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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
I was really hoping the mods changed their minds about this during the server migration, but I see they haven't.

I guess what I'm not understanding is why our discipline needs some kind of validation from the rest of the forum for it to exist here. There are sub-forums from less popular disciplines, such as driving and endurance (heck, you even have a subforum for therapeutic riding, and that's not even a 'discipline'!) where threads are only created/updated every few months or so, and yet for some obscure reason we need to prove the popularity of our discipline before a sub-forum can be created for it.

Sure I sound a little bitter, and that's because I am. Saddle Seat is not a popular discipline, I think everyone who has been involved in it knows this. It takes a very specific horse (both in breed and mentality) to participate in Saddle Seat, and said horses are not as versatile because of this, so many of us who own a Saddle Seat horse only show in this discipline because of it. However, I don't think this is a valid argument for why or why not a subforum should be created - in fact, I think it's an even more valid reason for its inception. We are so limited to what we can do with our horses, we belong no where else but to our own community.

Saddle Seat is a valid and (officially) recognized discipline just as much as any other out there. It's a bit insulting and disheartening that those of us who participate in the sport need to prove ourselves worthy before we can exist in the eyes of this forum. The "Saddleseat Questions" thread suggestion is also just as discouraging. This isn't a thread started by a Saddle Seat rider wanting to discuss different training methods and equitation tips, it's a thread questioning our discipline! (although I will give it credit in that the thread was civil and the OP seemed legitimately interested).

I want somewhere where I can start a thread about methods for training different Saddle Seat horses, grooming techniques specific to our discipline, and discussing how to win the next show. If I did this under the regular English subforum, I am more likely to receive negative comments and general questions about the discipline than an actual discussion on the topic at hand, and we all know it. English Hunt Seat and Saddle Seat are nothing the same.

I really just don't understand why this is so much to ask for. I live in Canada, where my trainer and her students must often travel down the to US to show because of the limited popularity here - but they do so because Saddle Seat is their passion. We have clubs and committees just to promote our discipline, many of which I belong to. I am doing my part out there, just as I am trying to do here, because this forum is intended for all riders and their horses of all walks of life.

Perhaps you can't understand personally, but try to remember that I belong to a forum that seems to include everything but my discipline. I don't belong anywhere here if I want to ask specific, targeted questions about our training programs. Everyone else has this luxury but us exclusive Saddle Seat riders.

Sorry, but not sorry. I know my attitude about this isn't the greatest, but I'm just not understanding the logic behind all this hesitation and resistance.
 

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The resistance -- if that's what it is -- could be because Saddleseat has acquired such a bad name for itself. There are other venues, like Western Pleasure, which operate under something of a cloud of "what the heck are they doing that for?" but they don't touch Saddleseat. There are so many photos and videos and accounts circulating depicting what looks exactly like animal abuse. Some sub-venues of Saddleseat have horrified so many people that, in my opinion, it is a hopelessly damaged discipline, PR-wise. Even if everyone involved agreed today to adopt stringent humane standards (with the corresponding drop in 'performance'), it would still be a long road to wide acceptance.

You can argue, but that's the reality. It isn't mysterious, just not what you want to hear.
 

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You are both totally wrong
As Moderators we have the right to an opinion (as long as it's polite) on the open forum but we don't allow any personal opinions on disciplines to factor into decisions such as starting new sub forums. The decision also doesn't have to have any sort of validation from the rest of the members
As for us finding time during the current problems we've just had to endure - we've also had to go through the same hassles as everyone else including being 'locked out' several times and then having to deal with multiple user issues and sorting out the many members that created second accounts because they couldn't rest their passwords on their original accounts - something that's still ongoing
If there are enough members showing interest in a Saddleseat sub forum then we can add one but there has to be proven interest first which is why it was suggested that you start a Saddleseat Riders thread - I suggest you start of with a training thread and call it Saddleseat Riders Training Support and then it can be moderated to remove posts from any members that just go there to 'bash' you.
If you can get a good following and interest in it then we can have something to justify starting an actual sub forum
 

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The resistance -- if that's what it is -- could be because Saddleseat has acquired such a bad name for itself. There are other venues, like Western Pleasure, which operate under something of a cloud of "what the heck are they doing that for?" but they don't touch Saddleseat. There are so many photos and videos and accounts circulating depicting what looks exactly like animal abuse. Some sub-venues of Saddleseat have horrified so many people that, in my opinion, it is a hopelessly damaged discipline, PR-wise. Even if everyone involved agreed today to adopt stringent humane standards (with the corresponding drop in 'performance'), it would still be a long road to wide acceptance.

You can argue, but that's the reality. It isn't mysterious, just not what you want to hear.

Wow, and see, I think Saddleseat looks much better than Western Pleasure! (And I don't personally ride either discipline so no dog in the fight). Now I DO ride in a western saddle, but that has NOTHING to do with western pleasure).

Anyhow, I guess I just wanted to chime in that I think Saddleseat is no worse than western pleasure, and perhaps even better in many PR circles. (A lot of people are disgusted with WP). Maybe people are getting saddleseat confused with Big Lick?

I can understand Breezy's point of view. There are sub-forums for everything. (Many not even horse related). Even in the breeding section there is sub-forum for Sport Horses. How many of us are personally breeding Sport Horses? Very few I would think. And there might actually be more people that would talk Saddleseat if there was a place to talk about it.

I had a friend years ago who rode Saddleseat (Country English Pleasure) with her Saddlebred, so I have a casual understanding of it. Not my thing (I just trail ride) but I certainly respect the discipline. And I love those William Shatner videos too! :biggrin:
 

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I do think people get Saddle Seat and Big Lick confused -- after all, isn't the latter essentially subset of the former?
 

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I do think people get Saddle Seat and Big Lick confused -- after all, isn't the latter essentially subset of the former?
Yes, but it would be similar to comparing all western riders to WP riders (or whatever western discipline you choose). Big Lick would be a subset (using the same tack) but you are dealing with a specific breed doing a specific gait. Maybe it would be similar to comparing all western pleasure riders to just Arabian western pleasure riders?

Or all trail riders to endurance riders??? (Not that any of those examples are bad, I love Arabians and admire endurance horses and riders for sure!).

I guess I just don't want to paint everyone with the same broad brush. Saddlebred or Arabian Saddleseat is different from what the Walking Horse people do. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think the rampant abuse is there. I guess we could all argue about tails and shoeing but those things are a factor in every breed and discipline. The difference I see is that with the Big Lick Walkers they are intentionally laming the horses to get the exaggerated gait. I don't think you can get away with that in a trotting breed.

I dunno. Just rambling thoughts. :blueunicorn:
 

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To an outsider (me), all those exaggerated high-stepping gaits with the very very tall front hooves and with the head way up and the rider sitting way back look similar. I can tell that Big Lick is way more so, but not where the dividing line is.
 

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now, go start that thread and get this developing discussion going there!

as for us ignoring this suggestion, please. just, please.
have you any idea how busy it's been helping the many people who've needed help getting back on, or other things done with their accounts? sorry , but I'm a bit miffed, nae, quite miffed at the OP's attitude. I am sorry your idea slipped through the cracks. perhaps reporting your neglected thread would have brought it to out attention faster.

as for why we hesitate now for a Saddleseat sub-forum is due primarily to the sheer number of sub forum. had this idea come along a few years ago , I bet it would have been taken up rather quickly, becuase it's not a bad idea. however, with SOOOOO many subforums, we have to start asking ourselves, is there REALLY enough traffic to warrant it?
if so, then it should be no problem at all openning one. but, it's only natural that we are starting to slow down the flow, close up the gates. fair? maybe not, but that's how it goes.
 

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Throwing a snit fit like a spoiled child because they didn't jump all over themselves to give you what you want certainly won't endear you to the Admin or Mods.


If your particular discipline can generate enough interest, then a subforum could very well happen. However, if it's just going to languish and take up bandwidth, why exactly should they open up another subforum just for you and a handful of others?


I rode Saddleseat for years, and it's completely untrue that a horse who does Saddleseat is unfit for any other discipline. Is this something your trainer is pushing you to believe? Because it's simply not true. High headsets and park gaits won't keep any horse from being retrained for another discipline. Unless your goal is to do nothing but show, there's no reason any breed can't do whatever discipline you choose. They may not do it well enough to win ribbons and accolades for their rider, but they can certainly do it well enough for pleasure riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Throwing a snit fit like a spoiled child because they didn't jump all over themselves to give you what you want certainly won't endear you to the Admin or Mods.
Did it really look like I was after any sort of endearment? I very clearly stated that I was aware my attitude about this was not the greatest, but I'll say it again: sorry, but not sorry. I do understand their point of view, I just don't agree with it and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. You can't get along with everyone all the time, but it's not personal. I was entirely civil throughout this thread since its inception, until I had a glass of wine that released the months of tension I felt about this, and I got a little bold about something I care about deeply. I'm a human with a big passion, sue me. I could have certainly been a lot more impolite.

And to be honest, I think I've been around this forum long enough to say that I don't think you of all people are one to talk about attitudes.

I rode Saddleseat for years, and it's completely untrue that a horse who does Saddleseat is unfit for any other discipline. Is this something your trainer is pushing you to believe? Because it's simply not true. High headsets and park gaits won't keep any horse from being retrained for another discipline. Unless your goal is to do nothing but show, there's no reason any breed can't do whatever discipline you choose. They may not do it well enough to win ribbons and accolades for their rider, but they can certainly do it well enough for pleasure riding.
Yes, my goal is to show and so when I am buying a horse to participate in a discipline, I need to be confident that they can perform. I also never said that all Saddle Seat horses are unfit for any other discipline, just that they are not as versatile. I said this with Saddlebreds in mind, because Morgans and Arabians are the more versatile of the three breeds by far.


"It takes a very specific horse (both in breed and mentality) to participate in Saddle Seat, and said horses are not as versatile because of this, so many of us who own a Saddle Seat horse only show in this discipline because of it."


If you've participated in the sport on a competitive level, you will absolutely know what I mean by this. You know that some Saddle Seat horses, especially the Saddlebreds, are born and bred to do this and only this on a competitive level. They have the talent and conformation and temperament for it that can prevent them from being successful in other disciplines if you are looking to be a competitive show goer. Some of these horses, no matter what saddle you put on them, will always show with that high step and put themselves into that frame (conformation, hard wiring) that is looked down upon in other disciplines even for that breed. Why do you think we have so many different types of Saddle Seat classes (Park, Country Pleasure, English Pleasure, Classic) - a niche for all types of trots and action. And, why we have breeding programs in the first place? Breeders select their mares and stallions for the temperament, conformation, and action required to perform in the discipline they desire.

Likewise, not every horse can be a Saddle Seat horse. I learned this the hard way. My half Arab half Saddlebred mare, whom I thought with be a great Saddle Seat prospect with the way she carried herself, was not born with that natural high step and "show horse" attitude. Sure we could force it on her - but that's when this discipline becomes cruel. She was cranky in her work as a Saddle Seat horse, so she became a hunt pony where she is happy as can be now. I think that's what's important: that the horse is happy in their work.

It's no different that selecting a horse for ANY discipline - this has nothing to do with Saddle Seat. If you are looking to invest your money in a show horse, you are going to pick one that excels in the discipline you want. No one horse is going to be competitive in all disciplines.

But you know what, if you don't want to show and you just want a horse to ride around at your leisure, sure, any horse with a sound mind will work just fine. No one is arguing this. We take our Saddle Seat horses out on the trail during the summer, and since most of them are so, so bold they are some of the best to ride out.

-------------------------------------------------------

But anyway, I'm getting way off track here. I still don't agree with having to prove the validity of this discipline, although that's more of a bitterness at the whole world and not this forum specifically, but I do understand the position the mods are in and I will respect that.

I'll see if I can get a thread going, just not really sure which subforum to place it in at this time. Any specific suggestions before I dive in? I think jaydee mentioned in the training forum, so perhas I'll write something up there.

I just hope it doesn't become what I think it will, but only time will tell. I'll try to keep my faith in humanity until then.
 

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Provided you title it so that its not an invitation to members to discuss the validity of Saddleseat but for enthusiasts or interested people to get involved in training ideas and methods then we can moderate it accordingly
I know you can't understand why a new sub forum needs to be justified but we've already got enough sub forums that rarely get any attention it's pointless starting any more
A UK member asked about starting a hunting sub forum (she was a Mod at the time) and Foxhunter and I are both fans of hunting and that was scrapped because hunting threads on this forum don't get enough interest (unlike the UK where they get lots) so we aren't being prejudiced against anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Provided you title it so that its not an invitation to members to discuss the validity of Saddleseat but for enthusiasts or interested people to get involved in training ideas and methods then we can moderate it accordingly
I know you can't understand why a new sub forum needs to be justified but we've already got enough sub forums that rarely get any attention it's pointless starting any more
A UK member asked about starting a hunting sub forum (she was a Mod at the time) and Foxhunter and I are both fans of hunting and that was scrapped because hunting threads on this forum don't get enough interest (unlike the UK where they get lots) so we aren't being prejudiced against anyone.
I do get it. I also hope you can understand that in this discipline, we are used to a lot of unwarranted prejudices and backlash and so several of us (including myself) have become a tad defensive.

But I am going to take your suggestion seriously, and worst case scenario the Saddle Seat discussion remains to one thread - but at least I'll have somewhere to talk to other riders and trainers.

Thank you! I'll post a link once I've started something.
 

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a small aside here . . . . when I was 18, horse crazy and horse-less, my neighbor bought a horse and boarded it nearby. I helped her ride and excersize that silly mare. the saddle was a cutback saddleseat saddle, but to my untutored eye, is was a "saddle". man, that thing was slippery, hard to post in and hard. did I notice that at the time? hardly. I thought it was normal.

I always say, Saddleseat is one of the hardest disciplines and my hat (if I'm wearing one) is off to y'all.
 

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Provided you title it so that its not an invitation to members to discuss the validity of Saddleseat but for enthusiasts or interested people to get involved in training ideas and methods then we can moderate it accordingly
I know you can't understand why a new sub forum needs to be justified but we've already got enough sub forums that rarely get any attention it's pointless starting any more
A UK member asked about starting a hunting sub forum (she was a Mod at the time) and Foxhunter and I are both fans of hunting and that was scrapped because hunting threads on this forum don't get enough interest (unlike the UK where they get lots) so we aren't being prejudiced against anyone.
This has been the case on every forum I've ever admined or moderated for. Users want a forum for every possible sub-topic but, if you do it, it splinters the group to a point at which the vast majority of those sub-forums receive almost no posts. At some point I realized that less is more and stopped allowing so much division on the ones I owned. There's usually one place for general discussion that everyone gravitates to. A forum thrives on critical mass and if people aren't there, it never works. Just my 2c.
 

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Possibly visually easier to navigate and harder to miss interesting things
Threads dedicated to members wanting to just chat about their discipline or interest could be started and kept going and if posts were titled to highlight specific topics within the thread I think they'd be searchable.
 

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Possibly visually easier to navigate and harder to miss interesting things
Threads dedicated to members wanting to just chat about their discipline or interest could be started and kept going and if posts were titled to highlight specific topics within the thread I think they'd be searchable.
Totally agree:thumbsup:
 

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a small aside here . . . . when I was 18, horse crazy and horse-less, my neighbor bought a horse and boarded it nearby. I helped her ride and excersize that silly mare. the saddle was a cutback saddleseat saddle, but to my untutored eye, is was a "saddle". man, that thing was slippery, hard to post in and hard. did I notice that at the time? hardly. I thought it was normal.

I always say, Saddleseat is one of the hardest disciplines and my hat (if I'm wearing one) is off to y'all.
Just wanted to echo this. My parents had no idea about horses when I was a kid, so when I was fortunate enough to get lessons, we just went down the road to "the horse barn." Only many years later did I realize that "the horse barn" was actually a very famous Saddlebred barn showing and winning at the national level. I learned to ride on patient old saddlebreds in a cutback saddle and double bridle as a little kid. I think I've said this elsewhere on the forum, but I can still close my eyes and picture myself on a big horse in the middle of an immense arena with huge sliding doors that could be opened or closed to divide it in half- they were opened when trainers were driving horses in there, and I can still hear the sounds of the chains shaking from behind the divider as a horse and cart got closer and closer to the open door and went whizzing by. Everything seemed so much easier when I took lessons again in my late teens in an AP saddle!!
 
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