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figmoc06

Saddle Seat?

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Can someone explain what Saddle Seat actually is? Of course, I've heard of it but never really knew what it was about. I ride Western, but like to learn about other disciplines as well.

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Define saddle seat. Hmm. Well, saddle seat horses are "show" horses, which means they have exaggerated knee and hock action at all three gaits, but especially at the trot. No matter what their breed, these horses all have similar conformation--a neck that's closer to the verticle than the horizontal. Most American Saddlebreds are shown saddle seat. (If they're five-gaited they always show saddle seat.) Arabians, Morgans, Welsh ponies, some natural-gaited breeds, some Fresians and Andalusians, and all Roadsters under saddle show saddle seat.

Hope that helps. If you have any more questions, ask away!

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P.S. In Saddlebreds they also look for hock action. Check out the breed association's website. I'll try to post the link--it includes photos of last year's World Champion 5-gaited horse, the WC 3-gaited, and the WC fine harness horse.

http://www.asha.net/

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Pictures and video definitely do the best job of describing it! It is an english discipline, although a far cry from hunt seat. The saddle has a very shallow seat that puts you a little further back on the horse's back, and wide, flat flaps that give your legs a lot of freedom of movement. The saddle design is to help the rider stay out of the horse's way so they can free up their shoulder for a lot of lift in the knees (although the hocks should also be used well). Horses are generally shown in a "double bridle," which consists of a small, thin snaffle (called a "bridoon") and a curb bit. The combination of the two bits helps to keep that high head set. Riders where a suit that looks sort of like a busines suit but more tailored, with longer coat-tails and longer pants that cover the heel.

Saddleseat is an action-packed thrill ride when you've got a good horse! They're often very forward and you can get moving at a pretty good clip. It's about as different from western as you can get! [smile] If you want to try it, see if you have any arab, morgan, saddlebred, TWH, or friesian barns near you who give lessons on school horses. Some andalusians do it but I understand that's pretty rare nowadays (I know very little about them).

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