What's the Purpose of Knee Rolls?

KarinUS

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Knee rolls, when in the right place, give you more stability. Most of the time I like knee rolls. If they are in the wrong place then they are a nuissance. I guess that's the advantage of having no knee rolls: You can place your leg however you want to rather than being forced into a position you may not want to be in.
 
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Iron Maiden

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Knee rolls help stop your knee from shooting forward & upwards if you loose your balance. My saddle has knee rolls you can detatch & I remember the first time I hacked my horse out without them, of course she picked that day to launch herself over a tiny ditch from a standstill. I didn't fall off but my legs flew forward & I had a bit of a heartstopping moment! So I guess they are there for security, although you might not appreciate them unless you ride without & something a bit unexpected happens.
 
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wanabe

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Thanks Karin!

Can you talk some about how the knee is supposed to fit in relationship to the knee roll? Is the knee supposed to be forced away from the center-line of the horse by the roll or is it supposed to be pushed back from the front of the horse?

I saw an ad that spoke of "the increased comfort of a no knee roll saddle" was the saddle owner just trying to make a lack sound like a good thing?
 

eml

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I personally like minimal roll on saddles for flat work, although I do ride with a too straight leg so find the knee roll in most saddles just decoration in how I sit, and a large knee roll for jumping to feel safe!!.

For teaching I like the modern synthetics with velcro rolls so I can position them for the length of clients legs.
 

KarinUS

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I think the position of knee rolls probably varies from rider to rider and even with the same rider optimal positioning varies with position.
I have really long thigh bones and on a lot of saddles my knees almost overshoot the roll. My husband is 3 inches taller but most of his height is in his torso so his legs fits into more standard saddles.
I am also currently working on my position and even had my stirrup bars replaced for longer ones so that the leathers hang further back. That helps me ride with a more vertical thigh and brings my knees further back as a result.
I think there might be a few saddles that are so badly designed that the knee rolls fit nobody but even well designed saddles may not fit everybody of the same height because it depends so much on how a person seats themselves in the saddle and how their own parts work together.
Personally I do like the security of knee rolls though - even if they aren't always optimal.
 
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Wally

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The knee rolls on Heather's Barry Swaine saddle are fantastic.

They are placed to keep the rider's leg long and in the correct position.

Even on her Prix St. Georges horses....with me pressing the wrong buttons and getting a few leaps in the air! :eek: I felt there was no way I could fall out of that saddle.

On 99% of other saddles, they are there becasue the saddler who designed the saddle thought it ought to have them....somewhere!
 
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wanabe

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So, just to be sure I understand. Your upper leg fits behind the knee roll? (Behind here meaning toward the rear-end of the horse.)

If your legs slide up and rest on the outside of the roll (outside meaning away from the centerline of the horse) then the saddle is too small for you?
 

KarinUS

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I am not familiar with eml's term but I would think scooched up toward the front happens when the saddle is too small for you. Riding too short (in my mind) would be riding with stirrup leathers too short for the saddle (like if it has a very straight flap and you have the stirrup leathers at jumping height) and a more horizontal thigh.
 

Aln

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I know this is a really old post but I was just wondering if anyone has ridden in a wintec delux light saddle without the knee rolls attached as a have one of these saddles and every time I ride in it after 5 mins or so my ankles really hurt I have made sure my stirrups are the correct length etc but when I ride in my treeless saddle that hasnt got knee rolls my ankles don't hurt at all so I was wondering if it's the knee rolls that are affecting my ankles
 

newforest

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Anything that rubs or hurts me doesn't fit. What treeless have you got? Its possible that you are trying to adapt to two riding positions.
Starting your own thread will get more replies. Because the topic is old.
 
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