Thursday, June 21, 2012


Maybe I should have kept the Schleese forward seat saddle that was custom fitted to Phantom and me. But at the time I decided to sell it I didn't have the funds to take jump lessons.

Anyone who has done hunter-jumpers knows it requires several lessons a week to work on position and timing. And for safety's sake you shouldn't jump on your own. Dressage, on the other hand, allows for solitary "homework" between lessons. Plus, one is less likely to go flying over a fence sans horse. I could afford one dressage lesson a month and an occasional in-barn clinic. So I opted to sell my forward seat saddle.

The good news was -- the sale of the saddle paid for Indy as well as the vet bills for his baseline exam and to have him fixed.

However, there are times when I feel like I'm fighting against the dressage position. Particularly when cantering Phantom. His initial canters can be difficult to engage since he bulges against the inside leg in his effort to crossfire on the depart. Once Phantom attains the canter I struggle against the desire to take a half seat to move him forward. The whole dressage deep seat thing goes against my natural inclinations. Hunt seat seems so much more natural to me.

Given various factors in my life it's pretty obvious that I'm not going to do anything with dressage. If I'm just going to hack Phantom around the arena a few times a week and maybe venture outside on the track -- I could do that in a forward seat saddle.

So the last time I rode Phantom (when I was alone in the arena with no one to wonder "what the heck?") I tried a half seat at the canter. It confused Phantom a little. But I felt like I could make better use of my legs to massage him forward into the bit.


The whole idea of saddle shopping is depressing even without contemplating where the money will come from. Phantom is a mutton-withered, round Arab. I have short legs and a generous derriere. Our combination is a saddle-fitting nightmare. And to think I gave up a custom saddle!!


There's nothing like twenty-twenty hindsight.


gowestferalwoman said...

ouch - switching between a huntseat and dressage is mentally confusing when it comes to leg position for me - dropping the holes on the stirrups just one more hole then I thought was the only way I was ever able to achieve a longer leg for dressage- Good luck ! :)

Oregon Equestrian said...

I was having trouble switching my center of balance between saddles after using my dressage saddle most of the time. One of the reasons I decided to sell one saddle. Made me appreciate eventers who go back and forth all the time.

allhorsestuff said...

I know!!
I'm doing it again too!
I spent my wad on my ANSUR All Purpose saddle. I love it for me- but alas, it's not for high withered horses.
So I have to sell it to have $ for another!

Good luck.
I'm thinking of a cheaper fix to start with. A saddle fitter in Washington likes the Thorowgood hybrids. Part leather, wool flocking, adjustable gullet( that does not change rails) wider panels.

Elisa said...


I'm from the UK, 62, retired and an ex-horse owner. I can understand everything you say - just a thought - have you tried "Riding with the Mind", Mary Wanless. I've only had a couple of lessons but effect on hyper pony I was riding amazed me. I would like to continue. When riding this way Pony came into shape and really listened. I'd been a bit sceptical before but pony's owner wanted him ridden that way. Enjoy your site very much by the way. Just finished reading Corduroy Mansions and Dog who came in from the cold. Found your site as I was looking if Pimlico Terriers were real. Elisa