I've been riding in an AP saddle for most of my life (20+ years). Recently though I realized I needed to go up a seat size due to my leg length, and I was able to come across a CC that worked.
However, all of a sudden, I'm having a hard time staying in my two point. I feel like when I get it in, either my butt sticks out or I'm too far forward above the horse's neck. I can't really stay in a balanced position. I've never EVER had an issue with this before this saddle, but again, I've always ridden in an AP not a CC. Am I just THAT out of shape, or is this telling me that my saddle doesn't fit?? (It's ok to tell me the former I'm working on it anyway!)
Many Jumping/CC saddles have a much more forward flap than an AP saddle. Make sure that your stirrups are the correct length, then practice standing straight up in your stirrups. This will place your leg in the correct balanced position automatically. From this position, lower yourself into 2 pt position. This is the right spot for your leg, if it still feels bad after a few rides then try other saddles. Unbalanced saddles will result in an unbalanced ride. I hope this is helpful... if not ask an experienced horse person to watch you ride in it. Good luck. : )
Darn - I figured I'd need to post pictures. Anyway, I have a couple here that I got up this morning. One is just of me just standing after a lesson (Please excuse the posture, but it was the best I could find to show my leg/saddle proportions), and then one going over a tiny cross rail. I was taking a lesson, and he had me really shorten my stirrups to help build my leg muscle as well as keep my greenie from throwing me around as he's getting organized/balanced etc. But this was the length he told me I need to ride in for a while. When I drop my legs, the stirrups probably come about 2-3 inches above my ankle.
This is a newer saddle to me - it's a 17.5. It also has knee blocks which I've never had before. But I feel like my lower leg wants to slip back (which you can see in the jumping picture). In a slightly longer stirrup (which I'm admittedly usually guilty of riding in), I don't feel like my leg slips back as much - which is why I was thinking I may just be a *major wimp* and need to get used to shorter stirrups.
During the lesson, it was emphasized that I need to improve my leg muscle, so I wasn't really questioning the saddle at the time. I'm just frustrated that I used to be able to do it a bit more easily in my other AP saddle, and this one seems so much harder. It's making me feel like I can't ride.
Last edited by Sudi's Girl; Dec. 27, 2008 at 10:31 AM.
I would say, judging from the picture of you jumping, you probably need to shorten your stirrups. I'd also say that you are probably having a hard time getting used to the difference in a good, forward saddle from a AP, probably deep seated more dressagy saddle. Wait...just re-read for content. Are the stirrups in the OF picture before or after he had you shorten them? They look much shorter in the after lesson picture.
It looks like you are really working to stay with the motion, which is often a good indication that they are too long. They don't look too long in the other picture, though. So, I'm confused. Maybe it is just a matter of getting used to a saddle that is actually BUILT for the job.
When I let him lose impulsion before the jump (which I *think* I did here), he jumps a bit more awkwardly (as he's still figuring it out), and jumps me out of the tack. I'm wondering if I just don't have the leg support yet to keep my leg from sliding back?
And I guess your reply answers my question too - I'm not used to a better saddle. I just never realized it would feel so different in a CC!!
They can feel REMARKABLY different. A lot of APs are built more with longer flaps and are better for dressage than jumping, so, depending on what you were riding in, it can be like the difference between jumping and doing two point in a dressage saddle vs a REAL jumping saddle. I'd ride like Will told you, and tell you what I tell others who need work on their legs, two point and no stirrups.
I will say that I recently moved from one cc saddle to another (and the new one is literally "made for me"...and my horse!), and it took me a little time to get used to the new saddle. But I LOVE it now, and I feel like I can really ride in balance for a long time.
I'll also say that at a David O' Connor clinic last year, he said we should all be riding at two point/galloping position three times a week (at all gaits). I took this to heart, and it's really helped my balance/strength. That is, until some minor surgery and Xmas came along...amazing how quickly that strength can disappear!!
Interesting. The still picture looks like your stirrups are quite short but they appear long in the jumping picture- but that could be the camera angle. In any case, it looks as if you're pinching your knee - which will cause your lower leg to slide back and upper body to tip forward....
If the still picture is really what you were jumping with, I'd work on thigh and abdominal muscles because if you are fatigued, you may grip at the knee to take some pressure off the "core" muscles and your form will suffer with it.
Pilates was the best thing I ever did for my riding.
Yeah, I agree with posters that say the jumping pictures stirrups look longer then the standing picture, and I think the reason for that might be b/c your seat is high above the saddle in the air over the jump. It looks (to my unprofessional eye) like you maybe jumped ahead and/or were thrown up above your horse by his jump, and when upper body goes forward, lower leg slides back.
I do have to say that I never felt secure in flat saddles, and always wanted a slightly deeper seat, both for jumping and dressage. When I went from an all-purpose to a jumping saddle though, it significantly helped my jumping position and it became much easier for my leg to stay where its supposed to be over fenses, and made me feel super secure!
The jumping saddle balance can be very different from an all-purpose saddle balance! And once you are used to one saddle, going in another may make it seem all wrong, even though it may actually be right!