What type of western saddle puts you in a decent "classical" position? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 89 Old 05-07-2013, 04:14 PM
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I am looking to buy some bell stirrups to replace my EZ Ride trail stirrups (like them, but am tired of hearing how UGLY they are, and they are pretty beat up). I have large feet, so am leaning towards 5" stirrups and am wondering about the heel blocks. I have searched everywhere looking for "how" they work and can't find anything. Anybody??
Thanks for any input on this purchase.
Jan
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post #22 of 89 Old 05-07-2013, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aztrailrider View Post
I am looking to buy some bell stirrups to replace my EZ Ride trail stirrups (like them, but am tired of hearing how UGLY they are, and they are pretty beat up). I have large feet, so am leaning towards 5" stirrups and am wondering about the heel blocks. I have searched everywhere looking for "how" they work and can't find anything. Anybody??
Thanks for any input on this purchase.
Jan
I'm curious to know too :)

re: Association trees... thats what I currently have, and I DO love it! But, it is really hard to keep my feet back. I agree that your core is a huge part of it but I struggle more in this saddle than I do in my english saddle, or in that saddle of my friend's that will always stand out in my mind (the one that put me in such a great position). My association is old though (pre-1940's according to a friend who repairs saddles), maybe that has something to do with it.

I found a Billy Cook barrel saddle which doesn't SEEM to have the stirrups too forward. Definitely not as far as my saddle I don't think. I wish I had a pic to compare because I don't have my saddle here with me. What do you all think? (the saddle looks basically brand new)

Billy Cook Barrel Saddle - Prince Albert Livestock For Sale - Kijiji Prince Albert

I was also sort of looking at this one... but isn't Western Rawhide sort of a "cheaper" brand?

14" Western Rawhide saddle

or...

Saddle- penning, reining, trail riding Billy Cook - Saskatoon Pet Accessories - Kijiji Saskatoon Canada.

all of those seem to me to have the fenders falling decently far back but I just don't know.

((I know I would need to ride any saddle before purchasing and would be sure it fit my horse, but I do have to drive a distance to see any of these so want to have an idea beforehand))
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post #23 of 89 Old 05-08-2013, 12:33 AM
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I have an RS custom barrel saddle and the stirrups are hung farther back than other barrel saddles. Its something to consider!

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post #24 of 89 Old 05-08-2013, 01:03 AM
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I'm confused. Don't you put yourself in the proper position rather than relying on your saddle to do so? My trainer starts everyone in Western saddles but you can bet your life she still expects (and demands!) the proper position.

With that being said, adult riders at her barn use Big Horn synthetic saddles. I like the freedom of movement in the stirrups.
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post #25 of 89 Old 05-08-2013, 07:03 AM
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Ideally, gravity should be your friend. I'm not sure there is a "proper" position...depends on your build, the horse's build, how the saddle is constructed and what you are doing with the horse. But in many saddles, when you sit in them, there is a position that gravity and the shape of the saddle tends to put your leg. If that position is the one you like, then the saddle fits you. If it is one you don't like, then you can shove your leg somewhere else - but now you are putting tension in you leg, and fighting gravity and your saddle. It is possible, but why would you want that? And I am convinced that in most cases, riding with a relaxed leg is better than riding with any given leg position.

Our Circle Y will put your thigh at a forward angle. The shape of the seat has a groove for your thigh. I like a more vertical thigh, and the Circle Y drives me nuts. Our Abetta doesn't seem to have that groove. Add in cloth fenders, and it is much more forgiving for different leg positions. I normally ride my Australian-style saddle with 1" stirrup straps, but there is still a 'sweet spot' where my legs tend to hang relaxed. For that saddle, the sweet spot has my heels closer to my hips than I like. Oh well. Since I believe a relaxed leg is better than a leg 'position', I accept it and ride the saddle. If I could afford a custom made saddle, I'd have the stirrup bars placed further forward.



My daughter's leg is in the groove of our Circle Y Mojave saddle. I prefer a more vertical thigh, but I would feel more comfortable with my heel further forward. But that is pretty much where my leg hangs on my saddle, and it is close enough.
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Last edited by bsms; 05-08-2013 at 07:07 AM.
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post #26 of 89 Old 05-08-2013, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikelodeon79 View Post
I'm confused. Don't you put yourself in the proper position rather than relying on your saddle to do so? My trainer starts everyone in Western saddles but you can bet your life she still expects (and demands!) the proper position.
It greatly depends on the person and the saddle. Some saddles (particularly roping saddles) tend to really sling your feet out in a horrible chair seat. It's no different than an ill fitting English saddle. You can get "proper" alignment, but it's a losing battle if you're fighting the saddle every step of the way. It also has to do with how the saddle and the seat are balanced. My old roping saddle, I would try to keep my legs back where they should have been and not only were the fenders constantly pulling my legs back forward (did get a nice butt workout though LOL), but it threw off my balance in that saddle. I can ride with my legs back bareback without issue, I can ride with them back in my Association, but in that saddle, if I tried to keep my legs back, I had no balance whatsoever.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #27 of 89 Old 05-08-2013, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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QHrider I meant to ask you what kind of saddle you had! I saw pics in another thread where your position was great, but you were in a barrel saddle. I'll have to see if I can find any for sale and try them out.

I know the proper effective position is up to YOU, but some western saddles make it SO darn hard
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post #28 of 89 Old 05-08-2013, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, just noticed '"custom", QHrider ;)
I've always wanted to have one custom made ;) but am definitely not in a spot to afford one at this point in my life!
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post #29 of 89 Old 05-08-2013, 10:31 PM
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Agree an equitation/pleasure saddle is going to be the best for putting you correct position.
Besides Kijji,try northernhorse.com or FB. There is always some good FB sites to look for tack like this one https://www.facebook.com/groups/136514316557/
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post #30 of 89 Old 05-08-2013, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SnowCowgirl View Post
Ah, just noticed '"custom", QHrider ;)
I've always wanted to have one custom made ;) but am definitely not in a spot to afford one at this point in my life!
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Its not actually custom. I bought it used for $750 lol. "Custom" is just part of the brand name. Just google "RS Custom Saddles".

I was used to riding in a rope saddle and I felt real barrel saddles made my knees hurt (tore my acl and have a lot of knee damage) so this rs saddle works perfectly for me and balances me well without forcing me into a position.
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