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post #21 of 59 Old 04-28-2015, 06:14 PM
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jaydee, I don't believe in 'slopping along a trail'. But if you can't do 'low level dressage' in a saddle like that, you ought to rethink your riding. You ought to be able to do low level dressage in a jump saddle - or a western one.

Heck, for practicing, she could wear cowboy boots and shorten her stirrups. Or - perish the thought - wear jeans over the top of lace up boots and ride. I see nothing that would prevent her from posting in that saddle.

I also see nothing that forces her to lean forward, nor is there anything that would force her heel behind her. If my jump saddle didn't force me to lean forward, why does her dressage saddle? If the too wide Martin saddle I used to use couldn't force me to lean forward, then the tilt of this one is not doing it.

A saddle may not be OPTIMUM for a horse & rider, but the problems I'm seeing are not FORCED by the saddle. It is not MAKING her do stuff. The hollowed loin is not a saddle issue. Leaning forward is not a saddle issue. Her stirrup length is not driven by her saddle. It may not be a good competition saddle for her...but I've had uncounted dressage riders tell me how dressage is just training and just good riding.

OK, so stop leaning forward unless you desire a forward seat. Don't grip with the knees (which may or may not be happening, hard to see from the video). RELAX. Don't hollow your loin (Forgive me Littauer, for I have sinned). Don't tilt your pelvis forward.

Most of us who have used multiple saddles know the Momma Bear saddle feeling - "Ooohh, THAT is just right!" But if you have used a variety of saddles, you ought to know that you can ride a Poppa Bear Saddle or a Baby Bear Saddle and not lean forward (or do so, if you wish), hollow or not hollow your loin, adjust your stirrups, post or not - all in an imperfect saddle.

If you blame your saddle for your leg position, you'll never learn to control your leg - because you are trusting your saddle to position your leg. If you need a very specific saddle to prevent you from "slop[ping] along a trail", then you need to start riding the horse instead of the saddle.

Pity the wind is so high today...I miss slopping along:

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post #22 of 59 Old 04-28-2015, 07:23 PM
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her position is very much affected by the saddle. this is especially evident if you watch the video. my guess is that the saddle is pommel high, too, which accounts in part for her bangning her lady bits into the pommel with each rise, and needing to counter balance the uphill cant of the saddle . she needs shorter stirrups, and this cannot happen in that saddle. she can work on posting more off her thigh, and in fact, that's why I suggest getting ride of the stirrups all together. but, she will never be able to get a really nice balanced seat in that saddle.

there is such a thing as a "seat shrinker" made by Cashel co. it is for western saddles, but might help you get more up and over your feet by making the seat of the saddle smaller. but, it wont' help you with the stirrup lenght issue.

I am curios about the fit of the saddle, and the angle it sits at. if you had permission to post a photo, it would be interesting to see

photos of the saddle on the horse, on level ground, from the side .
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post #23 of 59 Old 04-28-2015, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Tinyliny -Thank you. Thank you. I will see if I can get a photo. The saddle seems to fit him okay, but then again I have never really checked it. Being it is flocked for him, and his owner is very anal about fit, I assumed it fit him fine and never thought twice. I will check it out. Once I get to ride a horse with a saddle that fits me better, and get back in the swing. I will get videos and photos. It shouldn't be too long, I am getting ready for shows very soon, I believe.

Bsms - I don't mean to sound snarky. But, have you ever hit your groin area over, and over, and over, and over, every time you rise in the trot for a good hmmm lets say 30 minutes or so? To the point that it hurts days after you ride. And have you rode in a saddle that killed your hips due to the twist? These are not excuses. This saddle doesn't fit me, and causes me pain. And that is a big reason I am so stiff riding in it. I unintentionally try to move in ways that cause less pain. And I didn't realize it so much until posting this up. A saddle is leather, and wood and sometimes steal. It can't make you do anything. But it certainly can effect you, majorly. I CANT half halt in this saddle, no matter what I do. So no, I can't ride lower level dressage, or much of anything decent in it. I appreciate your input.

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post #24 of 59 Old 04-28-2015, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Larissa View Post
...Bsms - I don't mean to sound snarky. But, have you ever hit your groin area over, and over, and over, and over, every time you rise in the trot for a good hmmm lets say 30 minutes or so? To the point that it hurts days after you ride. And have you rode in a saddle that killed your hips due to the twist? These are not excuses....
Nope. No saddle I've ever tried has ever caused me to post my balls into the pommel or horn. Nor did posting in my Australian saddles ever cause me to hit the poleys. If you are posting right, that should never happen - regardless of the saddle. My Martin saddle DID tilt down toward the front because it was too wide for my horse, but it didn't prevent me from posting fine.

All of my saddles would have a different twist. Posting is easier in an Australian or English saddle because of the narrow twist, but I can and do post in my western saddles as well. And ride 2 point in them.

Since I'm 57, I doubt I'm blessed with a flexible body. Quite the opposite. But if you are thrusting forward to post, ask yourself, "Why?" - because it should not be needed.

This was my daughter learning to post, at 4'10" in a 16" western saddle:

A few years later, she's 5'2", still uses the same saddle, and has no trouble posting. It wasn't the saddle, although the saddle is still too big for her. It was how she was riding and posting.

This was written from a forward seat perspective:

Bring the heels under the hip, and it applies to a regular seat. Posting should be an unfolding of your body, but your balance point should not change. If your center of gravity moves forward and back when you post, ask why - because your shifting balance will affect your horse. That is why I recommended riding two point, so you can develop a better feel for your balance in the saddle and with the stirrups.

Lunge a horse with the stirrups down. Watch what they do. That was an eye-opening experience for me, because the stirrups stayed in place. They bounced a little, but they largely stayed in one place as my horse trotted and cantered in a circle...without me. That meant my feet moving forward or back was NOT the saddle and not gravity, but MY MOVING THEM.

In my case, I found I was gripping with the knee. Not hard, but enough to put a forward/back motion to my legs and balance.

How long the skirts are is no reason to have the stirrups too long/short. I cannot speak to what would help someone do well in a dressage competition because I've never ridden dressage. But I've done enough posting and trotting in circles on a wide variety of saddles types to have thought about it. If my saddle hit my boot top, I used a different boot - or stirrup length. If I pointed my toes to keep the stirrup, something was wrong.

I won't post on this thread again. I mean no offense and am sorry if I have given any. I fully understand how the 'right' saddle makes things easier. I also suspect I may have learned more about riding while in saddles that did me no favors.

Regardless, I wish you well and hope your progress is swift.
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post #25 of 59 Old 04-28-2015, 11:48 PM
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How is your sitting trot in the saddle? My trainer started me on the sitting trot by saying it would fix my rising trot, and now that I can bumble through a lesson in the sitting trot she won't let me do a rising trot anyway. Which could mean my rising trot is just THAT bad...
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post #26 of 59 Old 04-29-2015, 09:33 AM
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You can't do a sitting trot (dressage) correctly to get the impulsion and collection you need until you have the strength in your core and thigh muscles to stop you 'water skiing' which is why at low level novice riders (or weekend riders) post
I'm not sure if the saddle is 'pommel high' - impossible to say without sitting on it but it does look as if its cantle high which will push Larissa forward onto the pommel
Most 'off the peg' dressage saddles are designed to fit the typical WB dressage horse which is built uphill with a lot of horse in front of you so when you put them on a horse that's maybe built 'downhill or even level they have to be re-flocked' to adjust or they tilt you forwards
Unless you've ridden on numerous saddles so know the many different ways they can affect your seat its really not possible to give an opinion on something like that
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post #27 of 59 Old 04-29-2015, 11:14 AM
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First, nobody has mentioned that you have a very good horse for your level! Nice and calm. Yes, a better rider can get more out of him, but SO often I see a horse that needs more training before the rider can handle him. **falls over, thud**
Next, yeah probably a saddle change will help. How much time do you spend riding without stirrups? THIS is the key to a good seat.
Here is same advice I have been posting all of the this year:
Take the whole next week, and JUST walk on your horse for a full hour without stirrups. Sounds easy? You will be really sore when you are through the first hour.
NOTHING teaches you more are balance and centering your seat than this exercise. You can do this exercise in a saddle that is too big for you, so you won't need to change saddles next week, either.
Oh, and one more criticism. When you show this horse, buy a saddle pad that isn't green. It doesn't look good with his coat. Probably white or black would match better. KEEP the pad for schooling.
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post #28 of 59 Old 04-29-2015, 11:36 AM
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Maybe I'm missing something, but couldn't wearing tall boots Vs paddock boots solve the problem of the tops of her boots catching on the flap if she raises the stirrups? It worked for me, I no longer ride in paddock boots and I have the stirrups way up, I have short,stubby legs. Mine is Western, but ...... ?

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post #29 of 59 Old 04-29-2015, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the advice. This horse is not mine, and I won't be showing him. He is a boarder horse that I ride occasionally. My personal horse is on stall rest, and is very green. I do not have issues with her though, but then again I do work with a trainer and my riding is better on her, probably due to the saddle fit and i like how she moves better.. I am a working student, and ride basically whatever I am told to ride. This horse actually isn't as easy to ride as it appears lol. He really is one you either have to keep after hard to keep going, or half halts often to keep him from going too fast. He is well trained, but an ***-a-loosa and he loves to test you. He is a good one for your hands, if they aren't perfect he runs around with his head like a giraffe. All in all, I enjoy riding him but not the saddle. And I won't be showing him. I will be showing a different horse. ( green is also my least favorite color. Not my pad of choice. But his owners collection) I will get videos of me on a different horse, with a saddle that suits me as soon as I can.
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post #30 of 59 Old 04-29-2015, 02:41 PM
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bsms--I have to admit, some of your post confuses me; why would in the world would someone use a saddle made for a discipline other than what they're riding? Makes no sense to me.
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