View Full Version : Why can't I ride in a jumping saddle anymore?!?!

Jan. 3, 2011, 05:56 PM
Over the weekend I rode a horse in a jumping saddle and it was terrible. Granted I have been solely focusing on dressage for the past 5 years and have worked *hard* on perfecting my position, but I felt SO unbalanced and couldn't use my legs like I used to when I jumped. Has anyone else had this problem? I grew up jumping so I thought I'd be able to go back to it fairly easily . . .

I give the riders who can switch back and forth between jumping and dressage a lot of credit and I'd like to know how you do it :-)

Jan. 3, 2011, 06:34 PM
This happened to me too. I rode in a jumping saddle last year when I was riding a friend's horse. It was weird. I have been doing just dressage for years now. I think its just because a jumping saddle puts you in a different position than a dressage saddle. That, and you've been so used to riding dressage. When I did eventing, I couldn't tell a huge difference. It didn't feel "weird". But then again, my dressage wasn't half as good as it is now, so maybe that's why.

Jan. 3, 2011, 06:56 PM
Depends on the saddle. I'm more comfortable in the Albion Kontrol Jumping saddle that I just bought than I am in my dressage saddle. Granted, I really do need a new dressage saddle. :lol: I find alot of jumping saddles uncomfortable..but that one is extremely comfortable!

Jan. 3, 2011, 10:49 PM
I know what you mean! Two years ago I did both hunters and dressage and the saddle difference was no big deal. However, for the past year I have focused on dressage and when I rode in a friends saddle a couple of weeks ago, I felt awful! My leg was loose (usually it's not that bad) and I just felt like I couldn't ride at all! I guess if I did it more, it would be easier, but just once in a while didn't work ;)

Jan. 3, 2011, 10:54 PM
After the 5 years you have been doing dressage, you have built muscles for that position, Yes you have muscle memory, so you may have been able to ride in a jumping position at first, but you are no longer strengthened in those same muscles.

Those who can switch back and forth probably do it more often, and have the muscles built in both areas.

I have a cheap CC saddle, I jumped my sister's horse in it, and I am very secure in it, even tho there is not support at all, but put me in my sister's dressage saddle, and I am like a sack of potatoes! I can't even post right!

Jan. 3, 2011, 11:05 PM
I've just started jumping again, and I feel like I'm going to just pop right off the horse. I've also started galloping up and down hills in the pastures, same feeling. Gripping feels so unnatural, and draping my leg is so not effective. Sat.'s ride was pretty good-- I had my hack 'n jump in the dressage saddle. I was surprised to find I could jump quite well in it when we came up on a washed out drainage ditch. One thing that I think messes with me is my drive to weight the knee and turn my thigh inward. The product of that process in a short leathered jumping saddle is not the same as in a dressage saddle.

Jan. 4, 2011, 10:28 AM
Kinnip--that is exactly what I was doing and I think that in this jumping saddle it made me pinch with my knees and then pop me up. I could not get my weight down into my lower leg and I ended up hanging on with my hands :(

Something else I was thinking is that, just like with horses, different conformation suits different disciplines. I have a very long torso and upper thigh and short lower leg (almost no calf). This is great for a deep seat but not so great to balance in a jumping position!

Jan. 4, 2011, 02:09 PM
I always feel like my legs are totally useless in a jumping saddle when I first hop on. Now I've never done much jumping, only in a few lessons, but it takes some serious getting used to with the shorter leg. And it's not the two-point, I used to warm up my TB cantering in a light seat all the time...

Jan. 4, 2011, 02:15 PM
It is about muscles, that's for sure. :) One thing I found that helps when you're working back into a jumping saddle is to simply pratice a hand gallop and work on finding that old "sweet spot" where you are through your heels, flexing your hips and are angled so you are balanced over the middle of the horse. Often when you go back to that position with the short stirrups, you have forgotten where your center is--as well as forgotten muscles coming back in to play. :D

Jan. 4, 2011, 02:30 PM
Make sure you aren't getting the buckles under your calf. That's what happened to me.

I was like "Why do I suddenly suck at this?" And then I realized how uncomfortable it was at my calf. Put a girth on one size bigger and haven't really had much of an issue since. You kinda forget about that sort of thing riding dressage ;)

The biggest thing I have is balancing in two-point. I can get there and hold there, but riding transitions is hard!

Check girth and ride transitions to rebuild those muscles! Also, just follow the horse's mouth and close your hips, think hip over heels (or butt to cantle), for two point. All weight in your heels (allow your toes to go out).

My saddle is in the "shop." So I'll be making nice with my CC for the next few weeks :)