Regardless of whether the horse is standing or walking freely, the horse’s centre of balance lies precisely over a point a few inches below the withers, which is always the same.When a horse is going forward at full speed, the point of balance shifts forward as well, because the horse is typically more on the forehand than the hindquarters. The jockey putting his or her weight forward on the shoulder, allowing the horse to perform to his or her greatest ability, is an outstanding instance of this principle in action. In fact, even pleasure riders have realized that “going forward” is not only more comfortable for them, but it appears to also let the horse to move more freely as a result, emphasizing the significance of riding posture just as much as it does the role of a cinch girth.
Horse jumping is an example of a forward shift in the centre of balance, which is also a highly extreme case of this phenomenon. It is intended to move the rider’s weight from the knees and feet to the shoulder and hold it there. The extreme forward seat, also known as a jumping saddle, accomplishes this. It is also referred to as a jumping saddle in some circles. However, as a result of the placement of the seat at an extreme forward location, such saddles are quite unpleasant for pleasure riding on flat terrain.
Stock seat riders who have attempted to leap in stock saddles can appreciate what it is like to be “behind one’s horse,” as the expression is used to describe being behind the horse. Not only is this tough on the rider’s back and neck, but it is also uncomfortable for the horse, which typically ends in the horse refusing to jump when asked to do so.
In general, the more collected a horse seems to be, the more the animal’s centre of balance is moved backwards into the saddle. This means that while riding a gaited horse in a collected centre, the rider must place himself or herself further back from the withers to relax the forehand and distribute his or her weight more evenly across the horse’s hind legs and forefoot.
Horses used for cutting are often employed off the quarters, and they are quite light on the forehand, which makes them perfect for the task. The saddles that are now in use are designed to allow riders to smoothly shift their weight from the front to the back of their horses.
The fundamental shape of a saddle frequently allows for some degree of flexibility in terms of placement. The hunt-jump saddle is designed to position the rider in the centre of the seat, providing for the greatest amount of comfort. Riders, on the other hand, can adjust the position of their saddle by up to 3 to 4 inches by mixing different billet strap combinations. It is possible to properly set the saddle for different activities or to accommodate a variety of conformation variations among horses in this manner, among other benefits.