I'm having trouble doing basic level dressage in a close contact saddle...tips??
I'm schooling a paint pony who is very green. This isn't my pony so I have a hard time justifying buying a dressage saddle for her. Therefore, my only option is the owner's close contact saddle. It fits the pony and it fits me perfectly but for some reason I am having trouble finding my balance, the more we progress.
I can find my balance perfectly at the walk and sitting trot. We just started doing canter work, so shes still really unbalanced herself. Therefore, I am not suprised I can't find my balance at the canter, yet. However, the posting trot is where I have the most problems finding my balance.
Its hard to explain, its like I know where my center of gravity should be at the posting trot, but when I attempt it I just can't seem to hold it. I feel like the saddle is pushing me forward.
Is there anything I can do, aside from buying a new saddle??
I never had problems doing basic dressage in a cc saddle with my old mare. However, since this pony is a paint and my old mare is a warmblood there is a significant difference in build.
Hmmm... Might be stirrup placment. Some of the CC saddles have pretty forward stirrup bars. Can you post w/o stirrups and see if you can balance then? It might at least help you figure out if it's a tack issue.
Make sure the CC saddle is balanced front to back. Some of those saddles are fitted a bit pommel low to help the rider stay forward over the center of gravity over fences. If thats the case, a folded towel under the front might help bring the balance point a bit farther back.
Also, make sure your stirrups aren't dressage length. The saddle just isn't designed for your leg to be that long, so it will tip you forward onto your crotch if you try. I rode one horse in a CC saddle and rode 3-4 holes shorter in my leathers in order to balance properly.