Classic Horsemanship  

Go Back   Classic Horsemanship > The Classroom > General Horsemanship

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-01-2014, 12:08 AM   #1
Bill
Foal
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Monument, CO
Posts: 9
Default Wade Saddles & 18th Vertebrae

I just began taking dressage lessons a couple of weeks ago in order to improve my horsemanship skills and to help my horse to move more athletically. I have a great coach. She’s a
German woman who has studied for years with some of the best dressage gurus in Germany. She has an incredible understanding of horse anatomy and how horses actually move. She despises draw reins, running marten-gales, flash nose bands, hyper-flexion, etc. So we are on the same page. However, we entered into a little disagreement when it came to saddles. I have a beautiful, custom made, wade saddle from Andy Knight in British Columbia. I have used it extensively on about 30 different horses, moving cattle up down long, steep mountains sides and have put in some long hours in the saddle. None of the horses that I have ever had it on have ever had the slightest hint of soreness.

At my last lesson, she told me that my saddle extended too far back on my horse’s back -- past the 18th vertebrae -- which, according to her, is a major no,no. She believes this because she says that my saddle extends over the lumbar vertebrae, thus restricting my horse’s potential range of motion. I tried to explain to her that a western tree is built completely differently than an English saddle tree and that the western tree distributes a rider’s weight over a much larger surface area than an English saddle. So, I have tried to educate myself on this topic and have come across differing opinions.

Anyone have any thoughts on this topic?
Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 09:34 PM   #2
Jimmy
Foal
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 157
Default

Yes. I think she is wrong. There is no basis for it. There is nothing like a dressage queen to suck the joy out of using a horse. They are generally so into minutia, that there is no practical application of a dressage horse any more. It is so specialized as to be steeped in dogma and rigidity.Never this and never that. And of course, Germans don't rope. That is not to say you won't learn a lot. Just apply it in the way you want. That's what I do.
That being said, it might be good experience to try riding your lessons in a dressage saddle, if you can get a good one. Just smile and say thanks for the lessons, and go home and stop and turn around and rope something! LOL
Jimmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 12:09 PM   #3
Tosch
Foal
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: A German in Switzerland
Posts: 20
Default

www.rodnickel.com is he website of Canadian tree maker Rod Nikkel and his wife Denise who maintains the site and is a vet. There are tons of information on saddle tree making the hows and whys, anatomy of horses and comparison of englisch and western saddles/saddle fitting incl. the vertebrate issue. If I am not mistaken an article written by Denise deals with what you are asking about. Due to a change of servers their site is momentarily (or a day or a few) not accessible.

I wish you luck with your project. I have started to get help from an english rider as well. I needed help in making my horse reach further under himself with his hind feet, she still needs to teach me to jump a a little and do Seitengänge (German, whatever that is in English), you know shoulder-in , renvers (sp) and such correctly. Interesting part is ,when she tells me not only what to do but also how to do it, I a have to figure out a way to do it in my/our style of riding.
Tosch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 06:28 PM   #4
Bill
Foal
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Monument, CO
Posts: 9
Default

Jimmy ~
Thank you for taking the time to offer your opinion on this subject. I have corresponded with Andy Knight on this topic as well, and I feel confident that the 18th vertebrae problem isn't really a problem at all. While my coach razzes me about the saddle, I just kind of grin and bear it and learn as much as can from her. She has some great things to offer both my horses and me. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this subject.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Bill Strouse
Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2014, 06:59 PM   #5
Bill
Foal
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Monument, CO
Posts: 9
Default

Tosch ~

Thank you for replying to my question. That is a FANTASTIC website. This site pretty much lays it all out. Apparently I'm not the only person with this question. I also corresponded with the gentleman who made my beautiful saddle -- Andy Knight (you should check out his website at Knight's Saddles .com). Apparently he is friends with Rod and Denise. He told me that Denise is a veterinarian and both of them really know what they are talking about.

I too am trying to get my horse to reach up underneath himself more deeply with his hind legs, and my coach has given me some exercises to do that have already begun to move us in that direction.

Good Luck with your journey! Do you ride western in Switzerland? How popular is western style riding, saddles and gear in Germany and Switzerland? I guess that I don't associate wade saddles, roping etc. with Europe.

Happy Trails ~

Bill Strouse
Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 12:31 AM   #6
Tosch
Foal
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: A German in Switzerland
Posts: 20
Default

Bill,
I am aware of the nice saddles Andy Knight turns out.

Western style riding is popular in both countries. Lots of recreational riders but there is also a show scene, covering all disciplines. With some "natural horsemanship" and "Parelli" is popular - more in a "girlie"-attempt - maybe having the movements right but not the energy. To some (me included) (classical) californio horsemanship is of interest , there is a great variation in style of this and other styles within western riding. We have lots of cross over riders as well, meaning they have an english riding background and then move over to western riding. Often you can spot them by the way they sit their horse (and handle the reins). What we do not have is the wide open spaces and the option to trailing cattle. Instead we have narrow fenced in spaces and forest dirt roads we share with hikers, walkers, mountain bikers, dog walkers etc and having to cross black top roads . So just pointing the horse down the trail and give him a meaningful job to do is out of the question. So to encourage him to reach further with his hindquarters "just" to use impulsion and miles does not (always) work, it is more arena work like trotting over poles.

Happy trails to you, too.
Tosch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2014, 02:20 AM   #7
Corry
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 45
Default

According to my experience there in fact are horses who do have problems with the length of western saddles though most horses don't have. Some horses can't deal with strain in the loin area due to their conformation (e.g., downhill built horses or too much rock in the back) or particularly weak back muscles. But, after being taught athletic stance, they usually also can be ridden with a western saddle.

This is my experience with some of my students' horses and also very recently with my own filly. When I started her I wanted to use a western saddle that fitted both her parents. Since she is built very much like her parents I was hopeful that the saddle would fit her too. When I put that saddle on her I couldn't find any hint indicating the saddle wouldn't fit. But to my great disappointment it didn't work. I feel very comforable in that saddle and really wanted to use it. But when ridden with that saddle my mare braced her top line, the saddle slid forward and she couldn't move the way requested. I tried lots of different western saddles but none worked better. Because I wanted to go on with her training I decided to use an English saddle which didn't cause any problems from the very beginning. I rode her with that English saddle for a couple of months. Once we had achieved a certain level of collection and qualtity in movements I tried the western saddle again--and now every thing is fine with riding her with that saddle--no braces, no sliding forward of saddle, no restrictions of movements.

In my opinion one can't say western saddles are always too long, neither can one say western saddles are never too long. It depends.

Last edited by Corry; 02-04-2014 at 05:41 AM.
Corry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2014, 04:31 AM   #8
Tosch
Foal
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: A German in Switzerland
Posts: 20
Default

This link http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/tre...og-post-links/ gets you to blog posts about saddle fit and this one http://www.rodnikkel.com/content/ind...-carry-weight/ gets you directly to the T18 question. Besides the blog topics there is a ton of information about saddle trees on the Nikkel's Website. Hope the links help.
Tosch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2014, 09:23 PM   #9
Bill
Foal
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Monument, CO
Posts: 9
Default

Tosch ~

Thanks again. I've been studying this site ever since you mentioned it. It is a FANTASTIC site. I've learned a lot from it.

As for riding in Europe, it must be very different. I typically share the road with mountain lions, black bears, rattle snakes, elk, deer and antelope (along with a few cow dogs and the cattle that I'm cussing and trying to dislodge from the hawthorne bushes in the summer time. That's where the dogs are worth their weight in gold ;-)

Happy Trails ~

Bill
Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2014, 09:24 PM   #10
Bill
Foal
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Monument, CO
Posts: 9
Default

Tosch ~

Thanks again. I've been studying this site ever since you mentioned it. It is a FANTASTIC site. I've learned a lot from it.

As for riding in Europe, it must be very different. I typically share the road with mountain lions, black bears, rattle snakes, elk, deer and antelope (along with a few cow dogs and the cattle that I'm cussing and trying to dislodge from the hawthorne bushes in the summer time. That's where the dogs are worth their weight in gold ;-)

Happy Trails ~

Bill
Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Horse Neuro Muscular Dentistry & Saddle Fit Out West Saddlery Horse Health 0 01-09-2013 11:02 AM
15 1/2 Custom Wade Saddle for Sale!! Tom Lamprey Classifieds 0 09-04-2012 06:42 PM
A Constant Conundrum of Communication & Chastisement Brixton Boy General Horsemanship 1 08-29-2012 09:59 AM
An Aussie gets himself a wade roping saddle Steve C Off Topic 0 07-07-2012 02:35 AM
Check out some of my saddles www.sevensaddles.com Jaredneves Classifieds 0 02-15-2012 02:38 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.