A discussion with my "sidesaddle guru" (one of them! lol) the other day got me to thinking about pommels and their placement on a sidesaddle.
Remember me talking about the troubles I've had with jumping sidesaddle and getting snapped back? (ending up very sore) Well I mentioned this to her and she said "It sounds like you aren't getting forward enough and staying forward for long enough". That's pretty much the conclusion that a few people have drawn. So how am I going to get and stay more forward?? Then she said "Hmm... Perhaps the pommel placement, most likely the leaping head, on your saddle isn't allowing for it?". Now it's not something I thought of before, it probably should have occurred to me but it didn't.
That's gotten me to thinking that it might be part of the issue. Have you noticed that on different makes of saddles the pommels are different sizes and at different angles? It's quite common, there seems to be very few saddles that are exactly the same.
It definitely seems that the saddles really made for the hunt scene have a slightly different angle to the leaping head. It's tilted back more towards the rider's leg allowing them to get their leg a bit more vertical and thus shift their weight forward. It feels like mine almost holds me down.
Pictures will explain best...
Here is my saddle.
Do you see how the angle of the leaping head might impede a person from getting more forward? (In my opinion of course)
Now have a look at this Champion & Wilton. Do you see the different angle?
It's a slight difference but I think there is one. I'd love to be able to try a few different saddles out to see if I can feel a difference with riding.