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Truthfully it is not my intention to alienate the horse riding fraternity or sound more ignorant then usual but why, when you see anyone riding horses in this country, do they bob up and down like tappets when the horse picks up speed?
The old time cowboys didn’t do it and they often spent days in the saddle. Surely if it was more practical or less tiring or more comfortable they would have adopted the practice – can anyone explain?
Agreed, but the cowboys weren't always galloping around at breakneck speed, they also went slow but without the hint of a bob ;o)
The bobbing up and down that you refer to is the rising trot click here
This is easier on the horse than the sitting trot click here
The cowboys ride in a very different way in that they ride with very long stirrups which allow them to stay in the saddle for hours because their legs are not bent but this makes the rising trot almost impossible due to the fact that you cannot rise to the horse’s motion.
The cowboys – despite what is claimed in films – normally regarded their horses as mere tools and expendable. (They also normally rode what we would refer to as ponies.)
Their saddle was/is very different in that it had/has a very pronounced pommel and cantle (front and rear - which were partly there to keep them in the saddle) as opposed to the ‘pancake’ which we use. This also makes it difficult to rise because you are liable to collide with the pommel which is needed to wrap the rope around when it is attached to an object (if you try just holding it and towing you are liable to end up being pulled off the horse).
If you watch horse-racing, you will see that flat jockeys use a very similar but exaggerated style of riding (referred to as ‘monkey on a stick’) to that of the people (including Americans) using the ‘pancake’ saddle – this is to make it easier for the horse to move by balancing the rider’s weight over the animal’s shoulders and thus go faster.
Friday's Child. Live and Learn, Thanks for that information as I also have often wondered about the different actions.
on a ranch in Wyoming once. All day in the saddle, and the most comfortable day's riding I ever experienced. The saddles are built for comfort and practicality, as Friday's Child says, and there's no question of a rising trot.
Question answered very factually, thank you.
You’re welcome – Dressage was a hobby of mine for many years although I do not get the time to ride very often now and it is a question that comes up very frequently from non-riders because the riding fraternity never explain why it is done (to be honest I am not absolutely sure that half of the riders are quite certain why they do it other than that they were taught to!)
You are quite right, they are built for comfort and are very well designed for that too but aren’t they heavy? The first time that I picked one up I had not realised quite how heavy they were and nearly gave myself a hernia (I’m an office worker so I have a certain lack of muscle!)
If you want a different experience, see if someone has a McClellan – I found that if you did not sit in quite the correct position, riding one for an hour or so caused you to prefer not to sit down for quite a long time and am still surprised at how the US Cavalry managed to chase ‘Indians’ (sorry Native Americans) in them as the films tell us they did.
Friday's Child. My daughter was also a very keen horse person, right from when she had her first donkey ride on the beach. On leaving school, she worked in stables for about six years until she had her first child and then of course had to give it up. I was going to ring her up and ask her about the bobbing up and down bit. But you got your answer in first. She loved entering the competitions and the general atmosphere of being with and around horses. She also loved mucking out for some strange reason.
Should see them om the farm when Mrs Brigadier gives them riding lessons, all to do with posture i'm told by Mrs B.
We kit them out with high vis-vests as they take the high road, well OK the lower road onto Exmoor. For a fun packed days riding.
Guess who get's to clean them out!
But manure is good for the roses so i'm told!!
It's nice to hear about your daughter and I hope that she does find the time to ride again regularly - I hope I do so as well and I am sure that when we do we will both find that the atmosphere is as good as we remember.
From what I have seen and heard, it is one of the areas where the yobs have not yet taken over so it is something still be enjoyed by the whole family - you might even find that after the initial discomfort of learning to keep your seat in the saddle without bouncing in the sitting trot you enjoy it as well :-)
Mucking out does seem to many people to be a strange thing to enjoy but when you realise that when riders talk about it they are usually including the time that they spend grooming the horses it starts to make sense. The pleasure of grooming a horse is that though it is not rocket science you are giving something back to the animals and you know that they are enjoying what is in effect a massage and at the same time you can let your mind wander over the trials and tribulations of life whilst day-dreaming of the successes that might come to you in the future - I am also one of the 'odd' ones who enjoy it.
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