"Chair seat"

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"Chair seat"

This is a discussion on "Chair seat" within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    09-01-2010, 07:46 PM
Green Broke
"Chair seat"

I have run into a bit of a problem, I have quite the chair seat (my legs too far forward) what are some ways to help correct that, steaches etc. If there are any at all (besides simply bringing my legs back). Any advice would be appreciated.
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    09-01-2010, 07:55 PM
Green Broke
Think about riding more on your pelvis... and maybe try riding without sitrrups?
Im not sure, these are just guesses, lol. :)
    09-01-2010, 08:12 PM
Do you have a photo of yourself in this "chair seat"? Many times a chair seat is a result of a saddle that doesn't fit the horse very well or is placed too far forward. If the saddle is angled too much upward in the pommel, then you are forced to lean forward, I.e. Lean up into the hill . If you have your upper body forward but your butt is falling back into the cantle of the saddle, your natural tendency will be to put your lower legs forward to counterbalance the upperbody. One would think that you would put them BACK but it is not so. You will have to struggle to bring them back under you and as soon as you start trotting, you will naturally find them creeping forward, until they are under your upper body. So, look at your saddle. Western? English?
You may need to bring it a bit further back (many dressage riders put theirs too far forward) or, if the horse has a back that causes this angle, then add a small lift under the back of the saddle , like a Cashel wedge. See if that doesn't feel different. If you want a temporary trial, you can arrange some folded towels in layers that gradually taper in thickeness to provide a lift to the back of the saddle without an abrupt edge thatq the horse will feel under the saddle. If that feels better you will know that a wedge is your solution.
Let me know how that works. I am curious. And can you post a photo?
    09-01-2010, 08:20 PM
Green Broke
Old picture and not who I ride now, I ride school horses at my college but that's how I typically ride.
    09-01-2010, 08:22 PM
Green Broke
Same saddle and such, now that I look at that picture again, how embarrassing
    09-01-2010, 08:47 PM

Thank you for the photo. I see tons of Western riders who ride like that. In fact, I see it taught. However, if you look at how master western riders ride, you will not see this position. You will see a more upright, less braced position.
The bad part of such a chair seat is two fold. One;
Your weight goes straight down through your seat bones and ONLY there so is concentrated on the horses back in one spot rather than spread out over your entire pelvis and down through your thighs. Hores will be more likely to hollow out his back to get away from sharp seat bone pressure. Two;
If you brace into the stirrups you are not able to flow as well with the horse's forward energy. You are in fact bracing against him and he has to work just that much more to go forward. You are kind of "holding" him. You can feel your backward pressure against the cantle, no? He feels that as resistance.
So, in the above photo I see that you might need to lengthen your stirrups. The saddle itself may not have very good balance. The horse is very downhill in build and is carrying its' head WAY below its; shoulder tip. Isn't that a no-no in WP? I ride dressage so am not so familiar with WP. Your avatar photo in HUS looks much better position.
What kind of Western saddle is that? Can you do some riding just letting you legs hang down out of the stirrups? We used to be told to let our legs hang down, wiggle them a bit to loosen them and then just "lift" the toes from the ankle to pick up the stirrup. If you cannot, then the stirrup is too short and too far in front of where your leg naturally hangs.
My friend has a Crates saddle and boy does it have nice balance. I can post like a dream in it and my legs hang down in a very natural way.
Does this help?
    09-01-2010, 08:58 PM
Green Broke
Yes I realize that is head is too low, this was about 2 years ago and I was all "the lower the better" when we would do wp. It is a Circle Y barrel racing saddle. An my stirrups have been lengthened about 2 holes. I was told it is better to sit in the middle of your saddle, yet I make a point to shove my butt against the back simply because that's what iv been told to do before. Is it better to sit in the middle of your saddle? And when you say use your pelvis do you mean "roll" with the horses movement?
    09-02-2010, 12:23 AM
Yes, I'd say better to sit in the middle of the saddle. If you sit at the very back, that's asking for a chair seat. The rule of thumb that I've been taught is you want to have about the width of your hand (2-3) inches behind your bum. Many people actually ride in saddles that are too small for them.
    09-02-2010, 12:23 AM
Green Broke
I really make a point to shove my heals down, could that also be a factor in my legs being too far forward?
    09-02-2010, 12:24 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Eolith    
Yes, I'd say better to sit in the middle of the saddle. If you sit at the very back, that's asking for a chair seat. The rule of thumb that I've been taught is you want to have about the width of your hand (2-3) inches behind your bum. Many people actually ride in saddles that are too small for them.
Would you say that saddle is too small for me? I think its either a 15 or 15 1/2

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