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Re: [RC] saddle ponderings - Charles

Yes, your saddle can be doing that to you.  Everything we use affects how we
do things.

I went from an English Saddle to an Annie George and it has changed my
riding.  I was out of balance with the English one (it was too small for me,
though it could fit the horse).  My lack of balance meant my body was
constantly adjusting for it.  Horses viewed this as more "cues" and would
get fed up with my inability to make up my mind.

Using a skiing or snowboarding analogy:  I learned to snowboard with a
regular (though large) snowboard and bindings.  I always had trouble putting
my right boot into the binding (lay on the ground and twist so I can reach
the binding and start tightening.  I switched to "Switch" step in bindings.
In the next two years snowboarding got worse.  I couldn't do the turns as
smoothly as before.  It was gradual (I was so happy not to have to struggle
to get my bindings on).  Then I demo'ed a pair of Burton step in bindings.
What a difference.  I was able to do spins (on the ground and I don't know
the technical term for it), turn with ease, go through flats with less
fatigue, etc.  Switching bindings made a difference.  (Looking back, the
switch step-ins had my feet on a elevated disk and decreased my foots
contact with the board causing me to have to work to cut my edge, the Burton
binding looks a lot like the original binding with fool foot contact).

Something about the way your saddle fit you may have caused the stiffness.
If the English saddle feels better, then go and use it.

Charles


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Barb Reid" <barb4mike@xxxxxxxxx>
To: "Ridecamp" <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2003 6:28 PM
Subject: [RC] saddle ponderings


I've been saddle testing for the last few weeks and come
across a strange reaction.  I've ridden in a Big Horn for
the last 6 years and loved it.  But I ride very stiff and
tend to be off balance to the left.  I've taken dressage
lessons to try to overcome these faults and have made some
progress but not enough.  I still find myself completely
rigid from the waist on down even at a walk and have to
constantly remind myself to relax.

I rode a Wintec a few weeks ago and a Tucker this
week...and was totally relaxed at all gaits.  I expected to
be nervous in a new saddle, especially an english because
I've always ridden western sytle.  But my whole body was
relaxed and swaying in motion with the horse, which is what
I've been trying to acheive for years.

So I guess my question is...can my familiar comfortable old
saddle be doing this to me?  I thought my poor horse would
be doomed with my lousy riding position but now I can see
hope at the end of the tunnel.  But I don't understand why.

Barb

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[RC] saddle ponderings, Barb Reid