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My leg position in my jump saddle, jumping vs flatting (with pictures!)

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  • My leg position in my jump saddle, jumping vs flatting (with pictures!)

    I've had some mild concerns about my saddle fitting me, but they sort of end at "It could be a helluva lot worse, I'm in school, not competing, and saddle shopping is a pita." Mostly my thoughts were that I would do better in a saddle that placed my thigh at an angle more vertical, rather than horizontal. The saddle has a rather forward flap and I'm short-ish. It's a Jeffries Flyover, in case you've heard of it.

    There were some pictures taken of me jumping my horse in it, and save for "still learning how to ride" moments and weakness on my part, my position seems pretty darn solid otherwise, at least the saddle doesn't seem to be the main problem.

    https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos...10252840_n.jpg

    https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos...00305817_n.jpg

    I've been riding other horses in the saddle, mostly on the flat. I've heard a few times that I am in a chair seat while riding in it on the flat. I'll say that I don't have a lot of experience riding different horses, until this summer of course, where I found these red heads.

    https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos...45234238_n.jpg

    https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos...34814922_n.jpg

    Flatting grey horse in jump saddle: https://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos...05843991_n.jpg

    I was always under the impression it was hard to not ride in a chair seat in a jump saddle while flatting. Obviously, I feel like I should (and will) put effort into not chair-seating, but I'm wondering if its really worth the effort of getting a new saddle, which would involve selling this one before buying a new one. I have a dressage saddle, so I wouldn't be SOL, but it would be sort of sad to not have the option to not jump for awhile.

    So, please, give me your thoughts!

  • #2
    Not all jump saddles are created equal. It can be hard to find one that works for flatting and jumping if it is a true jumper or event saddle with blocks in place. The placement of the stirrup bar can also put you in a chair seat, even if the rest fits you "correctly." Having a saddle with a forward flap makes this even more difficult. It could also be since these horses are new to you, you're taking up a more defensive position in the form of a chair seat. Could you borrow other saddles to try like your trainer's or other boarders'? See if that changes anything.

    My trainer is extremely envious of my event saddle I bought last year as I have no issue riding on the flat and having it negatively effect my position (heck, I rode 5 dressage tests in it... with decent scores!). I know this is not the norm for event saddles because I tried various brands/models before finding this one. I needed a forward flap for my long thigh and trainer wanted blocks, we managed to find both, the fact that I can flat in it half way decently was a bonus!

    Comment


    • #3
      My first thought was that the flap is wayyyy too forward for your leg. Even in the jumping photos, your knee doesn't even come close to the center of the knee flap, where it should be. I don't think your position in it is awful, but I do think there is something out there that would fit you a whole lot better!
      Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

      PONY'TUDE

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      • #4
        My armchair opinion: I would try a riser pad for the back of your saddle. It looks like the cantle is kind of low compared to the front of the saddle making your rear tuck under you and forcing your legs to come too far forward.

        I do not think there is anything wrong with your saddle, it is just that for the horses you show pictured it is not fitting them perfectly. Not bad, just not perfectly for you and the horses.

        Comment


        • #5
          I ride in a flat pancake style jumping saddle with no knee rolls that I've had for 15 years.

          I've been focusing on dressage with my guy and I bought a dressage saddle but I can't bear to break in a new saddle when my saddle is so comfy

          I have no problems doing dressage in it, we're starting to get ready to sit the trot more though and that's not much fun. I don't struggle too much with my leg position, but I think it's because it doesn't have knee rolls. The length of my stirrups determine my hip angle which brings my leg back for dressage work. My saddle doesn't have enough padding to give any guidence to my leg.

          Honestly, the times I wish I had the budget for a new (used! I will never buy a new saddle again!) saddle is when we're jumping. When my gelding gets a little too 'WEEEE!' on course, I wish I had something to press my juggly knees against

          Comment


          • #6
            To me...

            IT looks like it is forcing your leg forward, so you are not able to get your leg under you. The jumping pics are hard to tell but to me you were riding very long. If you were my student I> would give it a pass, I have tried upwards of 20 saddles before I found the perfect fit. I had one that did the same thing to me, I was always playing catch up, My riding greatly improved when I found that saddle that put me in balance~! Saddle shopping sucks, Chin up, it is out there!

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            • #7
              Hard to tell jumping because your irons are really long about 2 holes probably. In the flat it looks like it's forcing your keg forward so you can't get it under you. Now you can eventually get it under you despite the saddle with a lot of work and core strength. Or you can try a bunch and get one thatputs you there. I've had both putting you there is a lot nicer than fighting for it like my dressage saddle but I do like the level of fitness I get from strengthen my core and leg to compensate.
              Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm short with short legs and I have a Flyover and love it -- for jumping and XC. That said, they're not for everyone and if you're only going to have one saddle for both jumping and flatwork, I wouldn't recommend it. The Flyover is designed for foxhunting and crosscountry jumping -- not flatwork. Yes, it puts you in a chair seat on the flat; the stirrup bars and flap are designed to encourage a correct two-point/galloping position and to let you hike your stirrups to allow for a variety of terrain/jumping questions.

                From your photos it looks like your stirrups are at least two holes too long for jumping. They're an ok length for flatwork, but you'll find yourself fighting the Flyover's design to get your leg under you correctly.

                From what I can see, the Flyover should work for you for jumping -- just shorten your stirrups. You say you have a dressage saddle, so if you want to work on your flatwork/dressage use that one. Personally, I don't use my Flyover if I'm not going to be jumping -- that's why I have a dressage saddle.

                Lorree
                Originally posted by King's Ransom
                "Now, did you really mean that I should half-pass to the right whilst turning on the haunches to the left? Or was that just you farting?"

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                • #9
                  JMHO, and can't really see in most of the pics, but in 2 of the flat pics it looks *to me* like your saddle is too far forward.
                  A lift back pad *might* help that chair position a bit.
                  I also agree your stirrup length is 'long'. Find some articles by GM to see what your leg should look like and what he calls an 'active' leg.
                  Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                  http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ditto on trying a riser pad as band-aid, until you gird yourself mentally for the saddle shopping task (re-check saddle fit at the withers/shoulders to make sure you're not creating new pressure points.)
                    Finally, here is one silly/simple mental image you might try to get yourself aware of your leg position: think of riding the horse in pitch darkness, and your kneecaps are flashlights. Position your knees so you are "shining" the path downward, right in front of the horse. You should feel your thigh press downward, opening your hip angle a bit. I know it's silly but it helps me when I realize I'm sitting on my pockets.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Amchara View Post
                      I was always under the impression it was hard to not ride in a chair seat in a jump saddle while flatting. Obviously, I feel like I should (and will) put effort into not chair-seating, but I'm wondering if its really worth the effort of getting a new saddle, which would involve selling this one before buying a new one.
                      This is wrong. Of course, we shorties have not had the same benefits as the tallies from jumping saddles, so we come to believe this.

                      1) Your saddle should have geometry that helps you.
                      2) If you don't do that, you'll be using muscular energy to maintain your position. Sooner or later, you'll get tense or you'll get tired and lose it. Either way, it was wasted effort.

                      IMO, Jeffries saddles are very nice but build for the tall. The Flyover has a very forward flap as far as I'm concerned, so it will almost never work for a shortie.

                      I see this problem in spades for you-- especially in the flat picture with the red horse. See how far behind the pocket for your knee and thigh your leg actually is? The saddle was built for someone with a much, much longer femur.

                      That suggests two things to me:

                      1) You'll never get the benefit of the thigh/knee support when jumping. You'd have to sit way up on the pommel to put your thigh/knee where the saddle offers you help.

                      2) Because the saddle was built for someone with that much longer femur, the deepest point of the seat is farther back than your hiney can get to if your thigh is in the right place. Physics wins, so you'll always have your butt dragged back there and never get any benefit from the front of the flap of this saddle.

                      2.5) It gets a little more technical, but the design of the saddle might mean that the stirrup bar is in the wrong place for you, too.

                      I think you are suffering enough that it would be worth a PITA saddle hunt.

                      The good news is that these Jeffries saddles are very, very nice-- well made and well priced. Some tallie out there will be happy to have yours for a price that is fair to both sides.

                      The other good news (or my suggestion) is that you can sit in a lot of "middle of the road" saddles and even some "straight flap a la equitation saddles of the 1990s" and experience a saddle design that works for you.

                      You do ride well and look very strong. You'll be amazed how much easier things get in the right saddle. You may ride better, too, because you won't be using so much constant muscle tension just to stay in the "sweet spot" that you are chasing.

                      Best of luck to you.
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That flap doesn't fit you. I have short legs, too, so i feel your pain.

                        If a local used tack store isn't an option, i would look on ebay for those GREAT deals. I would buy saddles that are shaped the way you would like, maybe not the best quality saddles, but ones you can buy cheap, and resell. You can ride in them, see what you like,what you don't like, and then you can sell your saddle and buy a good quality saddle that fits.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rabicon View Post
                          Hard to tell jumping because your irons are really long about 2 holes probably. In the flat it looks like it's forcing your keg forward so you can't get it under you. Now you can eventually get it under you despite the saddle with a lot of work and core strength. Or you can try a bunch and get one thatputs you there. I've had both putting you there is a lot nicer than fighting for it like my dressage saddle but I do like the level of fitness I get from strengthen my core and leg to compensate.
                          I was going to say pretty much this same thing, you need to up your irons about 2 holes, or 1 even if 2 is hard to get used to.
                          Eventers of the West
                          A Facebook group I created for Eventers in the West Region of the U.S.
                          Remy - My OTTB Gelding! Love him to pieces!

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            I feel like putting a pad under neath it would put pressure points for my horse, so I won't do that.

                            I will put my stirrups up on the grey horse. I jumped the red pony yesterday, who is much wider than the grey horse, and was told to put them at what is her length. I felt like my knees were at my cheeks, but the pictures look good.

                            I'm glad people are telling me it's OK to find something that suits me more. The people I am working for are of the "Suck it up and learn to do it correctly" (and one is incredibly tall!) type, so it's hard to talk to them about me fitting a saddle. I will get into sell the flyover mode, and start looking at Ebay, etc for other saddles.

                            Do any short people have good suggestions for good saddles? Probably more of a "stadium" type, like I see Dover making (circuit brand)?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I agree with other posters here: the flap is too forward for your short thigh. You'll never be able to get your lower leg underneath you in that saddle. That said, it's a very forward-flap saddle so you're not SUPPOSED to get your lower leg underneath you.
                              As other posters have also said, your stirrups are WAY too long in both the jumping and flat pictures. That type of saddle necessitates that you ride with short, jumping-length stirrups.

                              I had an ultra-forward flap showjumping saddle a few years ago. I thought it would be good because I was mainly only riding my showjumping mare. It was terrible, though. The flap was way too far forward and it forced me to chair-seat. I think the saddle would have been good on a very up-hill WB type showjumper on whom you can really sit back but my mare is a bit more of a flatter mover and I basically two-point around between jumps.

                              Right now I'm riding in an Anteras and it's seriously amazing. It feels fantastic on every horse I've tried it on (horses with flatter jumps, horses with very round jumps) and it's amazing how easy it is to ride well in it. It seriously makes SUCH a difference to have a saddle that fits you properly.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Amchara View Post
                                I feel like putting a pad under neath it would put pressure points for my horse, so I won't do that.

                                I will put my stirrups up on the grey horse. I jumped the red pony yesterday, who is much wider than the grey horse, and was told to put them at what is her length. I felt like my knees were at my cheeks, but the pictures look good.

                                I'm glad people are telling me it's OK to find something that suits me more. The people I am working for are of the "Suck it up and learn to do it correctly" (and one is incredibly tall!) type, so it's hard to talk to them about me fitting a saddle. I will get into sell the flyover mode, and start looking at Ebay, etc for other saddles.

                                Do any short people have good suggestions for good saddles? Probably more of a "stadium" type, like I see Dover making (circuit brand)?
                                I am a shortie [though long from hip to knee] and I ride comfortably in a HDR Showjumping saddle... it's the oldie/goodie one from around 2001, I dunno' if they make it anymore if they are any good anymore, but I like it.

                                I just started back to riding, and before I stopped was mainly in my Dressage saddle, so I 'get' the 'my knees were up around my cheeks' comment... that is what it feels like at first, but you get used to it and have way better shock absorption in the knees/ankles with your stirrups where they need to be

                                If you are looking used, look at Lightning G Tack, I think they are Usedsaddles.com... great selection, great trial policy. I got both my new HDR and my used but customized for another shortie Stubben Parzival from them

                                Why do you think a lift back pad would create pressure points?
                                Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                                http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

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