Saddleseat neck position

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by baymax2018, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    No advice just wanted to say I’ve always wanted to try SS. I love Saddlebreds and the energy and forward of it looks like great fun.
     
  2. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    So far it's a lot of fun :) It's not quite as foreign as it looks, but it is like speaking a different language. Lots of terms that mean slightly different things. I find it to be like a cross between western, hunters, and dressage. Probably the most like western though in terms of the way collection has been explained to me. You should try it sometime! The hardest part is finding a saddleseat barn. They are woefully in short supply, but I've been keen on helping other amateurs get educated!
     
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  3. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    Those two books are full of great information. I'm sure you'll learn a lot by reading them.
    I've been riding SS ever since I started riding... almost 20 years ago. I started out in academy shows and have been showing in full suit classes on my own for the past 9 or so years. I'm far from a pro, but I have gained a lot of experience over the years. So if you ever want to chit chat or have a question you can feel free to PM me. If I dont know the answer then I can probably point you in the right direction of where to find the answer!
     
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  4. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    Thanks @NBChoice! I really appreciate it :)
     
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  5. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    If you want to ride saddleseat, please get a horse that is bred to do it. If you take a random Thoroughbred, sport horse Warmblood, stock horse cross etc, these types will NOT enjoy going in that position, because it's not natural for them. Horses can assume all kinds of extreme head/neck positions, that doesn't mean we should make them stay in that position for a prolonged time.

    Saddlebreds and various harness horses were for a long time bred to go that way, they have the conformation for it, that's the reason why they can do it.

    If you have a horse that has been ridden dressage and is one of the breeds above, and is happy as a dressage horse, please don't try to "saddleseat" him just because that's what you find more fun. The neck muscling on that horse is exactly right for what he is.
     
  6. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    He IS a saddlebred. That's his breeding. In fact, not only is he a saddlebred, he's pretty royally bred for one. Lots of old lines real up close.

    He was a saddlebred that someone decided to make into a sport horse. He was doing ok there, but has some saddlebred traits that 3 sport horse trainers found difficult to deal with, and it wasn't until I found a saddlebred trainer that he was able to start flourishing. I find him to be a love-bug, smart as a whip, and an absolute gem. He's a versatile horse.

    But, thanks for the input, I do realize that it was in perhaps my second post that I identified his breed, and that may have been confusing. He's 100% saddlebred.
     
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  7. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    This thread definitely needs more pics. ;)
     
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  8. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    Well I can CERTAINLY oblige you there.... The below is his first ride back after not being ridden (at all) for 6 months. Pardon my fat butt in the too small saddle, I've lost a metric ton of weight (down 35 lbs so far!) and purchased a bigger saddle, but I thought this was a pretty good representation of his head carriage just coming back. We were on the longe because he was also at a new barn and I wanted a safety belt for the first ride (he did perfectly fine though, and I was nervous for absolutely zero reasons).

    fullsizeoutput_709.jpeg

    He's a jokester, like every single saddlebred that I've met, and particularly enjoys putting things in his mouth and carrying them around. Here he is in a failed selfie.

    fullsizeoutput_70a.jpeg


    However, most of my pictures come out terribly because he's always looking at me like this. This horse is perpetually in motion, literally a ball of energy.

    IMG_3902.JPG
     
  9. GotaDunQH

    GotaDunQH Senior Member

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    NB knows her stuff, so she's a great person to give you knowledge.

    One of my best friends had an ASB that she in the Western ASB events, and the Shaw Hunt Seat. He was never super upheaded as she did all the work at home. She eventually showed with a trainer, to go to the big show in St. Louis and the trainer changed things around with him, particularly getting "more knee". He was a cool horse and would lope in a tea cup.
     
  10. baymax2018

    baymax2018 Full Member

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    And - just so that people understand...saddlebreds are incredibly versatile.

    With hunter training, they can also hold their heads like this (we were just piddling around in this picture):
    fullsizeoutput_70d.jpeg

    And they can jump too, like this:
    IMG_3885.JPG

    Her picture is better than any of mine, because I haven't had anyone to do any glamour shots.

    These are ALL the same horse, doing completely different things. His movement was hunter (open hunter) pretty daisy cutter when you keep him barefoot and ride him like a hunter. Stick a normal steel front shoe on, and start to collect him, and he looks like a saddlebred hunter. In the moments where he HAS raised up, which are mostly when he's decided that something is very exciting and when it's cold outside and he starts to move like a CP horse.

    I've seen enough saddleseat saddlebreds turned into dressage/hunter horses that I know it MUST be able to be done the other way. I think a lot of saddleseat people reject a horse like mine because they don't think he can get up and get comfy because he was brought in too late, but I've seen him do it and it's what he does when he's "flying his saddlebred flag" (as I call it). He's also maturing SUPER-late from a sheer maturity point of view. Really mentally he's about 3 despite his actual chronological age.

    I've also seen hunter/dressage people pooh pooh at a saddlebred because "they can't canter" or "too much knee action" only to realize that it's management and training that cause a horse to be the way they are *to an extent*. Obviously some horses have limitations. My quarter horse could never have as high a natural head carriage as my saddlebred, but even he - when muscled for dressage has a higher head carriage than when he was muscled for HUS.

    Ok, that turned into kind of a fun rant, sorry!!! :)
     

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