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Western Equitation Question

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  • Western Equitation Question

    I cannot for the life of me get my legs back in a western saddle. My body keeps trying to get into the chair seat... What is the secret??

    I have rode english all my life and don't really have a problem with the head, hip, heel thing in my close contact jumping saddle. For some reason, you stick me in a western saddle, lengthen my stirrups, and tell me to keep my weight in my butt my body goes to instand chair seat.

    Any tips? I have this idea that one day I'll actually show a WP horse.
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  • #2
    Have you tried riding in more than one saddle? I have one saddle where the fenders on the stirrups are so stiff that I have trouble getting my legs into a good position. I need to get rid of that saddle and get a better one (along with all the other things I need to do!)
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    • #3
      Hundreds of people are right now reading your post, scratching their heads, and saying something like "You mean in western one is not supposed to have a chair seat? What's this weight-your-butt thing all about then?"
      At all times, we are either training or untraining.
      Flying Haflinger blog: http://flyinghaflinger.blogspot.com/ Flying Irish Draught blog: http://flyingirishredhead.blogspot.com/

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      • #4
        what finally got rid of my chair seat in the western saddle...was thinking dressage.

        Legit.
        Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
        RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
        RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
        RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5

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        • #5
          Originally posted by EquineImagined View Post
          what finally got rid of my chair seat in the western saddle...was thinking dressage.

          Legit.
          Yep. Same seat. OP is sitting on her butt, which is the problem. Sit on your *seat bones*, not your butt.

          Try a different saddle, too. Many western ones will put you in a chair seat no matter how you sit.

          Eileen
          Mad Mare™ Studio
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          • Original Poster

            #6
            If it helps, here's me and my chair: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...type=3&theater

            Here's a little less chair, but it's because I'm sitting on my crotch and not my butt: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...type=3&theater

            I have been thinking about taking dressage lessons, maybe I'll look into it a little harder now
            Southern Cross Guest Ranch
            An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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            • #7
              Is your saddle a smidge too big? It looks like you're pushing yourself all the way up against the cantle, or bracing in your stirrups and forcing your heel down instead of letting them relax into it maybe? Try scooching forward in the seat maybe?

              Not a true western rider myself, but maybe that'll help a little?
              Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
              RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
              RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
              RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5

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              • #8
                Try a "barrel racing" saddle. Lots of advantages. They put you "body over stirrups" just like a dressage saddle because they're built for the rider to stand up when racing; and they tend to weigh under 25 lbs. which is a huge help for those of us not built like Aaaahnold. I've actually used mine to school dressage in for that reason.

                Comment


                • #9
                  First off - its horsemanship, not Equitation. You need to get off your butt...that is what is causing your legs to go forward. You need to, for lack of a better description, ride on your crotch. You should see your toe, but no more of your leg. If you can see more, move your leg back. When I was riding horsemanship, I would have to sometimes have someone physically place my leg in the correct position in order to get the feel of where it needs to be. You might need someone to do the same and be there to correct you the moment your leg gets out of position. Here are some videos of some VERY nice horsemanship patterns...compare the rider's position to yours and where you need to adjust things:

                  http://aqha.com/Showing/World-Show/C...semanship.aspx

                  http://www.aqha.com/Showing/Youth-Wo...semanship.aspx

                  Also - the type of saddle you ride in makes a huge difference. I cannot put myself in a horsemanship position in my reining saddle - the position of the fenders won't let me. Pleasure and horsemanship saddles make a huge difference. Oh - and get lessons on a legit horsemanship horse. Learn to feel it on one that is made before trying to make yourself and the horse.
                  Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We moved you on over to our newly created Western forum!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Drop the stirrups, that will help you keep your leg where it needs to be, no matter where the fenders are trying to put them.

                      Once you catch up to how to ride in that kind of bump in the log saddles, compared with most English saddles, then you can see if you can train the fenders to hang where you need them to, or like I do, use surgery.

                      I cut my fender strap, where it goes over the bar, down a good 1/3 off and so it can move around much more, forward and back, as I want to.

                      For shorter legged people, good, solid leather fenders tend to bind badly and cause chair seat by default.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Woo, a Western Forum!!

                        Anywho, I have the SAME DANG problem in a western saddle. That and losing my stirrups constantly. Boyfriend, who rides western is constantly telling me to sit on my back pockets (or something along those lines) but it feels so wrong. And my leg shoots forward.

                        I could also use some help learning how to dismount without 1. getting punched in the gut by the horn or 2. getting my shirt caught on the horn.
                        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bugsynskeeter View Post
                          First off - its horsemanship, not Equitation.
                          I do not think the term Equitation is wrong. It is just not as commonly used in some places.

                          Or maybe the open show series is just wrong.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                            I do not think the term Equitation is wrong. It is just not as commonly used in some places.

                            Or maybe the open show series is just wrong.
                            To use the proper terminology - Horsemanship refers to the judging of a rider's position while riding in a western saddle. Equitation refers to the judging of a rider's position while riding in an english saddle.

                            Sorry - it's one of my pet peeves. It's a stupid pet peeve, but one none-the-less.
                            Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by bugsynskeeter View Post
                              To use the proper terminology - Horsemanship refers to the judging of a rider's position while riding in a western saddle. Equitation refers to the judging of a rider's position while riding in an english saddle.

                              Sorry - it's one of my pet peeves. It's a stupid pet peeve, but one none-the-less.
                              No big deal, I just wanted to make sure people knew I was talking about my position in the saddle.

                              Question because you actually know horsemanship - what's with the fist in the hand not holding the reins? I've always wondered that...

                              So excited about this forum!!
                              Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                              An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                                Woo, a Western Forum!!

                                Anywho, I have the SAME DANG problem in a western saddle. That and losing my stirrups constantly. Boyfriend, who rides western is constantly telling me to sit on my back pockets (or something along those lines) but it feels so wrong. And my leg shoots forward.

                                I could also use some help learning how to dismount without 1. getting punched in the gut by the horn or 2. getting my shirt caught on the horn.
                                Or getting more than your shirt caught on the horn.

                                Dismount standing straight, not leaning forward.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by OveroHunter View Post
                                  No big deal, I just wanted to make sure people knew I was talking about my position in the saddle.

                                  Question because you actually know horsemanship - what's with the fist in the hand not holding the reins? I've always wondered that...

                                  So excited about this forum!!
                                  You are supposed to hold your off hand up like that to keep your shoulders square. The fist just looks better than keeping your hand handing open, flopping around. I don't make as firm of a fist as those riders do...I make a loose fist to help me stay relaxed.

                                  Try hold your hand down by your side and keeping your shoulders square - its hard isn't it?
                                  Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

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                                  • #18
                                    The leg problem could be how the saddle is built, the way the stirrups hang. Seat size could be too big, so you never can get "over" your feet.

                                    I am constantly amazed at how BIG the seat is on saddles now, with slender, willowy children riding them! Few have less than a 16" seat. And it DOES affect their riding because they move so much in that space. My daughter rode my old saddle, 14" seat, was always in a good body postion with no work. She was ready for any request to her horse that might need a change in games or tests. She got compliments on her seat and a lot of ribbons in the Horsemanship classes.

                                    Way "back in the day" when I first went saddle shopping for my new horse, they only offered saddles in 14", 14 1/2" and 15" seat sizes!! Littler sizes for kids were available, but anything bigger than 15" was going to be a custom order saddle.

                                    So you might want to go "sit on" a lot of saddles at the tack store, in various sizes, to see what it takes to get you sitting up over your feet. Equitation picture you want is the same as English basic seat, Head, shoulders, hips and feet in a line vertically. It is NOT supposed to be hard to do, if your saddle will allow you to get in that postition. Spine is supposed to be straight, not rolling your hips up under you to sit on your back pockets. For guys with a bad fitting saddle, pocket seat position might be common as they try to get comfortable.

                                    DO dismount standing straight up in the stirrup. Then step down IN CONTROL of your body and speed. Some of the worst wrecks happen with floppy shirt tails hanging up on the horn, or snagging your belt, lower sweater hem, or your BRA! Seen that happen a number of times!! Those riders ALWAYS were leaning, over the horn, over the seat, so clothes easily snagged on the horn. They did not dismount by standing straight up AWAY from the horn, to step down and off the equine in a smooth movement. I really don't recommend kicking the stirrup free and sliding down, as seen among many English riders. Too easy to hang up on western saddle parts.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by bugsynskeeter View Post
                                      To use the proper terminology - Horsemanship refers to the judging of a rider's position while riding in a western saddle. Equitation refers to the judging of a rider's position while riding in an english saddle.

                                      Sorry - it's one of my pet peeves. It's a stupid pet peeve, but one none-the-less.
                                      When I showed, horsemanship meant we had a pattern in the class. Equitation meant we went around on the rail. They were both used for English and Western.

                                      OK - so curious, I had to look it up and found this:

                                      •Encyclopedia Britannica – (horsemanship)Art of training, riding, and handling horses. Good horsemanship requires that a rider control the animal’s direction, gait, and speed with maximum effectiveness and minimum effort. Natural aids are a rider’s balance, hands, voice, and legs; artificial aids include bits, reins, saddles, and spurs. Horsemanship was important to cavalrymen and cowboys, and is the fundamental element of dressage.
                                      (equitation)A rider’s ability to ride correctly with a strong, supple position and effective aids. This is judged in equitation classes, or classes at horse shows that mainly judge the rider’s performance and control of their horse, as opposed to the performance of the horse. Equitation classes occur in the Hunt seat, Saddle seat, Dressage, and Western disciplines. A good equitation rider is always in balance with the horse, maintains a correct position in every gait, movement, or over a fence, and possesses a commanding, but relaxed, presence. They are effective riders, able to direct the horse with nearly invisible aids.
                                      •Dictionary - (horsemanship) The skill of riding horses; equitation. (equitation) The art and practice of riding a horse.
                                      Allah took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword, O, Horse!
                                      Anonymous Bedouin legend

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                                      • #20
                                        I think the best way to describe it is to say that your western eq seat is the same position you would find yourself in if you were riding bareback.

                                        You don't ride bareback on your butt or in a "chair sitting" position.

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