either. It is A style of riding good for SOME purposes, most of which don't involve cattle and rough country.

I agree. That is why how the cutters ride is called cutters slouch.
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post #49 of 88 Old 03-19-2012, 03:31 PM
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This is my take on the subject....

Giving that I have both cowboyed on the same horse all day 12 hours and rode 12 head a day in the arena.

If I am riding horses in the arena and "training" on them, switching horses every half hour or so, I shorter stirrup is perfect. But when cowboying, I like a long stirrup, I let them out a couple of holes. There is a big difference between riding a pile of horses in an arena and staying on the same one all day, even if you if its the same amount of hours. A longer stirrup is much more comfortable for long hours and easier to rope out of.

Someone mentioned that the horses were smaller, yes they were, but so were the people. My father in law has a set of boots from a relative who was Calvary soldier from the Civil War(I believe, I might have this wrong) They are tiny! But that was the average size of a man back then. So I think the size of the horses may irrelevant. I think it was more of a comfort thing IMO.

The idea of a good cowboy back then was different as well. A cowboy was judged on his ability to ride tough horses and buckers and get the job done on that type. They bred horses for their hardiness, not its ease of train-ability. The horses were way tougher. Now it's different, good cowboys are considered by their ability to be a good cowman and horseman, to be able to make a good solid quiet horse while getting the job done. And we are breeding better horses, instead of riding these big feather footed broncs, they found out that riding a good mind horse is actually much more efficient. Work smarter, not harder.

I DON'T LEAD 'EM AND FEED 'EM, I RIDE 'EM AND SLIDE 'EM.
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post #50 of 88 Old 03-19-2012, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Classical riding styles

I have copies of line drawings of 17th century riders, but they are drawings and as such are prone to artist's licence.

I enclose herewith a very good print of Baucher - one of the most influential of the Parisien instructors.

And (hatless) D'Oliviera - arguably the most famous classical horsemaster of the twentieth century. (Read how Synthia Loch describes him)

But these two men were at the very pinnacle of their profession and they are each showing off a horse of exceptional ability. They both rode to demonstrate what could be achieved by a highly accomplished rider on a very well schooled horse. .
The old horse circuses were a form of amusement for the aristocracy and the wealthy - in comparison, we modern riders might watch a dressage performance at the Olympics.

I still believe the coloured picture of the Hussar was drawn to illustrate a uniform and I very much doubt if a mere Lance Corporal was a top level rider of classical dressage. Someone drew the unifrom with a man fitted inside.

But Baucher's seat as drawn is what today most dressage riders would die to achieve in the competition arena.
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