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Improved poll for sitting position
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I would like to sit on my horse in position
   
   
   
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David Genadek
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 Posted: Sun Dec 1st, 2013 08:37 pm
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Here is picture that shows how the jousting saddles fitting concepts have evolved in to the shapes we see in today's saddles.

Attachment: morph.jpg (Downloaded 404 times)

MPR
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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2014 05:59 pm
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I'm guessing that if you want to design a saddle that puts the rider in position A, you would have to make the tree have a lot of flare in front, so the shoulders can move freely under the tree. This would be for a western type saddle tree.

I ride English. How could this be done for an English saddle?

 My saddles want to sit on the back section of my horse's scapula. He is built more uphill, so this makes the saddles high in front. I'm using shim pads to try and balance the saddle but it still feels kind of tight in front. If I move the saddle back a couple of inches, it will move forward again when riding. If I shim it so it can be forward on him and give his shoulder more room, I then have to jack up the rear half of the the saddle even more to balance it.

May be it just can't be done with an English saddle?? Unless the horse is build more down hill?

David Genadek
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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2014 06:26 pm
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An English saddle can be made to work by applying the eastern design concepts to it. Some realizations have to be made the first one is to realize the English tree is not and has never been designed to fit he horse. The tabbed concept in the jousting saddles which started as four pads that were designed to stabilize the saddle moves in two directions. The one pictured above ended up being used a lot in stock saddles but another concept was also used. In the second concept the two arches stopped being used stabilizers and the front and rear arches began to be used as angle holders which allowed the panels to be stuffed in the proper shape to fit the horse. This concept is still being used in high school chairs today. In the 1800's the rear arch was lost to create what we now call an English saddle which from what I can tell is actually French. So now we have a frame that is designed to create the seat and the only part of the tree that has anything to do with the horse is the front arch below the stirrup bar. With these realizations you can move to place where you realize that saddle fitting is about shape and as such the panels must be stuffed firm enough to create and hold a shape. This concept is different from what saddle fitters are telling people so there is good reason for massive amounts of confusion. The concept today is that the saddle tree is designed to fit the horse (false) and that the stuffing is for adding some cushioning and as such they need to come and re-stuff your saddle every few months. So the reality is that in most cases the panels can have enough stuffing added to create the proper shape to move the saddle forward. This also generally requires you to use the back two billets. Point billets should be outlawed.

MPR
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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2014 06:54 pm
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David,

So, are you saying that my English saddle needs more flocking in the area behind the shoulder and in the rear, like I'm doing with the shim pads?

How about English looking saddles build on western saddle trees, with a lot of flare in front?  May be that would be easier. There are some people making them, but not really enough flare in front.  But more flare could be added by rasping off some of the neoprene panels in front.


Last edited on Thu Apr 24th, 2014 07:18 pm by MPR

David Genadek
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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2014 07:15 pm
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I am speaking in general terms I couldn't say anything about your situation with out seeing the saddle and horse.

I am not familiar with the saddles you are talking about. However, combinations of both eastern and western concepts are nothing new. In my mind the eastern concepts are more biomechanically correct so it seems the western concepts (jousting saddles) seem to be constantly applying eastern concepts to make the saddles work better so I don't know why the industry doesn't just adopt the eastern concepts. I don't see many people wanting to attach armor to their saddles anymore.

MPR
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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2014 07:31 pm
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Here's my dressage saddle on my horse. I had the tree adjusted to tracings. See how the saddle slid forward and that it's high in front?

Then here's my jump saddle. Same thing.

Attachment: 20140304_154332.jpg (Downloaded 304 times)

Last edited on Thu Apr 24th, 2014 07:35 pm by MPR

MPR
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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2014 07:38 pm
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oops ,.. here's the dressage one again. Some how it got erased





Attachment: 20140312_162450.jpg (Downloaded 304 times)

David Genadek
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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2014 09:00 pm
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The picture didn't show the first time I looked at this. The design has been used by many militaries through out the world. It is a very good design concept it is using a tree to fit the horse and tree to fit the person. How well it will work will depend on the shape of the bar.
The rigging on that saddle is functional. As to the photos of your horse and saddles I really can not do a saddle fitting for you on this forum but we can explore some of the concepts involved.
Billet placement: On both saddles the Billets are placed too far forward so if you do open the front to allow for shoulder movement the placement of the billets would pull the front of the saddle down and negate any of the advantages gained by the new shape. On both saddles billets would need to be added further back to allow the saddle to function properly. The other confusion that ties into this is the notion of the girth groove. God did not design the horse with a groove for the girth, he did design the ribcage in such away to allow the leg to move unencumbered.
Levelness: Where the front of the saddle is relative to eth cantle is totally erroneous. The only thing that should be of concern is the levelness of the seat. If there a level spot for the pelvis to rest your good to go no matter what the relationship of the cantle and front are. It may be valid with in one saddle makers system but over all the notion of looking at the front arch relative to the cantle is KA ka. If the area where your pelvis is resting is level your good to go. Both of the saddles pictured look pretty good to me. What you may be feeling is the negative effect of the billet placement.

MPR
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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2014 11:44 pm
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The dressage saddle has a Y rigging for the rear billet. I suppose I could use just the back one, which connects to the middle and rear positions.

Someone had mentioned the balance point for a particular horse. I just read about this in a sport horse conformation book, so I tried to map it out on a photo of my horse. I don't know if this balance point thing is correct or not....but the lowest point of the saddle seat is suppose to be at this balance point. This would be position B? 

Attachment: IMG_3455.JPG (Downloaded 292 times)

David Genadek
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 Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2014 01:15 am
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I have attached your picture with some lines on it assuming that is how the points were arrived at. With out knowing more about the reasoning behind this it is hard to comprehend the misunderstanding. This may be an interesting proportional study but the notion of a balance point is a gross over simplification that does not take into account the magnificently engineered intertwined systems that create the horses motion. You should go to the knowledge base and read The Ring of Muscles anatomy Active & Passive Function. You should also read Debs Principles of Conformation books to get a fundamental deep understanding of where you might choose an anatomical point and how it might have a meaning. Perhaps Deb can see some meaning in those points that I can not?

Attachment: proportions.jpg (Downloaded 283 times)

MPR
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 Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2014 01:30 am
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 I enjoy studying and learning, so I'll check out those resources.  As soon as my horse starts moving, it is clear that his frame is moving in an uphill way. The still shot is different. A person can diagram a photo, but seeing a moving horse is much more informative.

My thoughts on all this......have the rider at Point A or between A and B. Then then influence the horse with the rider's aids and body position. ?? 

Anyhow,..thanks for posting on this interesting topic.

MPR
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 Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2014 01:42 am
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Here is a motion photo.  The rider is in position A or A to B. My horse is moving uphill.

Attachment: 11-5-2013_002.jpg (Downloaded 278 times)

Ride A Grey Horse
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 Posted: Thu Nov 10th, 2016 12:16 am
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David I've just seen on your website that you now make an English saddle! Trying to cheer up on this day of shame, so I'd like to consider one, to replace my fancy-brand saddle with the stirrup bars that leave my legs working to fall right.
Can you tell us a little about it? I know for years you only made Western trees.
Thanks and best,
Cynthia

EvanB
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 Posted: Sun Dec 11th, 2016 09:03 am
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As a Foremanist (Monte Foreman) I had a particular interest in the sitting positions given as the concept of sitting in the 'correct' place is very important aspect of Foremanism. If I may get onto a rabbit trail for a second. I do feel that although Foreman is only casually mentioned, his riding concepts and saddles were largely misunderstood even by Mr. Genadek and that what Foreman was trying to teach through his system (including tack and equipment) can only really be understood by an in depth study of it. Not to mention that Foreman was a man of 'facts' when it came to horses and was always experimenting and never satisfied (including saddle design) even up until his death. Also that with saddle materials he was subject to the constraints of his time, that the 'balanced ride' design was never solely his own and he did not consider it flawless. I apologize for getting off subject.




Back to my question. I guess I feel the need to go around a bit here to fully explain. So in Foremanism we definitely seek to be in position A yet the old original balanced ride couldn't quite get a person there sitting only when rising in the stirrups (which systematic rising makes up a large part of Foremanism), but as one of Foreman's students continued on with the saddles in scientific form as he would have wanted I feel both in theory and in actual use that this saddle properly placed depending on the horse and rider, sits the person at position A or at least between A and B. As David mentions in the thread that Liz riding in A had the same horse respond much quicker and more easily when turning on the hind end than when in position B. I can remember my own surprise as I learned Foreman's technique the same feeling of ease with which the horses stopped, turned around, and changed leads. So I guess I mean to say having experienced the same thing from better position compared to say in my case a 'regular' western saddle, I do not question the advantage of position A. So now I can start to get to my question. Two Baucherists I have studied a good deal are Fillis and lesser known H.L. DeBussigny. So with this idea of a 'horizontal balance' that these men had as opposed to what they viewed as the 'old school' idea of in their minds trying to get the horse almost constantly balanced with more weight to the rear the majority of the time they wanted an equal weight distribution on the front and hind legs right. So then in his work 'Equitation' DeBussigny in Chapter 21 entitled 'THE ASSEMBLAGE' sets down his own experiment he did in proving Baucher's theory on two platform scales as follows...




"
From the beginning of equitation, this state of equilibrium of rider and horse has been the subject of researches and theories, more or less practical. Of these, Baucher's is the most reasonable. Moreover, this grand master has proved experimentally the existence of this equilibrium, and the fact that it is produced by the assemblage. I give here one of Baucher's tests in the form in which I have several times repeated them for myself.

An ordinary saddle horse, properly trained but not practiced in the demonstration, weighs one thousand pounds. I place him, without saddle or bridle, with his hind legs on one of two platform scales and his fore feet on the other. If he took naturally a state of perfect equilibrium, he would thereupon register a weight of two hundred and fifty pounds with each foot, five hundred pounds at each end.

But as a matter of fact, the forward scales register 612 pounds; the rear scales only 388. The horse will not distribute his weight equally between the two pairs of limbs, unless his naturally wrong position is rectified by the demonstrator.

For this purpose, I add a twelve-pound saddle and three pounds of bridle; making the new weight 1015 pounds, which the horse distributes, ten pounds in front and five behind. I take the reins of the bit and raise the animal's head. At once the weights change, and become more nearly equal. The front scales now show 522 pounds and the rear 493. Fifty pounds has shifted to the hind legs.

Still keeping the head up, with the aid of a whip, I place the hind legs side by side, and both perpendicular to the horizontal line of the horse's spine. All the while, I bear lightly on the bit and flex the head at the atlas region. The scales now indicate 510 pounds on the fore legs, 505 pounds on the rear ones. This difference of five pounds arises from the impossibility for a man on foot of keeping the front legs exactly perpendicular upon the scales or obtaining perfect flexion at the atlas region. Allowing for this small difference, we have here an undeniable proof of a state of transmitted equilibrium imposed upon the animal by the man.

The demonstration is still more striking when the horse is mounted. I weigh, dressed, 172 pounds, a total weight of 1187. Letting the reins lie loose, I find that the scales read 722 and 565 pounds. I take the reins, flex the horse's head and neck to bring the animal "in hand," and at the same time, by the contact of my legs, I bring the animal's hind legs into the perpendicular position. The scales now read, in front 598, behind 589, a difference of only nine pounds. In this particular case, the horse had become pretty nervous from having his feet on the unsteady scale platforms; and in order to keep him quiet, I had been neglecting my own position, and leaning slightly forward, for the sake of loading the fore legs and keeping them still. As soon as I rectified this, and sat with head and body erect, the forward scales read steadily 593, while the other oscillated between 592 and 594 with the action of my legs in trying to keep the horse perfectly quiet. It was a convincing demonstration. Moreover, by leaning forward or backward with the head very erect, I could always take thirty-five or forty pounds from the reading of either scales and add it to the other."




As far as I can see in the pictures of his work he sat around position B perhaps even more toward C at times. So my question really is seeing the results of his test which proven what he is saying how would the riding sitting at A effect the same? Because I would think one could in some ways rightly say that in A the rider would be putting a greater proportion of his weight on the horse's front end and rightly I think. So if that is the case than how can it be that the horse with the rider in A is able then to work much more easily and freely especially in work on the hind quarters? Any help would be greatly appreciated in understanding this...maybe it is just me but when I get onto something like this I get almost fixated and getting it settled in my mind!

Kuhaylan Heify
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 Posted: Sun Dec 11th, 2016 11:37 am
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Dear Evan: Very cool. What book did you get that out of, and is it still in print?
best
Bruce Peek


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