Breaking news. I rode in a dressage saddle. And I liked it.

Yes, I do expect the Hunter/Jumper gods to rain down with fire and fury (which to be honest, raining fire would probably be a net-neutral). Luckily I have made appropriate sacrifices to them with years of voluntary no-stirrup work.

I am trying out new trainers and this wonderful eventing trainer had me ride in a dressage saddle for my lesson. I expected to feel more… uncomfortable with long stirrups as compared to my jumping height, but truly the way the saddle is built, the longer length feels right. Who knew, the construction of a saddle would affect a rider’s position (d’oh).

While I am still in this “am I or am I not” limbo of barn hunting, I am of the perspective that I will try anything for now.

The deeper, “tucked under” seat is distinctly unnatural to my forward seat sensibilities. But it is always good to be adjustable and learn from other disciplines.

The ability to isolate areas of your body to be adjustable is undeniably a useful skill when riding different horse types. While we all subscribe to an ideal position for our respective disciplines, I doubt any true horseperson would say that only one position is effective for dealing with various scenarios presented when riding horses.

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The equivalent of how difficult it feels for me to be in a “dressage seat”

My lifelong struggle has been closing my fingers and this twisted notion of softness through my hands, rather than my elbows. A frustrating habit in H/J world is detrimental in Dressage world, there is no area on the map where open fingers and no contact exists. So this level of scrutiny on my hands will certainly ripple positively into my H/J home base.

While I had lots of corrections, there were true moments of connection and balance. Fleeting, but they were there.

I do deeply enjoy trying new disciplines in the horse community. That’s how my 6 month stint as a reiner occurred, as well as my time trail riding in the Appalachian Mountains.

I do tend to always come back to H/J land though… The dressage saddle is comfy, but there is nothing like sailing over a jump for my heart.