I have looked in many corners for help. No one has an answer yet really.
So I quit the race and live with it. I feel best when riding really.
I have become pretty sure, that when my hips are unlevel, and all my muscles change, I really compensate as well.
But I do ride other horses, and they do not seem to have the same problems as my appy. So i figured if its all me, I should cripple every horse. But it must be a combination of ideas and factors that all ad up.
I just dont seem to think he dislikes my saddle, as he never bucks in this one, but he still has moments of great energy and freedom, then he feels cripple.
I chose A because that position requires the least effort from the horse in order to maintain bascule. Sitting in position C is almost directly over the thoracio-lumbar joint (the last joint of the spine that has ribs attached) which is the very weakest part of the horses back for bearing weight. Position A also makes it easier to 'stay with' the horse though I'm not certain enough about the actual physics of that to say why... I just know, as do many here, that it's where I would sit if bareback.
However, I would definitely not feel comfortable positioning the saddle I normally ride in (all-purpose English) in such a position that I would be sitting in that position - the saddle flaps, pommel etc would almost certainly interfere with the horse's movement. However I got the feeling that wasn't what you were asking.... was I right?
I choose B because A helps the horse shift weight onto his forehand because my weight would be over the forehand. C is waay too far back. C appears to stress the horse's back in a very bad place. B gives me the best chance at staying in sync with the horse herself.
I keep thinking and thinking about this. I'll have to pick B finally.
B/c although I feel like I'm more in A when bareback, I've learned that bareback doesn't distribute the wt evenly and putting uneven pressure on the horses' back. And, while in B in my ATH saddle, I feel just fine and balanced. Yesterday we were riding in some short hills, and it's muddy/slippery now, and when he slipped and jerked a little to regain balance, I was snug and balanced in position B.
One interesting thing to me here is how close A and C are. There are only 3 or 4 inches between them, and yet when you look at the 3 pictures, one looks right and the other two don't. And clearly not everyone sees it the same! One unfortunate aspect of this poll setup is that you can see how everyone else has voted before you cast your ballot. I suspect if it had been more of a blind poll, that C would have received more votes.
I chose B, probably because I think that's where my seat bones end up when I ride in the saddles we have, and I'm not unhappy with being there. My sense is that to get your seatbones up to A, the pommel would be way up on the withers, and to compensate, the rear part of the saddle would have to be jacked up much higher to keep the saddle seat level. And I don't want to be raised up any higher than necessary.
Aside from those practical construction considerations, I have never felt any great urge to have a saddle place my seat bones more forward. On the other hand, it has occurred to me occasionally that it might be interesting to try a saddle that placed them at C, just to see how it would feel and what effect it would have on the balance dynamic. Obviously you can't have it so far back that the rear part of the saddle is sitting where the horse's back can't support it, but I don't think C is that far back.
David mentioned this already, but there is the whole question of where should the rider's weight be to help the horse shift HIS balance back off the forequarters. I don't pretend to have the answer to this, but I know its something I have thought about lots. I also know from direct experience that a horse will respond to fairly subtle shifts in my upper body position fore and aft. He will tend to speed up when I tilt forward and slow down if I lean back. And he will stop at a jump if I lean too far forward. Instinctively, this makes sense, that leaning forward places more weight on the front of the horse and leaning back places more weight on the hind end. But when I think about it (dangerous), it seems to me that regardless of how I position my upper body fore and aft, the distribution of my weight through the saddle onto the horse's back can't possibly change more than a millimeter or two.
I chose "B" for where I would like to be sitting with a saddle because that position allows adequate amount of room between my seat and withers to accommodate the front of the saddle without interfering with shoulders. Also this position seems to put you more over the balance point than the other two positions.
However having ridden bareback most of my early years with horses, all the pics that I have of myself riding show me in position "A", and thinking back this position felt the most stable, less width to straddle I guess.
I chose B. I have ridden A up and down mountain trails when a loosley fitted saddle slipped me into it. It felt like I was riding on top of a pile driver. B puts me in a position that lets me feel the back end of the horse and the mid-line muscles. It seems to be more comfortable for most of my horses, too. C seems like it could be a position that would put the saddle back where it would be uncomfortable for the horse.
I think 'B'. 'A' puts too much weight in the withers and will stop the horse from lifting up through that area and 'C' will stress the loins, so 'B' puts the rider over the centre of gravity.
Of course this will depend on the rider's over all correct base of support. A correct base of support allows the legs to fall correctly under the hip: Legs too far forward - rider will fall back, legs too far back, rider will tip forward. The rider needs to be correct in their position and needs the tack to allow that.
Does anyone think that maybe Cyrus' 44 saddle is too small for her? Cyruss 44 - do you have room in the tack behind your seat? It may fit your horse but is it comfortable for you? That is spoken as a coach not a saddle fitter.
cdodgen wrote: I chose "B" for where I would like to be sitting with a saddle because that position allows adequate amount of room between my seat and withers to accommodate the front of the saddle without interfering with shoulders. Also this position seems to put you more over the balance point than the other two positions.
However having ridden bareback most of my early years with horses, all the pics that I have of myself riding show me in position "A", and thinking back this position felt the most stable, less width to straddle I guess. What do you mean by balance point? I hear that and center of gravity a lot and I'm not sure what people are meaning by that.
Dave, What I mean by balance point is that point around which both ends of anything (horse, see-saw, etc) can find it's equilibrium. I would like to think I could find a "spot/point" on the horse where my weight becomes a neutral factor on the horse's overall balance, in other words my weight alone would not make him heavy on the front-end nor shutdown the hindquarters. Hope I'm making sense :0).
My perspective on center of gravity and balance might be a little different. I'm not so much concerned about c/g as I am with a dynamic sense of balance.
Take, for example, a situation where you need to carry a 20 lb weight over a certain distance. Would you rather carry that weight cradled in your arms (essentially stationary relative to yourself), in a backpack (stationary, but a distance away from yourself), or winging it around over your head on a string? It's the same weight, but being carried in different ways makes it variously more or less difficult to carry.
The point I would look for would be the center of motion, not the center of mass. In my mind whether this is the same point as the center of mass or not is relatively unimportant.
Of course, that "point"will change with different gaits and motions, but from everything I've learned it's further forward then 95% of saddles will allow. That's probably why riding bareback scoots people forward...with good rider balance taken care of and no particular restraint to sliding along the back short of the withers, the motion of the horse will tend to scoot people to the "stillest" point on the back.
In regards to position A, B and C I chose each for a specific reason. Position A I would consider the ultimate goal for any saddle maker however there are constraints to getting a saddle to allow a rider to be in this position. It is also the position that riders have told me they want to be in. It is the position that I have always thought people rode bare back in. However, recently another saddle maker explained to me that the position you ride bareback in is position B. So while I had Liz on the horse I asked her why anyone would think you wanted to ride bare back in position B? Her reply is pictured below. No one has mentioned the horse in any of the conversation but do notice how the horse has reacted to her position. This is also very telling in the previous three shots. To gain a better understanding of this I made a model and filmed it. Here are a few links:
As for B that is the position that seems to be the general consensus amongst makers for where they think they are placing the rider. My understanding is that they are using T14 as the basis for the center of the saddle. I consider T14 the back most limit of the seat and don’t think it should be the center. So in my way of thinking a properly designed saddle will put you in between the A and B position.
Lastly we have Position C. C is where you will end up if you place your saddle in the current popular position. For you English riders you are being told to go three fingers behind the scapula. Here is link to a clip of Nuno Oliveira clearly he had an ignorant saddle fitter. http://youtube.com/watch?v=4TJkDYo1BPA&feature=related I have measured several English saddle and have found them to be roughly 11 inches from the front to the low point of the seat ( Jineta style seats Brida style seats you would need to add several more inches) This measurement is about the same on western saddles . If you add two inches on to that for what "saddle fitters" are telling you that you need for shoulder clearance you end up with 13 inches. Attached you will find a PDf file with a quick study we did on the horses we have here right now. You will see that they average 20 inches from the scapula to the last rib. There for if you use the current method of saddle fit you will end up in the C position.