1 - Cowboy or Cavalry, you could go thru 1000 photos before finding someone who DIDN'T ride that was. You can't claim that those pictures are of idiots, unless you assume every professional rider in that day was an idiot.
2 - The cavalry regularly covered 40 miles/day, 3-4 days in a row, and had to arrive with their horses fresh enough to charge into battle - where losing meant you died. The cowboys of that day didn't have anyone to call on their cell phone for a medivac. They covered a lot of miles - a lot more than the vast majority of recreational riders.
Yet they weren't TRUE western riders. True western riding was only discovered in the 70s, when people started spending more time riding in arenas than at work.
Mind you, I am not criticizing anyone who wants to ride with shoulder - hip - heel in a vertical line. They can if they want. WP isn't my thing, but I figure if they are happy, then I'll be happy for them. But below are two pictures, both previously posted on this thread. Which of the two is WORKING on their horse? I'm willing to call BOTH OF THEM real western riders...but if you could only choose one, which would you choose?
If you tell me the top one...OK. But I'm not buying it.
The forward seat became prevalent in jumping about the time that jumping became a competition. Before that, it was mostly something you did sometimes going from A to B. In much of the western US, jumping a 5 foot fence isn't very smart. It would be a good way to kill your horse.
However, a forward seat has always been used for racing. There are statues of Greeks 400 BC using a forward seat - when racing.
But if you want to tell me that the US Cavalry & all the cowboys of 1860 to the modern era were incompetent riders...I ain't buying that either. I don't believe that REAL riding developed about the same time most riders began riding recreationally instead of purposefully.
If y'all want to attack anyone who rides like this:
I cannot stop you. After all, if someone can look at an English saddle and a western one, and not notice any difference...well, they're beyond any advice I can give! And let's face it: Craig Cameron sucks at riding. He's just another idiot...