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Re: [RC] secure seat - Margaret Dinan

This is such good advice, Dawn.  I also wear the Equissential boot cut pants and can't say enough about them.  The deerskin seat provides the right amount of grip and is very comfortable.  I use the full seats and don't have a problem with the extra leather. 
I came off of my horse several times as a result of some good spooks.  I took some dressage lessons and take them whenever I can.  Currently, I am taking lungeline lessons at a wonderful facility that uses Lusitanos as school horses.  I am building my core strength and balance in preparation for riding again in the Spring. Every lesson is better than the one before it and also builds confidence which helps to ride out a spook....if you think you won't come off then chances are you won't! I find, too, that being stronger and better balanced gives my horse more confidence and he is less likely to spook big if he knows I'm with him all the way.
----- Original Message -----
From: Dawn Simas
Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2008 12:11 PM
Subject: [RC] secure seat

I feel qualified to be about an expert on this...
My horse's full name is "Spookin' Amigo".  But not because he spooks, which is the irony.  His father was Spookin' Fool.  But he does love to buck.  He's a paint QH and can buck like the rankest Cotton Rosser string.
I have always ridden (30years) in a Syd Hill aussie saddle and *never* come off it on any horse.  However, it didn't fit Amigo.  I got an Australian Stock Saddle Co's "Southern Cross" that fit him better and rode it for a few years.  However, I found that a Lady Wade Western fits him best and it is now what I ride and has bucking rolls installed on it (it's a slick fork saddle). These have the effect that the poleys do on Aussie saddles.  I figure cowboys (in the US and Aus) spend the most hours in a saddle on green horses in the outdoors, they designed what works...
The Wade's bucking rolls aren't quite *as* much protection to "lock in" as a poley if needed.  So I also got some Equissential breeches with a deerskin inseem, and I cannot say enough about these pants.  They are custom made to whatever design you want and I got a combination of both:  the Endurance Patch (lower leg deerskin) and the Half Seat (crotch and inner thigh).  These two combined make the deerskin go in one continuous strip from ankle to crotch to ankle.  The deerskin is stretchy and pliable, and not hot at all.  The full seat can feel restrictive, so the Half Seat is perfect for me and doesn't cover up the back side of my rear end, where I really don't need it.  I just need *stick* when I need it.  But they don't stick too much, only if I grip with my legs and need it.  And they are the "Western Jod" style which goes over my boot, so I don't have to wear half chaps.  :)
And, most important is having a good "seat" of course and riding centered.  I've ridden my whole life, but hadn't acquired this until a few years ago through dressage lessons and having stirrups hung in the proper position.  The stirrups on the old style Aussie's are very forward and tended to make me rise up to get over my feet, in more of a jumping position.  Hard on my back in 50 miles too.  Aussies, either ride at a walk or a gallop, so it must suit them.  :)  My Southern Cross is an endurance style tree with stirrups hung in the dressage position, and the Wade tree western also has my feet directly under my hips.  Which allows me to practically sit the trot on the same horse during most of a ride, which I never knew was possible in my other saddles.  Keeping my center of gravity low and stable is the goal for unexpected airs.
And of course the better shape I am in, strengthening my stomach/core muscles, the better.  That helps me stay centered instead of pitching and yawing like a sailboat on high seas when I start to get tired.  :)

[RC] secure seat, Dawn Simas