What type of western saddle puts you in a decent "classical" position? - Page 8

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What type of western saddle puts you in a decent "classical" position?

This is a discussion on What type of western saddle puts you in a decent "classical" position? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    05-15-2013, 11:42 PM
Originally Posted by COWCHICK77    
Interesting pics DHW!
Some of those saddles I have never seen before. I agree that the third saddle would be pretty ideal. I have to admit those cantles on the Spanish and French saddles make me cringe. I do not like a lot of "dish" to the cantle as it causes to bite my outside thigh or hips. On my saddles if you were to stick a ruler across the seat from corner to corner on the cantle where it ties into the skirt than measured the distance from the ruler to the deepest part of the cantle, it would maybe measure one inch. And if you are not riding correctly and your butt hits the cantle you hear it because of how flat they are, sounds like you got smacked with a paddle! LOL!)
Perhaps the way those styles are built it is not an issue?

Built for men , got no thigh pillows and hardly any butt.
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    05-15-2013, 11:44 PM
As for "behind the motion" . . This , to me, means that the wave of your motion, if described by a syne wave, is offset from that of the horse, lagging behind by some minute amount. The more it lags, the more you will be going "down" when the horse is going up, so that you are disunited from his motion and thus causeing an irriattion to him and a suppression of his forward energy.
    05-15-2013, 11:51 PM
^^ Interesting! By that definition, almost ANY seat could be behind the motion, or not! That focuses on "rhythm" while I was paying attention to "balance"...
    05-16-2013, 12:01 AM
Correct. But it's harder to stay in sync with your horse if you are not over your own legs and close to his center of gravity, and your upper body lagging behind your lower body.
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    05-16-2013, 12:03 AM
The horse's movement can be seen as a wave. If you ride the backside of the wave you will always be struggling to "climb" up it, and eventually fall behind it, as a surfer cannot stay with a wave once he has crested it and is on the backside of it. The very best dressage riders will actually be riding on the front edge of the horse's movement, like a surfer. Instead of climbing or hanging on the back edge of the horse's movement, they allow themselves to be "pushed" forward, ever so slightly leading the horse, or shall I say the horse's syne wave.
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    05-16-2013, 12:54 AM
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
correct. But it's harder to stay in sync with your horse if you are not over your own legs and close to his center of gravity, and your upper body lagging behind your lower body.
Well, if you look like this, I agree :

However, if you are using any standard approach to riding, then I have to disagree. Riding in an English jump saddle with a position close to a 1900 cowboy (although a relaxed leg), it was EASIER to stay in synch with the horse's motion. Very few people have the flexibility in their back and strength in their tummy to absorb that motion completely with their back.

And if I lean forward, light in the seat and my weight centered over the stirrup bars/withers, then I am centered over the part of the horse that moves the least, and I have very little motion to match at all! The dressage seat, IMHO, is the hardest seat to ride well.

And if the horse is moving fast, the "classical seat" has your center of gravity farther from the horse's than the 'classical western seat', since moving your legs forward moves your center of gravity forward too! The dressage seat is designed for dressage, which values collected gaits. Collection moves the horse's center of gravity back, and that makes it somewhat easier - but you are still trying to absorb the motion of the horse with a part of your body not designed to compress vertically: your spine.

Any rider should lead his horse's motion. If you want him to shift his balance to the rear, then you ought to do so first and give him a reason to shift too. If you want your horse to slow, lagging the motion with your rump gives him incentive to slow. That has nothing to do with what seat you prefer. That is Riding 102.
    05-16-2013, 07:31 AM
A pic of "behind the motion"...notice where the legs are in relation to the upper body.

    05-16-2013, 08:14 AM
Green Broke
I searched high and low for a western sadddle that let me have my legs under me. I had never ridden western before, for more than a 1/2 hour. I found a Billy Cook Classic, in a strange place (just driving down the road, on the way to a show, saw a BUNCH of saddles outside a pawn shop) sat in it, and bought it. Still really like it for position. I still don't like a horn!!

    05-16-2013, 11:27 AM
Originally Posted by GotaDunQH    
A pic of "behind the motion"...notice where the legs are in relation to the upper body.

In what sense does that either prevent a rider from moving with the horse, or cause the center of gravity to be too far back?

Is this guy "behind the motion"?

Having seen the video the picture below was taken from, I know the woman WAS behind the motion. And this is what I consider a "chair seat" and is a position that I'm pretty certain prevents anyone from moving with their horse:

If your thigh is near horizontal, as it is when sitting in a chair, and your upper body is not folded over it in the way a jumper would be, then I do not see how it would be possible to do anything other than bounce up and down on the rear of the saddle. That position also puts almost all of the rider's weight equal to or higher than the horse's back. That works for jockeys because their weight is in the stirrups. If your weight is on your butt, then you are a fall waiting to happen. But the problem with this style is where the weight is carried, not just feet in front of the belt buckle.

One of the reasons I dislike our Circle Y saddle is that the shape of the saddle forces my thighs into that position. The stirrups are actually hung back closer to my hip, but the darn saddle is shaped in such a way that I cannot get my thighs any lower than the lady above has hers. I have never been able to move "in fluid balance and rhythm" with my horse in that saddle. I just bounce and look at my mare's pinned ears...

Unhappily, the shape of the saddle is very hard to see in pictures. I'll try to see if I can get a picture of ours that shows the thigh groove later today.

GotaDunQH, I will say that if you combine the position of the lady in the picture you posted with what sure looks like a braced back and tension on the reins...I'd bet money she is neither balanced nor in synch with her horse.
    05-16-2013, 11:29 AM
Originally Posted by GotaDunQH    
A pic of "behind the motion"...notice where the legs are in relation to the upper body.

And she would have such a nice long leg......
I've seen even more extreme, lower leg extremely back and up towards the flank, and the instructor not saying anything.....

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