Explain leg rolls and flaps please - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodhaven View Post
On my wintec Isabell dressage saddle the knee rolls are removable and I found it more comfortable without them so took them out. but they are there to help hold the leg in place but I didn't like them.
On other saddles there is no choice they are permanent/

I've been thinking of doing the same thing with my Isabell. I think there's something awkward about the knee rolls, although I love the saddle.
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post #12 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 06:33 PM
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The leg rolls, like tinyliny mentioned, are there for leg placement. The saddle flap, to be honest, I've never been entirely sure about, but I do know that the longer flap in Dressage is to encourage a longer leg position, whilst the shorter/forward flap in a close contact is to encourage a leg position suitable for 2-point/ jumping position.
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post #13 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I guess I understand how the leg rolls could be placed to encourage a longer leg, but how does the FLAP length encourage a longer leg? I mean, if the style were otherwise the same but the flap was six inches shorter, would I suddenly pull my legs up in order to stay on the flap? I can't image that I would.
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 06:50 PM
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You ride with your stirrup much longer in a dressage saddle, so the long flap accommodates the long leg/stirrup. Although, for vertically challenged people like me, short flap dressage saddles exist. Typically dressage saddle flaps are 17" (standard); my two short flap saddles are 15". I literally can not feel the horse with anything above my ankle bone if I ride in a standard flap dressage saddle, very uncomfortable. And to think- LONG is an option that some people need!
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post #15 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
I guess I understand how the leg rolls could be placed to encourage a longer leg, but how does the FLAP length encourage a longer leg? I mean, if the style were otherwise the same but the flap was six inches shorter, would I suddenly pull my legs up in order to stay on the flap? I can't image that I would.
It's not so much the flap length, from my understanding, as It is the flap angle. A Dressage flap is very straight and a bit longer than the close contact (CC) flap, which encourages the leg to lay longer, if that makes sense? A CC flap is shorter/ more forward to accommodate for shorter stirrup length (for jumping) and a leg that is a bit more forward. Then, there are variations (customization) within a saddle type in length of flap, which is tailored for the rider's height. For example, I'm shorter, so a long Dressage flap for a tall rider would not be as beneficial for my position and I'd have a more difficult time keeping my leg in the correct position.
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 06:59 PM
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It's more construction and aesthetics. You could ride dressage with long stirrups on a race exercise saddle but I doubt it'd be very comfortable. Although I know someone who used to compete in her Albion jumping saddle. If a saddle has long girth straps to keep the buckles from under your legs, and most (but not all) dressage saddles do, you need a long flap to cover them or your legs will get rubbed. Plus a long, straight flap and kneepad tend to encourage a longer leg position.

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post #17 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 07:13 PM
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Explain them? Leg rolls are what I have from too much food & flaps are what I'm getting on my upper arms as I get older...
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post #18 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Explain them? Leg rolls are what I have from too much food & flaps are what I'm getting on my upper arms as I get older...
Hmmm.... I can see I should have been a little more specific, LOL....
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post #19 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 08:10 PM
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The long leg is also a result of where your seatbones are positioned in the deepest part of the saddle. This differs quiet a lot from a jump type saddle (with a relatively shallow seat, and a dressage saddle, with a more pronounced deep seat). In a jump saddle, you don't have as obvious a 'home' position in the seat, because you wont' spend as much time IN it. You'll be up and in two point, or doing a standing ride, off your knee and foot.



in Dressage, you will be IN the seat almost entirely (depending on your level), so the 'home' is very clear. By 'home' (my own term), I mean the place where your seatbones will be naturally most balanced. you will just sort of 'sink' into the position, as long as the saddle is not uphill or downhill on the horses back due to being ill fitted .


The thigh blocks are meant to help you, the rider, keep your legs back, once you are seated down into the 'home' position. And, well, I agree that it can't really work well for all shapes and sizes.



Also, people think that a 'long leg' means to just have their thigh so vertical, and the stirrup so far down, that they are actually WORSE positioned. It makes them end up fishing for their stirrups, and often either leaning way back and balancing off the rein, or collapsing forward off of pinched thighs.


Long legs means that the weight of the rider flows downward, through the thigh, knee, ankle and ball of foot. No point is pinching, but all points have some engagement, of muscle and weight bearing. Over straightening the leg will not achieve this, and thigh blocks that force that position , before a rider is ready to have a straight leg, only cause tension.
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post #20 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 09:47 PM
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One of the few pictures I have of when I started riding, using a jump saddle on Mia with a leg position that felt right to me. There was no RIDING problem from using long stirrups with the jump saddle. Just horse sweat on my jeans.


I think it is a serious error to use leg blocks to adjust your leg position. Your leg position OUGHT to be controlled by gravity and your weight distribution. If your center of gravity is over your stirrups, your lower leg stays stable - no help needed. And if you "need help", it means your center of gravity is in conflict with your leg and how you wish to ride...so fix your balance and the leg will be fixed too.


Western saddles have the fenders on the stirrup straps. No blocks, happily. In my case, my Abetta's fenders end well before my leg does, so I still get horse sweat on my jeans. But that has been happening for as long as I've been riding. Sweaty jeans are a sign we weren't meandering all day.


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