View Full Version : Saddleseat
31st Jul 2002, 06:15 PM
I'm not too familiar with the Saddleseat discipline, so if anyone can help shed light, thanks.
I guess (from what I see in pictures), the horse is expected to have a high head carriage. And he must hollow his back to do so... Do saddleseat horses have weaker backs then, because of this, as they get older compared to, say, dressage horses who round their backs? Do you have to be more "in tune" to back problems when you ride saddleseat?
31st Jul 2002, 06:32 PM
Oh boy, what a large topic! Where to start, where to start......
How about I cover gaited horses who work Saddleseat? Okay then. The Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle horses, etc. are not expected to have that head carriage at all! In fact, if the horse carries his head too high he loses the quality of the gait. The horses are encouraged to take contact with the bit instead of hollowing their backs and throwing their heads up. With Saddleseat on Waling Horses, you ride with the saddle a bit farther back on the horse's back to take weight off the front end. The horse is expected to really pick his front feet up while in gait so you want to make it easier for him to do so. Here is the site for the Walking Horse Association. Check out the head carriage on the performance horse. I wish they had someone riding a flat shod horse Saddleseat, it would give you a better idea. But you can see that the horse has it's natural head not and the head is not unusually high. TWHBEA (http://www.twhbea.com)
1st Aug 2002, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by Katie_85
The horses are encouraged to take contact with the bit instead of hollowing their backs and throwing their heads up.
But it's not the same kind of contact as English, right? Like, they aren't expected the bend through their neck. So what you mean is that it's natural for them to carry their head that way, and it doesn't hurt them? What about, like you said on Waling horses you ride with the saddle further back; does that hurt their back since you're further back on their back and a bit more on their kidney's, etc? Thanks!
1st Aug 2002, 05:48 PM
Saddle placement: It goes horse by horse. Obviously if you have a horse that is very short backed you do not have as much room to work with. The amount I am talking about is a matter of just a couple of inches, if that. So, no, there isn't any pressure on the kidneys.
Contact: With a Walking Horse, you do want bend through the neck, you don't just want the horse to duck his head and be behind the bit. Their head carriage and gaits are demonstarted as foals with these horses. It isn't something that is taught. So, no, again, it doesn't hurt them at all. Some horses will bring their heads up and want to gait faster but then you lose the quality of the gait. Often it is easier for them to speed up than it is for them to collect and work properly. :)
5th Aug 2002, 07:13 PM
Thanks Katie! I think I understand now! Sorry I didn't reply sooner, I was on vacation for the weekend! :cool:
22nd Aug 2002, 08:00 PM
Lotsa good information here:
Tons of information, home page of above site:
American Saddlebreds are very common saddleseat horses :)
24th Aug 2002, 05:33 PM
Thanks RingLass! The top web page was especially helpful with the "myths"! ;)
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