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Evaluate my saddle fit

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    Evaluate my saddle fit

    This collegiate dressage saddle is a 17.5 and fits my horse well. I have a Thorowgood T8 dressage saddle with external blocks coming in the mail in a size 17 seat. I felt like my collegiate didn't fit me very well but since working on my seat and getting better as a rider, it was my perception that it didn't fit. What say you? I'm starting to feel like I fit just fine in it. Will still have the new saddle on trial. But the collegiate will still be way better quality than the synthetic Thorowgood. So if I don't have to change saddles I'd rather not. I've included a picture and a video for you to see. Thanks for your input and please excuse me as I have more of these threads during my saddle fitting journey.
    https://youtu.be/CZBHvnLcRs0

    #2
    To me, this saddle puts you in a chair seat and your are fighting for your position every step of the way.

    The saddle might be too big in the seat; you are sitting quite far from the pommel.

    You rise and sit like if you were in a jumping saddle.

    Your stirrups are too high/too short for this saddle shape.

    Your saddle is not well balanced on your horse's back.
    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

    Originally posted by LauraKY
    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.

    Comment

      Original Poster

      #3
      Thank you for confirming my suspicions about the chair seat. Also appreciate your other observations. Will be looking forward to the trial saddle.

      Comment


        #4
        OP, are you sitting or posting? You look like a hunter girl just in the "sitting" part of the post.

        No judgment, that's what I am, LOL. Trying hard to learn to sit up straight.

        That said, it's hard to tell whether your shoulders are trying to catch up with your feet (the chair seat), or you aren't sitting right in the first place and, with a bit of stiffness in your knee, your leg comes out in front of you. IME, lots of us get stiff in our knee and it's hard to feel.

        If you dropped out stirrups, sat for the best trot your could and then took a picture, I think you'd have a more accurate picture of what you look like in that saddle.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          I am posting the trot there. Like the prior person said, my chair seat makes me fight for my position. Sitting up in that saddle actually feels like I'm leaning backwards and then he slows the motion. It's bad. I need a new saddles.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Equestrianette View Post
            I am posting the trot there. Like the prior person said, my chair seat makes me fight for my position. Sitting up in that saddle actually feels like I'm leaning backwards and then he slows the motion. It's bad. I need a new saddles.
            I think that's a normal-looking position for someone posting--- especially if you come from one of the jumping disciplines. Pure Dressagists tend to use their pelvis differently when they post.

            In my case, I feel like I'm straight up and down when my upper body looks like yours in that picture. I'm sure that if I were actually straight, I'd feel like I were leaning backward.

            Again, I don't think you can judge until you are sitting with or without stirrups.

            JMHO.
            The armchair saddler
            Politically Pro-Cat

            Comment


              #7
              Well the photo does not show someone riding in "dressage seat." But whether that is due to saddle, rider, or a moment in time posting, I can't begin to tell from one photo.

              Lots of beginning dressage riders or those transitioning from jump seat will look like this through no fault of the saddle, especially while their stirrups are shorter.

              Also dressage riders sit the trot a lot which gives you a different line to the body, though many of them also lean back too much.

              Anyhow no dressage saddle will do the job of making sure a beginner/intermediate or a transitioning jump seat rider will never ever tip into a chair seat, or tilt forward, or etc for a moment or two. That just happens.

              Fixing takes work by the rider.

              Obviously the wrong saddle makes it worse of course.

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #8
                My stirrup length coincides withy ankle. Is that not the proper way to adjust stirrups?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Equestrianette View Post
                  My stirrup length coincides withy ankle. Is that not the proper way to adjust stirrups?
                  IMO, you need to be more specific. Do you mean it hits at your angle bone? Just below?

                  I'd say it needs to be below at least.

                  But! So much of this depends on thinks like how deep your heal is while your knee is as relaxed as it needs to be to sit the trot. I have a deep heel from Huntering which translates to probably a slightly dropped heel in a dressage saddle, but I'm always trying to tune into my knees and make sure I haven't stiffened those. That will make my whole leg stiff and even my ankle stiff... which helps make my stirrups feel like the are the right or wrong length.

                  Sorry to make it so complicated!

                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The cantle sits too low on your horse's back.
                    ... _. ._ .._. .._

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I don't think the stirrups in the photo are necessarily too short. That was more of a general comment. Also every dressage rider slowly lengthens their stirrups over the years as their leg stretches and drops.

                      To really be able to say anything about the OPs seat we'd need to see video and also see how she sits walk trot canter and halt. And maybe in different saddles.

                      I agree photo shows rider in a chair seat. Just don't know if this is rider, saddle, or just a moment in time.

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        Scribbler in my original post there is a YouTube video of me doing the dressage test that is shown in the picture. Thank you all for the discussion I truly appreciate the feedback. I've been riding for 20 years doing jumpers and dressage. New to eventing. I've been riding in this saddle for the last 12+ years. The photo here is from several months ago so I've been able to lengthen a lot since then but I feel like in order to have a correct position I need a different saddle. I ordered the Thorowgood T8 dressage with external block.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Scribbler mvp Check the video in the OP.

                          Here it is: https://youtu.be/CZBHvnLcRs0
                          ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                          Originally posted by LauraKY
                          I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            OK just looked at video.

                            A few things pop out at me.

                            Your hands bounce with each posting stride. Your leg swings back with each posting stride. You post with a lot of thrust. You sit down into a chair seat. The horse is nice and forward for a jumpet but shows no modulation of movement in a dressage sense.

                            It's possible the saddle is doing you no favors. You don't look particularly secure in it. But there is more you can work on with your dressage seat (or seat generally) than we can blame on one saddle.

                            You need to work on a more stable lower leg and stable hands independent of what your body is doing.

                            Comment

                              Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thank you. That's indeed what we've been working on.

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                                The cantle sits too low on your horse's back.
                                I can put my mattes shimmed half pad and see if that raises the cantle. Hopefully the by product compliments my efforts on trying to improve my seat and posture.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Equestrianette View Post

                                  I can put my mattes shimmed half pad and see if that raises the cantle. Hopefully the by product compliments my efforts on trying to improve my seat and posture.
                                  If the cantle is sitting low, it is likely the withers gullet doesn't fit and possibly is too narrow, making the pommel ride high. Shimming the cantle in that case would basically jam the narrow gullet harder into the withers and cause more pain. The cantle won't sit low if the saddle fits the horse.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                                    If the cantle is sitting low, it is likely the withers gullet doesn't fit and possibly is too narrow, making the pommel ride high. Shimming the cantle in that case would basically jam the narrow gullet harder into the withers and cause more pain. The cantle won't sit low if the saddle fits the horse.
                                    It's very possible that this is the case. However, I do have a horse and a saddle that sits low in the cantle that is fixed with a rear shim. The front of the saddle and gullet fit him wonderfully. He's built quite uphill and the saddle, even though it's wool, doesn't have super thick panels to it. I assumed that when it was tipping back it didn't fit at all, but with a small rear riser my balance feels much better and the horse is going quite well. The saddle fitter approved too. But this is not so typical. Usually it is that the gullet is too narrow causing the saddle to tip back.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      I wish I were better at dressage equitation. Then I could parse out the effects of you from the saddle.

                                      1. Great video! I learned a lot from seeing you ride over fences as well as in the dressage saddle.

                                      You have a tight and secure leg--- the leg of someone who has been jumping for a long time. I do, too. If that's true, then people like us also stiffen our knees and hips without feeling it *if* our stirrups get longer. And we don't sit with our pelvis propertly tucked underneath us**

                                      2. Your little horse is hollow in the back a bit, so he's not giving you much to sit on that won't feel jarring. This means that you have to ride judiciously to get him to lift his back and then try practicing your sitting trot, going back to posting when you lose his back and have to re-establish it. Learning to sit the trot this way takes a long time...ask me how I know!

                                      3. When you are walking or halting, I see your knee being plenty-far behind the pocket created by the block/pad. That tells me that your stirrups are long enough and also about how your knees and hips are functioning. In the kicked-back lower leg, I think that comes from a stiff knee. And the stiff knee (at least in me) tends to come with hips that are not open and relaxed enough. And that relates to how your pelvis is angled in the saddle.

                                      ** I can't believe that dressagists' "neutral" position on a horse is with their tailbone tucked and core engaged All.The.Time. That seems like so much work! But there it is: apparently this is what I have to learn to do.

                                      In any case, OP, I don't think the saddle as it is sitting on your horse's back is helping you. In your spot, I would experimental add some height to the cantle, ride the trot (posting) so as to get him lifting his back, think about relaxing/opening my hips and knees and sit a few steps. If you can feel the spring of the stirrup in your foot, you have relaxed all three joints in your leg and are probably sitting correctly. In this spot, if you heel your thigh is where the saddle designer intended-- parallel to the front of the block all the way down, then this saddle's geometry and balance are OK for you.

                                      Not sure this advice was worth much, but at least there is some stuff you can to in order to test the hypothesis about this saddle fitting you or not.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        You might want to add some pictures of the horse saddled, unmounted. Taken from the side, front and back. Easier to evaluate the saddle fit to the horse without the rider. The saddle's fit to you may still be a question!

                                        Comment

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