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RE: Sports Saddle question

I keep hearing or reading that the rider will be more comfortable in a
Sport Saddle (or any endurance saddle for that matter) with the stirrups
set back. Am I weird? The reason I love my Australian Saddle is that the
stirrups seem to be set FORWARD. My friend has a trainer model Sports
Saddle with the stirrups set forward, and it still makes my hips hurt.

I have always been more comfortable riding hunt seat rather than western
and I have somewhat narrow hips -- could either of these variables cause
me to like my stirrups forward? Posting has never been a problem for me
-- I think others have indicated that posting is easier for them with
the stirrups set back.

I ordered my new Sports Saddle with the stirrups set forward and want to
know everything I can while there's time to change my order!



[Karen Sullivan]  The first Sport saddle I bought used had the stirrups forward; putting the ring right under my knee. It never did feel quite comfortable,and I had to pad the flap over the ring. The second one I bought used had the stirrups put as far back as possible.  This DID take some getting used to (my hips had to adapt), BUT  this position was way more balanced. My heels were right under my hips, and I could post or two point and be very steady.  Next saddle (a schooling and training) I got for the spooky mare, came with stirrups forward.  I dealt with this a year or so, but it was too much strain on my bum right knee. The next saddle I ordered, was a training and schooling (deep seat for the jumpy mare), but I ordered the stirrups and rigging as far back as possible (like my endurance one). Again, now I had my heels under my hips,and rode balanced.

In my opinion, you may like your legs forward, but this is not a balanced seat (Western, English OR Australian). It will put you in a "chair" seat, with your weight further back on the horses back. When you post or two
point,the weigth will be bearing down on the front part of the tree.  This just does not seem like a balanced way to ride.

If you look at many ride photos, you will see people riding with their heels under their hips, but still a lot of people with their feet and legs forward. I guess it comes down to personal choice and what works for you and your horse, but I am much more comfortable (and my horse too), if I ride more balanced. 

I also rode hunt seat for years, and hated to give up that position and knee rolls.  I had a grip you could not believe, and resisted buying a Sport saddle for several years becuase they did not make an english stye saddle.  Once I finally switched over I realized I could ride balanced and looser, and not have to rely on grip at all.  My horses seemed to do much better, also.


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