Originally Posted by bsms
I love the arrogance of the modern recreational rider.
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... Craig Cameron Explains How To Ride The Canter On the Equicizer & Horse - YouTube
I agree with this whole heartedly, and heres why:
I was trained to ride jumpers/dressage. Leg position was very important and I know why. I liked jumpers over hunters, and heres why:
Do you want pretty or do you want effective?
In jumpers, no one cares what you look like. If you clear the round with the fastest time, you win. Ugliness aside. Its function that matters the most. You have to have a good BASE training in order to survive it and do it WELL. But do you need to look pretty? No.
Fox hunting as well. You need good training under your belt to literally SURVIVE some of those runs. But do you need to look pretty? No. One interviewer said that she didn't care how I looked over the jump, as long as it was functional.
Do you need to look pretty in other english events? Yes, if you want to place. However, jumping and foxhunting are two examples on how you can remained balanced without constant alignment.
Western is the same way. On animals who don't quite "work", leg alignment is ideal. WP - you're on a horse who doesn't move. You can pay a lot of attention to where your seat and leg are. For cutters, ropers, etc., leg alignment is the LAST thing you are thinking about. You and your horse are preforming two separate tasks as individuals to accomplish one goal.
You want pretty, stick to the hunters and stick to wp. You want effective, it'll be balls-to-the-walls to get the job done. As long as you have a good BASE in balance and a good communication level flowing between you and your horse, your leg can fly around a little.
I understand the mechanics of leg alignment and know its uses. I have used it in dressage. But believe me, when the job needs done and it needs done now, that leg is going to move and you're not going to care.
Also, reiners don't trot.