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Am I clueless? Thigh blocks

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  • Am I clueless? Thigh blocks

    The horse I've been riding has several saddles, some that fit him better then others. The one that fits him best is an Albion with really big blocks. REALLY BIG!!!

    And I hate it. He is over 17 hh and i am only 5'2". I feel like I cannot get my legs around him in the Albion. Some of the spectators commented that it gave my legs really lovely positioning..... but I don't feel like that is a problem in any saddle. I love the very flat-flapped crosby, but I admit the Albion is newer, thus in better condition and probably fits the horse just a little better.

    I have ridden in a lot of saddles but never ones with thigh blocks this big.

    SO my questions are: What are the thigh blocks suppose to do? Will I get use to them? Will they be comfortable? Do I look as silly with them as I feel?

  • #2
    lol! thigh blocks are supposed to lock you in and allow people without a seat to ride higher levels then they should given their lack of seat.

    thigh blocks block which translates into stiffness and energy stoppages.... which in dressage is not what we want. how can a rider be supple when she is crammed and blocked etc?

    all that said - sometimes you need to ride in whatever the horse likes best. for example the saddle that fits my mare best i hate, but its fine, i can ride in it. it just is not what i would of picked for me.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is it a very new Albion model, or perhaps one custom flocked ? The ones I have seen and ridden in have had moderate knee/thigh blocks...not the smallest, but not huge by any means, kind of middle of the pack for dresage saddles imo.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've always thought of albinos as being saddles for long legs. One of my saddles is an Albion slk and I don't think of it as having noticeable thigh blocks I'm 5'9"

        Comment


        • #5
          i think larger thigh blocks encourage your body into the right position. after a couple rides your leg won't feel "forced" in/onto the block, and the saddle will feel natural. large thigh blocks offer enough support to help you keep your legs in the proper position (knees & toes to the front, thigh rolled in, lower leg off) until your muscles adjust and become strong enough to maintain your position without the blocks there.

          my guess is people that lack flexibility in their hips/thighs seem to feel "crammed, blocked, jammed, etc." into saddles with larger blocks, or a deeper seat, and therefore should stay away from them.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mbm View Post
            lol! thigh blocks are supposed to lock you in and allow people without a seat to ride higher levels then they should given their lack of seat.
            This is one st.pid statement!
            ~ 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.
            HORSING mobile training app

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            • #7
              I cannot stand riding in really any saddle with blocks. Neither my jumping saddle nor my dressage saddle have large blocks. My dressage saddle (older Stubben Aramis/Tristan) has a small pad in front of my shin and that's it. The jumping saddle (older Stubben Siegfried II) has a really small one on the front of the flap also. They were the flattest saddles I could find. Most people hate them and want a 'cushier' saddle, but I love my old Stubbens with no bells and whistles. I want as little as possible in between me and my horse. I have yet to find a saddle with huge blocks that puts me in an actually correct position. Then I feel like I'm fighting a saddle while still trying to stay on my noodley Arab. It feels like I'm trying to ride a greased pig. My flat saddles sit lower and I feel more like a part of him, rather than just perched on top of him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Are you sure what you are feeling is the thigh block or the wide twist? I too am short and I could not get myself around an Albion. It is somewhat ridiculous to suggest big thigh blocks are for those who can't ride. Look at the saddles many of the top pros ride in. I see alot of big blocks! I think the old Crosbys have a narrow twist, so I would look for brands that are more narrow and see if you might get a better feel. Good luck -saddle shopping can be quite frustrating!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was thinking too, that it's maybe the wider twist you have to get used to...?

                  The thighblocks should not make the saddle feel wider, since you are supposed to have you legs BEHIND them, not on them!!! I actually like the "close contact" fell of the "block saddles", since there isn't even a knee roll to come between rider and horse :-)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was thinking if it's a well broken in saddle, height could be a factor. I can NOT ride comfortably in someone else's saddle with thigh blocks if they're much taller than me. Their legs leave a sort of groove well in front of where my legs need to be, and it makes it very, very hard to have my legs where I want and not feeling like they're hanging over the edge of some cliff.

                    The exception is saddles with very straight flaps, where taller people's legs weren't going forward in the first place.
                    Originally posted by Silverbridge
                    If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Equi88 View Post
                      I was thinking too, that it's maybe the wider twist you have to get used to...?

                      The thighblocks should not make the saddle feel wider, since you are supposed to have you legs BEHIND them, not on them!!! I actually like the "close contact" fell of the "block saddles", since there isn't even a knee roll to come between rider and horse :-)
                      This. I never liked Albions for myself. They were designed for riders with wide hips, IIRC. I prefer a narrow twist.

                      Also, thigh blocks are supposed to open the hip to allow the leg to become long and fall underneath of the right; they do not "give the rider a seat."
                      Kim
                      'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm 5' tall. I have a lot of difficulty with large thigh blocks on saddles in 17" and up sizes. I think they just aren't meant to fit short legs. Juniors saddles with blocks seem to be o.k. And I do like a wide twist, so I doubt that's the issue.
                        "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                        http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Hmmm.. Well I've ridden in quite a lot of saddles and I dont mind thigh blocks. I think this Albion is newer and somewhat custom. The blocks are not only big in the height away from the saddle, I also feel like they extend further back on the saddle flap. I don't feel like I fight with them. They are just not comfortable. I definitaly feel like I cannot ride out a spook or a buck with them as well. But I thought the sitting trot was less work.....

                          I rode in it 5 days straight, and I gave myself a break yesterday and rode in the crosby. Everything seemed so much easier!!

                          It does have a wide twist. But I usually like a little wider twists. Maybe this saddle just doesnt fit me.
                          But it fits the horse!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My personal experience is that thigh blocks are great if the saddle fits YOU correctly, and your leg is falling in the right spot for the block. If not... Ouch!

                            I think it has less to do with the size of the block, and more to do with the placement.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Fox Ridge View Post
                              I think this Albion is newer and somewhat custom.
                              For whom was this custom saddle? Is this person even slightly built like you? If not, then...of course you won't like the saddle!

                              If the saddle fit the horse and is well balanced on its back, your legs should fall right into a good position and at standing position, you should be sitting in the deepest part of the saddle (the middle of it!), no matter how big the knee rolls or thigh blocks are.

                              Then the size and shape of the saddle seat, twist and flaps come in the equation if it fits the rider or not and will dictate it the rider feels good or not.

                              If your knees get stuck on the thigh blocks, it is not a good saddle for you and the flaps are possibly to long for you. Or the blocks not at the right place.

                              If you feel lock in a position, legs and seat, the saddle is too small.

                              There's so much different saddles on the market for one reason; there's so much different riders.

                              Maybe he should get a flat saddle and learn who to ride properly ? http://www.startinggate.ca/img/news/...20Braddick.jpg
                              ~ 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.
                              HORSING mobile training app

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                                This is one st.pid statement!
                                really? what is a thigh "block" for if not to hold a rider in place?

                                and if a rider is being held in place how exactly is their seat going to be supple?

                                you can think my comments are stupid all you want, but any honest trainer will tell you the same.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                  really? what is a thigh "block" for if not to hold a rider in place?

                                  and if a rider is being held in place how exactly is their seat going to be supple?

                                  you can think my comments are stupid all you want, but any honest trainer will tell you the same.
                                  I think you are whining. It doesn't make you a better rider to say that you ride in a plain flat saddle.

                                  It won't make you a better rider (or person) to say that people who have thigh blocks have a bad seat and just can't ride and that the saddle does it for them.

                                  Any honest trainer will let you know that if the saddle fits you, and the horse, you won't feel stuck or won't struggle to keep the right position, no matter if the saddle has blocks or not.

                                  It is like whining about riders who buy nice well trained warmbloods and are only winning at shows because of it and therefore are not good riders Hahaha let's laugh about it and pretend you're sooooo much better because your 'mix breed rescue' horse came last at intro level but you've worked so much harder to get there than these little DQs...Ridiculous.

                                  ETA : Blocks are for 'blocking' not 'holding'.
                                  ~ 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.
                                  HORSING mobile training app

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    i am whining? about what?

                                    and please read carefully what i wrote. i said that it allows people with no seat to ride above where there current skill set is. that is not the same as saying everyone who rides in blocked saddles cant ride.

                                    then i went on to say - sometimes you ride in what works for your horse - even if the saddle has blocks or thigh rolls etc.

                                    if you carefully read the various advertisements for these saddles they all say for a secure fit, for a secure leg, etc etc.

                                    yes, the are popular, but a rider shouldn't need them. (unless of course they have some physical need for them) ... they dissalow the seat to be able to really move and flow with the horse.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Blocks are for 'blocking' not 'holding'

                                      Exactly....blocking a correct seat and leg.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by GreyDes View Post
                                        My personal experience is that thigh blocks are great if the saddle fits YOU correctly, and your leg is falling in the right spot for the block. If not... Ouch!

                                        I think it has less to do with the size of the block, and more to do with the placement.
                                        Yes. Thigh blocks will only block a correct seat if the saddle doesn't fit. If it DOES fit, I believe they can help the rider feel where they should be in all gaits. But you cannot maintain that position without the requisite strength and balance it takes in ANY saddle.
                                        __________________________
                                        "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                        the best day in ten years,
                                        you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

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