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Dave
I'm a rusty dressage rider. I learned on my Arab mare, KOH May Girl aka Granny who I lost in 2002. She taught me more dressage than my warmblood who has a pedigree filled with GP and Intermediare horses. Granny was generous and very willing. She would give everything a try. She had her limits but she always tried to please. This is the difference between Arabs and the others.

As a take off on the thread on our sport clinic, I'd like to discuss riding issues. I think this would be a good thread to start since many of us think that Arabs and SEs in particular should be riding horses. It is my absolute conviction that the number one means of breed promotion is riding. People need to know what great riding horses Arabs are. We can also promote our breed by becoming the best riders and horse people possible. There's something about a well ridden horse and competent horsepeople that is very attractive to newcomers. I think that's one reason I got into Arabs - I saw Arabs ridden by very competent riders, one of which turned out to be my mentor.

Lets start with the rider's postion. Here's what I was taught - toes up and heels down but not jammed down, head and chin up and eyes looking forward, straight line from the knees to the toes and the same from the elbow to the heels, elbows at your sides, and hands just above the whithers, thumbs up with the hands tilted slightly inward, and knees closed on the saddle but not gripping lest you force your seat out of the saddle.

I'd like to hear how the rest of our riders ride and how this might vary by discipline.

I think this could be very enlightening since this is an international forum. Let's try to stay on topic but sense the natural progression of a thread as we branch off into other topics pertaining to riding. This should be fun.

Dave
Jennifer
Dear Dave

All great points. But for me as an instructor I think a very important point to bring across to any rider is balance. I teach that your seat is the main driving point, the energy center. I was lucky as a child as I was taught by some top riders and they all pushed this point, it didn't matter if I was jumping doing cross country or dressage.

If you are not balanced and happy through your seat then the rest will be hard to follow through.

I spend a lot of time with my riders making sure that they do not twist or drop their hip to one side as this is a real common fault which then puts everything else out.

Hand carrage will depend on your horse and age, younger horses I tend to carry my hand low older horses I carry my hands higher. I insist on a light hand contact I hate to see horse and rider gripping to bit and reins. Hamds tilted slightly inwards would worry me as you could make you hand fixed.

Theses are my points and how I teach and ride myself. smile.gif

Jennifer
Guest_Dave_*
Jennifer,

I agree with you about balance. To me this means an ability to go with the flow of the horse's gaits in a relaxed manner. Relaxation is essential otherwise the horse will pick up on the rider's tension and interfere with the motion of the horse's back.

Dave
eternal strangers
Spend time riding your horse bareback, learning where the feet are at any one time. Once y ou develop a feel for this, progress to feeling it through the saddle. Once you are good at this, it will help with your natural balance, the horse's balance and also having that extra "feel" through your "sitting bones".

go from there.

kaz
Jennifer
I spent most of my childhood riding bareback, I did all my dressage training and jumping without a saddle. Main reason was if I used my saddle I had to clean in. tongue.gif Plus I enjoyed riding without it.

When I teach we spend time without a saddle plus without stirrups, as this helps the rider sit deeper into the saddle, teaches them not to grip up with the knees and really feel what the horse is doing under them.

I find pole work also helps the rider feel the horses true movement I use pole all the time in flat work smile.gif
paelmchen
Two important quotes:


The seat cannot be cultivated as an isolated entity, its quality is directly related to the correctness of its influence on the horse (Erik Herbermann)


Only with a correct position can correct aids be given. The elegant, calm and quiet position is rooted in function, not only in a sense of aesethics. The beautiful position is really beautiful because it is effective. Of course, you sometimes see riders who have a 'precious' seat - riders who try to look pretty, but never communicate with the horse - nice looks, but quiet ineffective. Then you have those who proclaim: "I know I have a few position faults, but my position is effective!". Neither is right. (Walter Zettl)


Me & My Newel (AAF Absolut x Amun Bint Kaishana) last week "warmup"
HLM
Dear Dave

yes, you are still on track, that was taught then and is taught today.

What I see 99times out of a hundred is that riders are looking to the inside and down, instead of between the horse's ears.another thing many do is twist their hands, making it impossible to work out of the wrists. We call this "driving a kinderwaggon". And another problem is that the upper body- i.e. from the hip up is often unsteady, out of control as you often see when riders ride an extended trott. It looks painful.

The worst I am seeing is with some endurance riders. I often cant believe what I am seeing. they adoped a style which is unbelievble ugly.

Jennifer

I never believed in bareback riding for a beginner. In most cases their legs are far infront of their hips. Mind you bareback is good for voltegier work, gymnastics with the proper voltegier girth of course.

there is realy only one way to sit a sadde well and in balance. This means many lessons on the longe line, without stirrups and reins, playing ball with both hands, making windmills, etc.etc.. When getting more steady jumps can be put up to 3,5 feet- cavaletties, and again without stirrups, reins, playing ball etc, going over it in a trott. when I say many hours, I dont mean many hours without stirrups or reins, this only should be done for intervals of may be 10 minutes. Mind you a 3,5 feet high cavaletti is not really a jump. And a lesson should only be as long as the pupil can be comfortable. Some get tired after 15 minutes, some after 30, and a lesson seldom is longer than 35 minutes in the sddle, and just training a young horse, one seldom goes over 30 minutes.

Yes, one rides with one's seat, but basically one rides with one's "spine" the lower portion of one's back. One pretends, one sits on a "swing" and pushes forward/upward. Our spine has a direct influence on the horse's spine. Some of you might have heard the saying" if the jockey turns around looking back, he loses the race". What it does, the jockey moves his spine from the horse's as he looks back, and that disconnection will do that harm. This is why the good jockey looks through his arm pit.Riding without stirrups, one now has to open that seat and sits in the saddle, instead of on top of it.

I have seen many instructors putting a pupil on a horse, without ever longing them off. this is absolutely no way to learn how to ride, get confidence and a good seat. They quickly learn to hang on the reins, and I always say" if God intended the reins to be hung on to, he would have grown a couple of handles on the horse".

Each part of our body has a function in riding a horse from the ancles to the head. A good intructor will ask the pupil to do excerciss at home, like rotating the ancles, putting toes up and down and to learn then to feel the pressure their calves produce. Toes down, no pressure, toes up lots of pressure. the instructor also must instantly and continously correct the slightest mistake they see.

I also agree with Jennifer that with a young horse our hands go way down, even sometimes wide sideways, like driving, without our seat in the saddle at all.
But this is only done here and there for moments. It is often done to get that nose down and relax the horse's back on long reins.

The SEs have a super intelligence and with it sensitivity. Example:
I would put two cavaletties on the ground five feet apart on one side. Khofo would trott over it a few times. while he is still in motion I have these cavaletties placed on the opposite site (two people involved for that). He now would trott over these cavaletties too but when getting back where they were originally, he still would "trott over them"- and they are no longer there.
We now say" the horse is cheating us". Believe me, that goes for anything learned new too, like two track work. However, when it is done "cheating" it is not done by our aids and in most cases incorrectly and must not be accepted.

Also the SE gets very quickly "bored" anticipates what you want to do next and it becomes a mental poker game, of who will outthink who first.
this is why it is wise to once, better still twice a week stop any training and just ride your fourlegged pupil around.

Circle" One does not ride it "round" but to each one of the four points
So draw a circle and than top,bottom, side and side make a mark. Ride straight from such marks- point to point, but when getting to the next one it is when you start bending and flexing into the new direction. that massages the spin, because one cant bend ribbs.

Never back the young horse back while you are on top. Wait at least 3 months of good training, otherwise it can hurt it hocks. Get off, take both reins in your hands (your are standing infront of the horse- make him chew the bit by agitating those little nerves in his jawls, and then ask him by voice to
go back- only 2-3 steps, no more. Reining back is a collection, and a young horse cant be asked to be collected as yet.

Another serious mistake many riders make is, that when finished training they just throw the reins away and get off. Now the entire training time has been wasted. One should again, after walking the horse on a long rein, collect it,
bring it on the bit, and then let the horse chew the reins out of the rider's hands. Now all is won. think of yourself, when doing gymnastics, eventually you will put your arms over your head and down to the floor and breath out. It feels good, right.
Your entire body is now relaxed. So will the horse's by rounding its back ,becoming longer and releaxing the muscle system.

There are other serious mistakes, we can go into later.

And we also can go later into five of the 7 systems a horse has, to learn to understand "the motor". It is absolutely necessary to learn these systems well.

I hope that Paelmchen (roland) will enter this discussion, and anybody else with either questions or answers.

Have a grand day
Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
deby
Hansi, would you be opposed to me posting some pictures of me riding and you telling me whats right and wrong? I would love your opition.......
Dave, wonderful idea for a thread, maybe others should post pictures as well? We could make it like Georgre Morris's column, except with many opitions! What a great learning experience that would be!!!
Have to get some shots!!!

Deby
Jennifer
Just to clear something up I am a BHS Fellowship instructor and I would never allow a beginner ride without a saddle. rolleyes.gif

But my dressage riders gain so much riding the test without the saddle plus it's fun and isn't riding meant to be fun.

Hansi we very much look at riding and the training of the hosrse in the same way.

Jennifer
HLM
Please Debby go right ahead, so anybody else, if they like.
Roland, if you read this, may be also you can give your comments please.

Hansi biggrin.gif
paelmchen
Dear Hansi,

I´m already in this discussion!

@Deby
Like to see some shot´s of you riding.

Reading some of my favourite books these days, I found some food for thought for riders and trainers:

Horses have no remote control, one can not switch them on- or off.
Even the greatest machines are not so character-pedagogic as a horse, except with lovers, there is no moment in which two beings can melt as one ,like a person and a horse who harmonize with each other!
Horses are honest, uncomplicated, straight, direct, spontaneous and without mask!

I HAD FEAR, BECAUSE I COULD NOT CONTROL HIM.

HOWEVER, I LEARNED.TO REIN HIM AND MY FEAR.

HE HAD NO WALKING DESIRE, AND I HAD TO FIND IT FOR BOTH OF US.

I WAS A HOT-TEMPERED, AND I HIT MY HORSE.

I HAD A BAD CONSCIENCE AND LEARNED TO CONTROL MYSELF

SINCE HIS EYES SHOWED TRUE LOYALITY AND WERE QUIET ABOUT MY INADEQUACY.

My horse is my mirror which returns my bad and good mood genuine.

Look in the eyes of your horse, but do not get a fright at the truth.


Compare this two pictures, me and my Newel in trot, if you like, give your comments,where are the differences ?
Guest_LMG_*
Very good post:

I was taught that one held the reins as if one was holding a champagne glass stem in ones's hand and that if there was sufficient pressure to break the stem, then the rider had too heavy a grip and could not have the lightness necessary to feel the horse's mouth.

Head up, head up, head up (the rider's) and heels down, elbows in, sit down, and vary the horse's arena work. It is true that Arabians get bored fairly easily, so outside the arena work is just as important.

LMG
deby
I will be getting some pics as soon as I have someone to hold the camera!!!

Paelmchen, Please remember while I am critiquing that it is JMO and I in NO way would ever mean to offend you!
1st, upper body in front of the motion, and looking down. Thumbs in, allowing no use of your elbows. Deep seat, but if you were sitting up straighter it would be much easier to see. Good leg position but I would like to see the heel a little deeper, but this definatly could have been the timing of the shot, I know my heels come up a bit when legging on a particularly lazy horse.
Your horse seems a little heavy on the front and I think these few faults I can find are because you are trying to correct it.
2nd much straighter back but your still sloutching a little bit and allowing your eyes to wander down. Hands look great but I would bring the elbows back closer to your body ratehr then in front. And again your head hip heel position is great but heels a little bit deeper! In this pic your horse seems much more engaged, which leads me more to believe that the reason you were slouching in the first pic was attemping to pick him up.
Hansi, I would love to see through your eyes at these photos!!!

And I too would never have a begginer ride bareback, but I also think it is extremely fun along with giving you amazing grip! The strongest guy I know will not give me a piggyback ride if I grip with my thighs, and I owe it all to my instructor who made us learn to jump gymnastics with no saddle and no reins!! Not to mention, tumbling off while riding bareback is much less dangerous then with a saddle, I've had students who wanted to learn how to fall off and not get hurt (liek they have seen me do far too many times cool.gif ) and the best way to let them learn is on an extremely quiet horse bareback. I teach them emergengy dismounts and the tuck and roll this way, not to mention they loose a lot of fear if they know what to expect.
And Hansi, I absolutely agree with you about lunging students first, but there are times when it can not be done. For example I taught beg. western for UCONN for 3 years, in which time I was teaching between 6-10 students a lesson with me an an assitant, now if I had spent the time needed lunging all of them, I would have been fired for not giving everyone enough riding time. Thats one of the things that stinks about working for someone else and using their horses, you can't always do it the way you want. And with many of my student from UCONN, they rely on their reins far too much and I am able to work on that for the rest of semester, but it would have been easier not to have created the problem in the first place!

Off to ride and beg Chen to take some pictures!!!
Deby
Guest_LMG_*
I have a question about the way the toe is held in the stirrup, today. Since many of my instructors came from old school training, they taught the methods they learned. My Hungarian instructor went to the Italian Riding School as part of his training as an officer of the Hungarian Cavalry.

He did like to see riding without stirrups in the saddle and a series of exercises, at various gaits, taking one's foot out of the stirrup and putting it back in without looking down.

The difference I see today, in the way the toe is held, is that the toe seems to be turned away more from the body of the horse and the heel turned in. My instructors' taught me that when the toe was turned in and the heel turned out that this caused a rotation in the rider's leg, which, in turn, caused the femur (thigh) to rotate against the horse's side and permit the calf of the leg to be held away from the horse except when used as an aid .

Now, the question? Is this no longer held to be correct, and if not, why not?

LMG
paelmchen
Dear Deby,

everybody´s opinion is welcome, one never stop learning.

You´re right with you comment, in the first picture it is a demonstration of the forward downward movement, starting to let the horse chewing the reins from the riders hand(Zügel aus der Hand kauen lassen) and stretching the muscles.


The second one shows more collection, backhand more engaged,neck-line upright.

My problem is often that I´m to tall, I´m 188 cm, very long legs, so it is difficult for me to reach the horse without lifting the heels.

Look at this picture, I´m riding a WB of 180cm, this a better proportion for my long legs. biggrin.gif and then compare it with the right one, it shows me and our El Kaishaar at a competition against WB´s last year!

ciao roland palm
Tous crins
Can somebody discuss starting a canter on the correct lead?


Christine
heidip
Christine, I'll see if I can find a good link for you. I don't care for the transitions I see in the show ring today. I was always taught walk to canter transitions, lately I see trot to canter.
Here's a P.P stallion OKW Entrique

http://www.horsemagazine.com/CLINIC/B/BART...ChrisBPart3.htm
deby
Palm,
everything I saw as a fault is completely gone in these new pictures!!! Did you think what I said about the previous ones was correct? I am more a western rider but I feel unless you know the basics of every discipline, especially dressage, you won't be able to make it to far. I took a few years of dressage a while back, I loved every moment of it, but now I feel like I need to go back to those basics again. And it is really nice to be able to listen to people like you and Hansi!!!

Christine,
There are 2 broad methods,
1) flex the horse to the inside, outside leg slightly back and apply pressure with both and use your seat to push the horse forward. This works best if working on a circle or in a round pen, depending on how green the rider or horse is. The head to the inside put more weight on the inside leg of the horse, almost forcing him onto the correct lead by needing to "catch" the extra weight with the correct lead. The outside leg goes back to push the hind end more forward and to teh inside as well.
2) bringing the head to the outside, I personally have never been able to master this, it normally just makes me end up counter cantering. But I believe the idea behind it is that if the head is slightly to the outside the horse will need to catch the extra weight on the inside. But like I said, this way I don't really understand, maybe Palm or Hansi can shed some light on it?
And I teach all green horses and green riders to transition from the walk, never the trot, it leads to a much sloppyier transition and normally a more out of control canter or lope.
This thread is FABULOUS!
Deby
Guest_Dave_*
Roland,

I think your position in these two photos looks great. I can see it more clearly with the grey Arab. I like you am tall - 6 ft. My warmblood takes up my leg with her deep girth. I prefer to ride Arabs. I used to ride Granny with a fuzzy pad to take up more of my legs and Granny was a pretty round Arab. I like a big girth in an Arab. Your warmblood appears to have a great canter.

Dave
Tous crins
There are 2 broad methods,
1) flex the horse to the inside, outside leg slightly back and apply pressure with both and use your seat to push the horse forward. This works best if working on a circle or in a round pen, depending on how green the rider or horse is. The head to the inside put more weight on the inside leg of the horse, almost forcing him onto the correct lead by needing to "catch" the extra weight with the correct lead. The outside leg goes back to push the hind end more forward and to teh inside as well.
2) bringing the head to the outside, I personally have never been able to master this, it normally just makes me end up counter cantering. But I believe the idea behind it is that if the head is slightly to the outside the horse will need to catch the extra weight on the inside. But like I said, this way I don't really understand, maybe Palm or Hansi can shed some light on it?


I would love to hear more about this.
Thanks Deby
Guest_Dave_*
For a canter transition, the first method is best. You will have a straighter horse with this method.

The second method is a saddleseat method. It causes the horse to pop the inside shoulder which forces it to take the inside lead. The problem is that you end up with a horse bent to the inside and not straight. You can see this if you go to a Arabian, Saddlebred, or Morgan show that has saddleseat classes. I had to unlearn this because I used to ride saddleseat - never agian.

Dave
HLM
Good morning everybody

I will reply as I go along

1) feet; they should be alongside the horse's body. if the toes are turned out, the heel with the spur will touch the horse, and if this is not meant, it is not good, makes the horse dull to these aids. I always start a young horse out with wearing spurs, since our legs are not strong enough to teach and convey aids. But also this has to be learned, that's why the ancle exercise I spoke off before.

2) Canter" When ridden correctly, the horse starts off with the outside hind leg,then the diagonale, then the inside or leading leg, what ever direction one is going. your inside leg is on the girth, your outside leg further back to enduce that hindleg to go forward. You horse's head is not bend,but looks straight ahead- if on a straight line. If on a cirle, then of course more flextion to the inside is required.

ROUNDPEN. i HATE THEM WITH A PASSION. I want a "working pan" all walls must be straight and only at the end of each a 45-90degree angle.
The "roundpen" as such creates more problem one can realize. the horse will break out over the shoulder,can twist the muscling in its neck and will often fight even equipment. It can also tighten its back and you no longer can see the stretchers/benders work properly.It is most important to watch that muscle system, when working from the ground.

It is too hard on their inside hindlegs too, they never can relax, carry too much weight..
Even when you longe on a large area, you will notice how the horse will not keep a dead on circle, but will slightly go straight from point to point.

Paelmchen riding-two horses. What you all stated is correct, roland is riding the horse on the left side purposely into relaxation, stretching and the other is in collection, and Roland is doing great. a young horse we usually bring more on the forehand, so that the back muscles relax, the horse looks convex, not concace. After a time you bring that horse more and more off the forehand to eventually sitting him down, working out of the hocks, which can take up to 18 months with WB, and less with certain Arabians. the hocks have to learn to bend while under the rider's weight and hold up. this is not a matter of the mind, but it is physical.

A horse with flimpsy hocks can break down easily - bogg etc- get galls- and to me it is of most importance that the horse has an excellent set of hocks substanciated by a wide and deep gaskin- well muscled forearm.
that hock contains seven litle bones, which have to have room to operate savely. If that room is not there, the hock will sooner or later break down when put under stress. But we also have to protect those good hocks, by not overusing it in a young horse, such as backing the horse too early under the rider, making circles too tight or letting it break out over the shoulders and collapse in its hips.

I see people longing badly, no whip, just letting it run.
the longe line are your "reins" the proper and well balanced whip "your legs".
What you drive forward with that "Whip/your legs" you catch with that longe line/your reins.The whip is an important aid, and only seldom a punishment.
So your longe line in front, dead on in your hand working from your hips, and whip behind is in a form of a "v" shape, fencing the horse in, front and back.
That whip lash rolls on the grounds in cirle motion, but can be held higher to touch the hocks for more action.
But first learn how to handle a whip, not that one just hits and runs, eh?
And always check it for balance, when you buy one, so that is works well from your wrists. That goes for any whip, other than the hunting crop.

To be honest, I have so seldom seen a person longing correctly, doing more harm then good. It truly has to be taught, and a good rider wont have much trouble doing it right. the same goes for equipment, which is supposed to assist, not to harm or hinder. We can go into that later.

Keep on trying, you are doing fine. I am delighted over all your interest.

Hansi
Serenity Arabian Farms biggrin.gif
deby
Hansi,
For the canter, do you always ask for it with the horses head straight, even with a green horse?
And I work exactly opposite as you with the spurs, I feel it is too much for a green horse to take on, and only start using them after the horse is broke and able to handle a kick without getting scared. Can you go into more detail for me of why you do this? I started using spurs on my own as I have never had a trainer that liked them, only in polo did I ever use them!

I was not able to get any pictures of myself yet here, I have many in the US and will be able to post them next week, but here is one of a friend jumping a morgan mare, it is on my school's webpage so I hope it is ok to post here... but I really like this girls equitation and in ever mock judging trial we did, she was always placed first. But I would love to hear what you guys see with her position!
Deby

Also, Hansi can you please go on more about what you mean with the lunging? I lunge everyday and it has become such an art form!!!
paelmchen
A very important thing I`d like to mention when working with our horses, you should make a weekplan, or let´s say make a trainingplan !!

Suggestion for a dressage-horse:

Monday:

Loosing work

Basic lections

Penetrability

Tuesday:

Loosing work

Lections

Penetrability

Wednesday:

Loosing work

Lections on the hand: young horses basic, older ones collecting work

Loosing work

Thursday:

Loosing work

Lections

Territory

Friday:

Loosing work

Penetrability

Walk in territory

Saturday:

Loosing work

Duties

Working out a freestyle event

Sunday:

Walk in the cross country, or a free day at the pasture.

To have more versatility, work with cavalettis, or do some free jumping!

ciao roland palm
Guest_Dave_*
Roland,

Not to long ago there was a face picture of Newel with a great expression. Could you post it again. I think you know the one I'm referring to; it's the one with the hills and pasture in the background.

I like you're weekly plan for a dressage horse. I've seen no end of dressage horses being drilled continually with no break in the routine and never going on the trail. A German friend of ours who rides with my wife bought a warmblood gelding in Germany and imported him to the US to be a trail horse. I don't think he had ever been on the trail. Now he does really well. However, I think my wife's Arab mare is a good influence - crazy Arabs again.

Also, how have your Arabs done in competition against warmbloods? In California, we don't have a lot of Arabs in open competition, but there are some that do very well, even in the upper levels.

Dave
paelmchen
Dave

Our horses start against WB at A or L Level, this is a medium dressage-level here in germany.
The number of starters in the WB competitions is very high (40-60 horses)and the best results we got was 12or14 place, that means very near on receiving a ribbon biggrin.gif

Versatility is the strenght of the arabian horses !

Here is the picture I think you wanted to see, it´s also my favourite.

An the right one is Newel & me cross country.
HLM
Dear Roland

thanks again for the lovely photo. Hee one can see the "intelligent" look in his face,which truly comes through dressage work, because the horse has to start "thinking".

And to allothers, please continue to realize that every horse is different and no one books has ever been written discribing any of mine or anybodyelses.
Its like with people, attitude, determination, able to pay attention and having a long attention span makes differences.

How often have we all gone well ahead, then a problem started, and we would go right back to the very beginning. It is so difficult wto work a horse or ride without a coach. In my indoor arena in canada I had huge mirror on each middle way of the arena. But even that is not enough. The best rider and horse falls sooner or later back into some faults, and wont even notice it that much, until it intensifies and one has to go back the the beginning with beginners
exercises, for both horse and rider.

As you know we both can work a horse fromthe ground to a higher dressage level. It is even done with "driving horsess" and/or driving in hand.

But it is so important to give the horse and "outing" meaning that at least twice a wekk one takes the horse out and forgets about training,simply employes what the horse already know aidwise.

Our Sue May in Texas is highly successfull in teaching the basics of dressage and up to 2-4th level I think. She uses mainly Babson Bloodstock and her pupils do well in the showring. She retired as a "teacher" recently and now
concentrates full time in teaching riding etc. I wish we would have more "sue Mayos" who so unselfishly and so accurately teach, espcially the beginners.

I am so glad to see questions asked here, and we all try our best to give our comments and opinions, and/or what works. so keep it comming please.

Have a nice day
Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
Guest_Dave_*
Roland,

Thanks for posting that beautiful and intelligent looking face photo - a classic Arabian look.

I'd like to know what kind of dressage saddles my fellow Arabian riders use. We're thinking of getting a new one for my wife's mare. I'm not too knee on a traditional dressage saddle for Arabs. I don't think the fit well in the shoulders and I don't think the padding under the seat are good for a round backed horse. To me it looks like the padding is "pointy" and would concentrate the rider's weight in a small area of the back rather than spreading it out. I wouldn't even use one of these on my warmblood.

Dave
HLM
Dear Debby

Here is the old saying " Ride your horse forward and ride it straight". Another one goes " the horse must think God is on its back and the devil on its sides".

all motions should come from behind- their rearend. To go into a canter you can do two things, one to "run it into it" or to "ride" it into it. To ride it into it you need control of the outside hindleg which starts a canter off.
That means your outside rein is dead on-actualloy it is always "dead on" because you bascially ride your horse on the outside rein, while the inside rein is a leading rein and flexiable. You now give a half-halt and then with your outside leg and your spine push the horse into the canter, while keeping his head and body straight. Of course on a circle you do have that flextion/bend.

To start a young horse off from a walk into canter is hard. It takes collection, which you cant apply yet on such beginner/young horse. Therefore it is walk, trott, canter. (Cantering should ony be started when the horse goes in balance of walk and trott-takes often 3-4 months) Trotting along the longside of your training area, when you come to its end, just before it, you give the aids as explained above and the corner will help making the horse canter. another way is to trott it over 2-3 high cavaletties and continue a canter, which many give you automatically.
But if you are training for "extensions" then you would not allow the horse to canter after negotiating those cavaletties. So this is not easy.

We have voice, whip,weight aids. Voice aids for a young horse are very imortant but they have to be consistent. Evevery thing has to be consistent. The lesser words you use, the better the horse learns. It does not understand when you say" Of you have been such a good boy, I love you". but it understands :Whoa,Stop,come,Walk,Trott,Canter" in what ever language he is taught. You can leave all that other talk when not training, just loving him up.

Longing: In your working pen the horse often will turn inwards/towards you.Take your longe whip and point it to its shoulder and it will enlarge the circle and/or go back on track. If he starts running- point the whip about 5 feet infront of him, he will slow down. that whip is MANYtimes translated in size by the horse, looks like a pole to them. Everything the horse sees much larger than we do.
He is far sighted, has keen smell and hearing. So, if you just hugged another stallion, he hates, he smells that scent on you and acts accordingly.
Beware.! And dot punish what he does not understand, or you.

When you lead that young stallion to wherever, often they want to show off, even might want to nip at you. Take your dressage whip about 3feet infront of his chest and he will look and follow that whip, rather than stepping on your toes and be rumbunctious. Do that with a breeding stallion too, in case he has not learned to obey. Try to avoid ever putting a chain over these Arab's noses. That head/nose is highly sensitive and you only do harm. Teach him obedience so that a child can lead him. When I see a chain over an Arab's nose, I know that he is not obedient and the haendler lacked experiences.
Make sure that you always walk any horse "shoulder on Shoulder like a loving couple inthe moonlight". Have him go behind, you can get hurt, have him walk infront,he can take off. So always keep that nose a bit pointed inwards/towards you. Never,ever, even with the best trained, sweetest horse
walk other than shoulder on shoulder, meaning your shoulder is next to his and your elbow pointed towards it, to help push him away or on a straight line, if required. DONT TAKE CHANCES.

Of course, after a horse worked for 20-30 minutes consistently, he is a different horse and has no intentions of fooling around. He is tired.
But just like you, he will have muscle aches the next day. So watch for it and demand gentle exercises, relaxing such muscles, rather than having them cramp
up. that's when what comes in, as Roland stated, take him for a walk, away from the training area. But ALWAYS AND EVER KEEP YOUR LEGS ON THAT HORSE or walk shoulder on shoulder.

I dont mean to offend any of you with the above lecture, but it is so important to stay consistent, from the moment that foal is born to the end of its time.

Have a nice day
Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
HLM
Dear Dave

I only use "Stueben" have the combinations, and the dressage saddles.
some are over fifty years old and like new, although having seen a lot of "warfare".

so far any one of these saddles have fit any of our horses. I like the tree which Stueben has in their saddles. Never been that keen on Kiefer, or some other know brands. But also our bridles and training equipment, curcingles etc, are Stueben. I love their workmanship.

Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
paelmchen
Dave & Hansi,

we use saddles mady by euro-riding, or "classic" which is similar to the stuebben saddles Hansi mentioned.

These modern dressage-saddles allow a free shoulder, the cushioning at the knees fixes your leg, and is very comfortable.
Here a picture of the classic-saddle on my Newel.
paelmchen
Dave & Hansi,

we use saddles mady by euro-riding, or "classic" which is similar to the stuebben saddles Hansi mentioned.

These modern dressage-saddles allow a free shoulder, the cushioning at the knees fixes your leg, and it is very comfortable.
Here a picture of the classic-saddle on my Newel.
HLM
Thank you Roland for this photo. Saddle looks very comfortable to me. My Stuebens dont have the deep inset like the one you show here.

How do you feel about the girth buckels no longer being under the bilt?
It does not look right to me and it looks if pressure is put on in the wrong place.Even though there appears to be a lash underneith, the ends of it surely must put on some pressuremarks, or? Please let me hear your comments.

Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
paelmchen
Dear Hansi,

it is very comfortable that the girth buckels are no longer under the bilt.
It allows a better contact throught the bilt with the riders legs.

The lashes were open at the picture with Newel, as you can see at the following pictures, that´s how it looks like when they are correct closed.

ciao roland palm
Majid
Sorry, posted twice.
Majid
Hansi,

I also like the Stuebben saddles and have used them for years. This year I tried a Trekker Treeless saddle. It has fiberglass reinforcement, rather than a tree. It is also made in Germany, and used for both dressage and endurance. The Trekker is quite flexible, as you would imagine, and one has much closer contact with the horse. It also seems like our horses are more relaxed with the Trekker saddle.

Below is a photo of a Trekker saddle.

Majid
HLM
thank you dear Majid

I dont know If I would prefer it, because I cant see how you can be flexable with your legs and the western type stirrup. I looks very comfortable, mind you. I am so used to being able to move my legs any which way I like with total control over the stirrups. Mind you, I cant ride anymore, so it does not matter either way I guess. Wish I could, am so chumping on my bit when I see you all riding and training.

roland

thanks for these photos. I never had a problem with the buckles being under the bilt.MIne lie quite flat and in an area which does not discomfort me.

Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian farms
Majid
Hansi,

You are correct about hte stirrups. This is a photo of the saddle that I copied from the internet. I prefer to use the Trekker saddle with English stirrups which are also used on the Trekker saddle.

Majid
HLM
Dear Majid

this sounds good. I watched dozens of endurance racers in western saddles, many looking like a bag of potatoes on the back, and no control of aids on the side of the horse, etc. when you examine those old cavalery saddles, they all had that western type seat but the english version of stirrup leather/stirrups etc. I have ridden western classes and even won, but it was because my horses were trained up to high level in dressage. But I did not feel comfortable nor in controll as I do in my english saddles. the front end of the western saddle also restricts the rider's movement of leaning forward in a hunt type position, giving the horse's back to relax and work properly. As you know, without that rearend and the back of the horse working together and well, the poor horse will utilize too much of its strength, one cant help the horse as much as one can in an english type saddle. At least this is how I experienced it. The western saddle basically fixes one's seat, which is fine for certain
exercises/rides, but not for me in hunting/jumping,going through rough terrain when I have to give my horse all the help I can and make my weight as little as possible felt through proper balance.

thanks again and have a grand day

Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
heidip
I love my western saddle! I can ride my horses off leg cues using it. I've ridden 8-9 hours at a time in it, in very tuff terrian. It's getting very old so I treat it like Gold. My dressage saddle is collecting dust.
HLM
Dear Heidi

I hope I did not offend you with my opinions. Of course, if you feel good in your saddle, why not, eh.

the difference comes when you have to race-endurance- than I feel the english saddle has an edge. I dont think you want to use a dressage saddle in an endurance race, but may be a combination saddle. I guess I am thinking more of the horse than the rider.

Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
Georgia
Hello all, enjoying reading this very much..

Hansi, I thank you ... I think you hit the nail on the head in one of your posts and why I'm feeling so very out of control in a western saddle. After 25 plus years since I've done any serious riding and have only spent a good bit of my time in a sulky.. I'm trying my hand at trail riding, which scares the crap out of me.. but hoping I can do on a regular basis someday if my body and leg hold out. But, I have to tell you I'm feeling a bit closterphbic (sp) in a western sadde and very out of control and feel my legs are no help to me.(could be those old muscles letting me down too!) tongue.gif I thought possibly I needed some training in the western saddle (and sure this wouldn't hurt), in my younger years rode/trained saddleseat.. some have poopooed this training, but I feel it gave me very good hands and seat and wish I had had some formal training in dressage saddle.. but I'm just trying to enjoy what time I will have left in the saddle. I might dust off the old English saddle and see how it goes and maybe I will feel more at home and secure. When getting back in the saddle I thought Western was the way to go and that I'd be more secure, but from what you have explained a light bulb went off that maybe the saddle was one cause of my fears...

Anyway, thanks again..

Georgia
Cheryl L
I tried western when I was younger, in my 20's. I wound up with pain in my hips and hip flexors. So I went back to my old Stuebben. I have had that saddle for 20 some years and the people before me had it for at least that amount of time. I love it.
Cheryl
Georgia
QUOTE (Majid @ Jul 10 2006, 12:09 PM)
Hansi,

I also like the Stuebben saddles and have used them for years.  This year I tried a Trekker Treeless saddle.  It has fiberglass reinforcement, rather than a tree.  It is also made in Germany, and used for both dressage and endurance.  The Trekker is quite flexible, as you would imagine, and one has much closer contact with the horse.  It also seems like our horses are more relaxed with the Trekker saddle.

Below is a photo of a Trekker saddle.

Majid
*



Thanks Majid, I just checked out the Trekker with a tree and it looks like a nice blend of english/western. I think I'd much perfer english stirrups, but I just don't know.. my riding has been so limited for many a year.. biggrin.gif These are very reasonably priced so even I might be able to afford. When I decided to try my "behind" at riding again....My husband surprised me and bought me a nice western saddle (the thought was nice) ph34r.gif but I'm just not comfortable in it and feel I can't move my legs very well, therefore I don't ride. So possibly I can put on ebay and sell and get me a trekker. (he will get over it). unsure.gif cool.gif maybe.

Would you say Quarter horse bars work for a good withered Arabian, actually I have one each one with little wither and another with so hopefully with an extra pad or something will work for both horses. Full QH bars look to flat to me and semi QH seems to narrow.. And how would you go about deciding size of the seat? Hoping someone can help me and hope not intruding on this thread, if so please send me a personal note. It's been so long, even if I did know the answers once.

I am not riding as I can't afford another saddle at the time and don't feel safe, comfortable in the ones I do have, so maybe some possibilities here.

Thanks for any help,
Georgia
Majid
Georgia,

The Trekker is a cross between an English saddle and a Western. My Trekker does not have a horn. The treeless version is used by endurance riders and dressage riders because it is light and provides close contact. My saddle weighs 7 pounds.

The Trekker seat is also adjustable, so the seat fits different sized riders.

With regard to fitting the horse, people do say that the semi QH bars fit a majority of horses, but as you know, each horse is unique. And, there is no uniform method for measuring saddles - it seems to differ from brand to brand. Pads can be added to tailor the saddle to the specific horse.

If you do a Google search on Trekker Treeless saddles, you will see more info on how it can be adjusted. It is not for everyone, but some people do like it. I tried several saddles recently, before deciding to get this saddle.

Majid
Guest_Bettyk_*
As for dressage saddles, I've had very good luck with the Passier Grand Gilbert...

I know that Stubben saddles are beautiful and durable...but I've been told by more than one tack specialist that they are too narrow for most Arabians. Arabs will generally need a wider saddle--in the 33" to 34" range--and at least when I checked (probably 10 yrs. ago), Stubben didn't make them that wide. It's amazing how wide Arabians really can be. I have a 16.1+HH purebred that I had a VERY hard time fitting. As a last resort, the tack shop sent me an extra wide Albion (at the time THE only one of its kind in the U.S.). It had been at Proud Meadows for a fitting session on Friesians and was too big for them. It fit my Arab PERFECTLY! I was certainly glad to find it as the only other option would have been to order a custom saddle. So, it's true that the Arabs do have those "well-sprung ribs" that require a wider saddle.

Betty K.
HLM
Dear BettyK

Now that is interesting. I have Stuebens fromthe late 1950's which I used on my huge warmbloods,these fitted them well, and also any of our Arabians. dont know how the ribbs come in here, but it is usually the whiters, hight and the muscling on the sides which count. My Siegfrieds, Parcevals, etc. all fit any of our Arabians and I would not trade them for anything. they also all have well sprung ribbs. It's the Kiefers at that time, which had the problem you mentioned. May be they are better now, I dont know. I had a Kiefer and send it back after I got it in the late fifties.

another thing what some people overlook that a well broke in saddle in good condition should be worth far more than a new one., at least that's how I feel.

Hansi biggrin.gif
Serenity Arabian Farms
Guest_Dave_*
Hansi - I will look at some Stubbens this weekend if I can get to the tack store. I'm wondering how your horses are conformed. Mine have good withers and tend to have round muscular backs.

Georgia - my wife rides her mare with a western saddle which I think weighs too much. If I ride her mare with the western saddle, I figure the horse is carrying 220 lbs. and she's not a big mare. She can carry that weight no problem, but why should she have to? Therefore, when I ride her, I use a dressage saddle. We're thinking of trying a Wintec western saddle. I have to confess, I really don't know what QH bars are. I thought this referred to extended skirts that they hung all the silver on. Anyway, I could care less about anything having to do with QHs. I like riding western but feel more at home in a dressage saddle. We have two oddball dressage saddles. One was designed by a disciple of Nuno Olivera. It has a relatively flat and broad seat. The idea is to distribute the rider's weight over a greater area of the horse's back. I think this is a very important concept. It fits the Arabs reasonably well, but I would like more space for the shoulders. The other is a Podiasky. I know I'm not spelling his name correctly. He was the director of the Spanish Riding School and was an inspiration to many riders. It is similar to the first saddle but has larger knee rolls. It fits my warmblood very well. I love this saddle but it doesn't fit the Arabs.

A rider must have a saddle that feels right. The right saddle contributes to the confidence of the rider and this helps the horse to feel confident.

Everyone, enjoy your riding.

Dave
larapintavian
My daughter is an Eventer. She rides a Stubben Seigfried for both cross country and stadium jumping, and a Keifer Lech for dressage. The newer Keifers (at least within the last 10 years) do fit our Arabs well, even the 16.0 hh purebred gelding. She had an Albion for awhile, and though it fitted the horses fine, she was not comfortable with the wide twist in that brand.

My sister is a distance rider who uses a treeless saddle, but I'm not sure what brand it is. Chrissi tried it while riding in the mountains, but felt very restricted by the stirrups which are hung from a lower point than on the Stubbens or Keifers. She rode most the way with no stirrups because of the lack of freedom to put her leg where it needed to be.

Back in my days of distance riding, I rode a Stubben Parzival. Couldn't stand the extra leather of the western saddle fender between me and the horse, and the western stirrup always made my ankles feel locked and cramped.
paelmchen
The modern dressage saddles allow a "closed knee" through the new cushioning at the saddle-blade, also for show-jumping.

Newel (AAF Absolut x Amun Bint Kaishana)

ciao roland palm
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