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Carol O
Dec. 20, 2010, 11:12 AM
Love them or hate them?

luvmydutch
Dec. 20, 2010, 11:23 AM
Love

Twigster
Dec. 20, 2010, 11:25 AM
We have a love/hate relationship LOL, how is that for not answering your question?

Maybe its my stumpy legs, but its rare to find a saddle that my legs fit in nicely. My favorite saddle doesn't fit the current horse, and the saddle that fits him is an old Kieffer Wien with NO blocks. At first I hated that saddle, now I prefer it. No blocks have helped me kick some pretty bad habits.

ange1seyes
Dec. 20, 2010, 12:46 PM
Love them although previous poster is correct. I recently rode in my friends saddle that has a fairly flat seat and no blocks. Found out I had to use myself properly in order to stay on. My abs were killing me for days!

flash1
Dec. 20, 2010, 12:47 PM
Love them or hate them?

Never liked them until I got my Albion SLK saddle...now love them !!!

kdmiddleton
Dec. 20, 2010, 12:52 PM
I like them now. I hated them to start with. The main reason for that is I was switching from jumping to dressage and my legs had to "learn" or stretch into a straighter leg, and I kept finding I wanted to bring my knees up instead of using the correct part of the leg (bad habit). So I always felt like I was fighting with them. Now that I am using leg and seat more correctly I'm not having these issues :)

HollysHobbies
Dec. 20, 2010, 01:34 PM
If the balance of the seat isn't throwing me/forcing me into them, then they can be handy in the off moment when my greenie launches into her canter with a buck or on a moment of unbalance in a downward (like a stumble)...otherwise, I don't want to feel them and I rarely notice them. If they are super far forward, they look pretty ridiculous, since I ride with a long, straight leg.

netg
Dec. 20, 2010, 03:41 PM
Detest them.

Caveat being, I have yet to ride in a saddle with them where they actually fit me properly. 5'1" and longer in femur than lower leg means if I touch them I'm in a chair seat for every saddle I've tried. But I've always ridden in saddles which hold me as little as possible, and prefer bareback except on my current horse...

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Dec. 20, 2010, 07:41 PM
LOVE -- If they are in the right spot of course. Have them not fit you and the daily fight is on.

bort84
Dec. 20, 2010, 07:55 PM
Eh, depends on the placement. I think I would prefer saddles without, but my Passier has them and I found they don't bug me much because they are placed in such a way that I don't really feel them. And they did help remind me while transitioning from saddle seat to dressage when my thighs were getting a little too tight - that was the only time I really felt them.

Overall, I don't really like them in most saddles though. I feel they get in my way, and I'd imagine they could be a nightmare for shorter legged riders.

I grew up riding saddle seat, so I'm pretty happy with minimalistic saddles. I have a friend that rides in one of those incredibly padded Bates saddles, and I just can't imagine riding in it daily.

citydog
Dec. 20, 2010, 08:02 PM
Hate 'em. Even when they fit me (difficult because I have *very* long femurs) I'd rather not have them there, as they make me feel locked in. I don't find they make me feel secure--quite the opposite, actually, because if the horse does something silly and I lose my balance, I feel like it's harder to reposition myself.

Equine Studies
Dec. 20, 2010, 08:10 PM
I've tried several dressage saddles over the past few months and with my short legs I just can't make it work with external fixed blocks (ie. on the Wintec Isabell, the Bates Innova, Santa Cruz and Don Rodrigo I tried). I can do the Caprilli no problem and the Stubben Genesis is questionable (I'll find out tomorrow when the saddle fitter comes out). They force my leg too straight so my coach says, I'm over top of them if I shorten my stirrups to what she says is the correct length.

Just like some people said, if they fit perfectly they are great, otherwise not great at all.

buck22
Dec. 20, 2010, 09:12 PM
as long as the saddle sits well on the horse and fits me too, I never really cared one way or the other.

if presented with a choice, there are certain styles and shapes I prefer, given my own conformation, but in hindsight most of my favorite saddles have had minimal to zero thigh block. A lot more flexibility if I have to shorten my stirrup or want to jump a bit, etc.

OTOH, my current favorite saddle has ginormous blocks and I adore it.

I'm personally much more fussy about the shape of the seat when it comes to my own personal comfort and tastes. For me thighblocks are of little importance.

eta: except when trialing treeless saddles. For a treeless dressage I found thighblocks quite important to me, and settled on a model that has moveable velcro ones that I can position just so.

Carol O
Dec. 20, 2010, 09:50 PM
as long as the saddle sits well on the horse and fits me too, I never really cared one way or the other.


eta: except when trialing treeless saddles. For a treeless dressage I found thighblocks quite important to me, and settled on a model that has moveable velcro ones that I can position just so.

Which one has moveable velcro blocks?

Valentina_32926
Dec. 21, 2010, 10:21 AM
When I first started riding in my Verhan (with blocks) my thighs were coming up - thus hitting the blocks. Once I fixed that issue I have not noticed them since - except as another poster noted - when horse leaps to side to get away from killer cat! :lol:

buck22
Dec. 21, 2010, 02:29 PM
Which one has moveable velcro blocks?

heather moffett sbs flexion, mine does at least (and it has the older style stirrup bars, they went through some variations on that model).

positionable thigh blocks were vital to me given my conformation and the horse I was trying to fit that saddle to.

dwblover
Dec. 21, 2010, 06:25 PM
I love them, but they really have to fit your particular leg shape. Some allow the knee to come more forward, while others push the knee back. I think it depends on the length of your femur as well.