View Full Version : Opinions on Dilema - Dressage Phase of Eventing
Apr. 20, 2010, 11:15 PM
I need advice/opinions on this. I THINK I know the answer, but want to hear from you! I am beginning eventing with my OTTB - GAG. I do NOT own a dressage saddle - using my Pessoa. My trainer keeps telling me to sit back more. My question to you all is: My saddle is a FORWARD seat - do you find it difficult to get in a "dressage position" in a forward seat - to sit back more? If I ride without stirrups in my Pessoa, I am fine - but put the stirrups on - forget it. So, does it help you to lengthen the stirrups to sit back more in a forward seat or do I need to get a dressage saddle to accomplish this? Thanks so much for your opinions. I am finding this very frustrating as it is so very difficult.
Apr. 20, 2010, 11:23 PM
When I flat in my jumping saddle (a Devoucoux Oreka), I ride with the stirrups 4 holes longer than for jumping (assuming I am on a horse that I am not worried about being bucked off of, if so, only 2 holes longer). It does make a difference, but I definitely do better in a dressage saddle and tipping forward is an old bad habit for me, just slowly getting a little better though I know there are plenty of riders that do just fine doing dressage in a jumping saddle. Old Stubbens and Countys often fit TBs well and can be had for $500-600. I borrowed my trainer's old Stubben and was surprised at how much easier it was to be correct (I have ridden through preliminary in the past and have had a dressage saddle (actually several dressage saddles), but didn't have one for a while and was riding the young horse only in my jumping saddle). I recently scored a used dressage saddle (older version of this one http://www.ejeffries.co.uk/product/123532/SED2/_/Jeffries_Elite_Dressage_Mk2) on ebay for under $500.
Apr. 20, 2010, 11:24 PM
If you lengthen the stirrups it will help your legs not to be so much in a chair seat position, but sitting back should not be affected by your saddle. It is more the difference in your upper body between the huntseat and dressage positions, so when your upper body is vertical, it feels like you are leaning back, but you aren't really.
Apr. 20, 2010, 11:30 PM
Saddle makes a huge difference for me. When I do flat work in my jump saddle, I am much less effective. Doing dressage in a dressage saddle makes a huge difference for me. Why not try to borrow one from a friend, just to feel if there is a difference for you. Or get a used dressage saddle on trial for a week, just to see.
Apr. 20, 2010, 11:42 PM
Try dropping your stirrups a couple of holes, and make sure the saddle is balanced well (not dipping down at the pommel). Then just sit up as straight as you can and keep on riding. There's no point in getting too hard on yourself at this stage of the game; if your horse is super green, there's no real need to be doing much more than getting your basics down and that is best done with horse and rider in a comfortable and relaxed position, regardless of tack. :yes:
Apr. 20, 2010, 11:54 PM
Thanks for the replies. From what I am reading, my thinking is correct. A forward seat with stirrups adjusted correctly is just for that. But if I lengthen them, it may help. To me, this is common sense - or get a dressage saddle!