Close Contact Saddle
The close contact saddle does exactly what its name suggests by offering the closest contact to the horse that’s possible without riding bareback. What you wouldn’t guess from its name is that the design favors the riding styles and rapid adjustments used for jumping activities.
Riders who participate in hunt seat equitation or show jumping often prefer this saddle, especially if they enjoy a more direct sensation of the horses’ flanks beneath them.
The saddle provides this enhanced contact primarily by relying on a minimalistic approach.
The typical qualities of the Close Contact Saddle are:
• Padding is minimal throughout the saddle. If there are any knee rolls, they are the very thin “pencil” rolls.
• A low pommel and cantle reduce uncomfortable jarring during the quick positional adjustments used when jumping.
• A flat seat makes it faster and easier for the rider to perform frequent shifts to get in and out of the seat.
• Stirrup bars are usually farther forward than on an all-purpose saddle, as the rider uses shorter stirrups and a more forward posture while getting in and out of the seat.
• The saddle flaps angle forward to accommodate the jumping position.
• Girth billets are generally of standard length.
Not for Beginners
Experienced jumpers spend a good deal of riding time out of the seat. They alternate rapidly between a half-seat galloping position (in which the rear end just brushes the seat) and a two-point jumping position (in which the rear end is completely out of the seat and only the hands and legs make contact with the horse). The characteristic flat seat, low pommel and cantle, and barely-there padding of he close contact saddle streamline this type of maneuvering and permit greater freedom of movement.
For inexperienced riders, this freedom comes at the price of safety and security. With no deep seat to support them and no padded rolls to guide their legs into the proper positions, beginners lose the reassurance of a “training wheels” effect. Equestrians with limited riding experience may feel awkwardly off-balance without a secure seat and find it difficult to maintain their legs properly without the padding. For this reason, the close contact saddle is suitable only for skilled riders.
Close Contact Saddles Available on ebay
[phpbay]close contact saddle, 3, “47281″, “pad”[/phpbay]
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