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RE: Newbee Question, seat size & dressage books

    If you are riding a 15 inch western saddle and it is comforable for you 
(not too big) you will probably need between a 17 1/2" and an 18" seat in an 
English saddle.  It can vary depending on the "style" of saddle you are 
choosing.  If it is a flat seat, like a hunter seat saddle, it would probably 
be the smaller measurement as opposed to a dressage saddle that has a high 
pommel and a high cantle in which case the larger size might be necessary.  
If you are unsure, you might go to a tack store that has a variety of seat 
sizes and saddle styles and sit in a few until you determine what seat size 
feels most comfortable to you.  You should also know that the length of your 
thigh bone can also factor in deciding the size seat which will fit you in an 
English saddle.
    An Illustrated Guide to Dressage by Jennie Loriston-Clarke and Carol 
Wicken is a good elementary book which talks about the gaits and has lots of 
good illustrative photographs and The Handbook of Riding Essentials by 
Francois Lemaire de Ruffieu, offers clear diagrams with easy "how to" 
explanations for the various aids, weight, rein and leg, which are required 
to produce some of the various dressage exercises.  A little more challenging 
but worth keeping in mind for moving up to are: The Art of Training (Lessonss 
From A Lifetime With Horses) by Hans von Blixen-Finecke and Dressage with 
Kyra by Kyra Kyrklund.  Good luck. Donna Snyder-Smith

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