"Not using your seat properly" when using a "flat" seated saddle?
I have a newer Beval Devon which is FLAT as a board. I have spent my entire 13 years riding, training and showing using flat-as-pancake saddles. About 9 monthes ago I switched horses mid-ride with a friend who has a Childric and every time I posted, I posted into the pommel (OUCH!). I commented on that experience recently in which she said something to the effect of "flat saddles dont allow you to use, or learn how to use, your seat properly". I LOFF my flat saddles, and I have never heard anything negative about using a flat saddle, other then it might provide less security... in which case, I would imagine, I would have to learn to use my seat and legs MORE. In "deep" saddles (aka NOT a Devon or Prix de Nation ) I feel like I've fallen into one of those sofas that are so comfy, fluffy and deep you can't get out/off of it.
So have I been held back from developing an "effective" seat because I use flat-flat saddles?
I don't think that's the case at all! my first saddle (which broke recently ) was flat too, and while everyone HATED to ride in it I loved it.
I have no problem riding in other saddles. I just find that they have a higher pommel and to compensate have to post a little higher or shorten my stirrups up a hole.
If anything I think people who ride in a flat saddle ride with less motion and ultimately look better because they don't have to post higher to keep from hitting the pommel. (of course I just might want to make my self feel better for loving flat saddles!)
I'm not really sure I want to use the word "higher" here as it could be looked at as throwing yourself over the pommel and that is not what I mean but I can think of nothing else! Suggestions?
I also feel "locked in" in those big cushy saddles and I don't like it!
I started riding in a time when everyone was in flat saddles... think Prix de Nations and such. I took a few years off from riding, and now some of the teenagers at the barn see my old Beval Devon and tell me they would fall off if they had to ride in it
I have never had a problem with being able to "sit down in the tack" and drive when I needed to.
That's bull. If the saddle is properly balanced and fits you, you should be able to use your seat no matter how deep the saddle's seat is.
A deeper seat can hold you in (which can be good or bad), and I do feel like it sometimes gives you extra support- hard to explain, but I feel like I relax my lower back more when I'm sitting in a very deep saddle, because it holds my hips upright and I dont have to work as hard. I feel more relaxed when I am sitting gaits in a deeper saddle. But it in no way effects how I use my seat.
I personally do not like a very deep saddle for jumping, usually because I get hit in the butt by the cantle. I personally don't like a very flat saddle either, because I like to feel a bit held in for cross-country but I think those that can ride correctly in flat, no-frills (i.e. no knee or calf block) saddle are usually the better balanced riders. JMO.
Have to agree - I personally HATE deep seated couch-like saddles. I started riding in a Pessoa EQ, moved to a Hermes Steinkraus and now ride in a Bates Elevation - no knee rolls, and all flat. I showed the eq, jumpers, schooled xcountry, and done dressage in all those and have done just fine. I prefer flat saddles because it gives me the ability to put my body where I want it and am not stuck with whatever position my saddle says I have to be in.
I think it's a matter of personal taste and body shape. That's why they make so many different kinds of saddles! I definitely don't think you've not learned how to ride because you were riding in a flat saddle. That seems silly. The deep saddles seem to me to be a relatively new invention - and people used to show and ride in flat saddles all the time (before Antares and CWD).
Ride in what's comfortable! If you try to ride in something that's uncomfortable because some says you should, then you'll spend all your time focusing on how uncomfortable you are instead of what you should be focusing on - your horse and your position!
I've always ridden in flat seated saddles with no knee rolls or anything. They've taught me how to use my seat and keep my knees in very well. I'm only now using a saddle with a deeper seat and knee rolls because my old saddle didn't fit my horse quite right. I'm actually finding the Crosby that I'm riding in a little funny.
...I personally do not like a very deep saddle for jumping, usually because I get hit in the butt by the cantle. I personally don't like a very flat saddle either, because I like to feel a bit held in for cross-country but I think those that can ride correctly in flat, no-frills (i.e. no knee or calf block) saddle are usually the better balanced riders. JMO.
I moved from an old Crosby Softride (it's so old the seat's no longer "soft" but is plenty deep) to a Bates Elevation about 6 months ago, and I was sore from having to use MUSCLE to keep myself in the tack and not the seat of the saddle! I think I have an easier time using my seat in the flatter saddle because I can shift more and I have to use muscle and not the saddle. I hate knee rolls, too. I have long legs and they just get in the way!
Just curious, how does your friend feel about riding bareback and using her seat? That was my first thought when reading this thread. How exactly would a deeper seated saddle help you there?
As one who learned to ride in a flat-as-a-pancake saddle and bought my first cushy thing 2 years ago, I have to agree that your friend is way wrong. Pretty much all the same stuff everyone else has said.
"IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique
Well, SanDiegoMediaLover, I'm offended for you! What a DISS!
"Flat saddles don't allow you to learn to use your seat properly".... What a load of crap!
Flat saddles, in fact, teach you HOW to use your seat and your balance properly OR ELSE!
Yep, grew up riding in a Blue Ribbon, moved on to a semi-flat saddle with knee pads but no blocks beneath, and eventually moved on to a Butet. Just recently got my CWD dream saddle, with (you guessed it) a FLATTER seat than the Butet. My rep said that more and more of the pros are moving on to a flatter seat so that they CAN get out of the saddle for the jumps!
If you REALLY want to learn to use your seat, and a whole 'nother way of posting the trot, then ride thee in a Dressage saddle!! The difference you feel beneath your seat bones is truly eye-opening....... but I wouldn't want to jump a fence in one!
You just carry on with your happy little Beval beehind and leave the over-posting hip thrust to other riders in their deep seated saddles that help hold them on their horse........
(of course I'm kidding here......!)