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Old Yesterday, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
20,019 posts, read 13,448,077 times
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There's another similarity with horses and dogs.

Both have been bred for specific traits. Some dogs are bred for their looks more than their performance abilities, while others are bred for the job they do with their appearance a secondary consideration.

It's the same with horses. Any well proportioned horse, large or small, all has everything it needs to function perfectly in its natural life. But some will be more pleasing to the human eye, while another might be very fast or nimble, but not so beautiful.

Some are smarter than others, and some are more athletic than others. Much of how a horse looks and performs also depends on the region it lives in.
India has horses that are much better suited for life there than in Mongolia; an Indian horse is taller, so it can see above the lush terrain, has thinner skin and a finer coat and sweats quicker to shed off the heat of India, and they can see and hear exceptionally well. Their ears have a distinctive curl at the tips that aid their hearing.

That's all natural adaption to the land they live in. Where tigers are predators, their prey adapt to survive with beautiful ears that can hear very well.

The Mongolian pony is small, because small is easier to keep warm in bitter cold, has a heavy coat and mane to protect it from the weather, and is hardy because it's range provides poorer nutrition with less variety than in India. They have short ears because short ears aren't as quick to freeze, but they can still hear wolves. And their vision may be more acute in the dark in a region where darkness is longer than in India much of the year.

In Europe, where nature doesn't have the constant extremes of climate as the steppes or the jungles, horses adapted in different ways, and since Europe has many different climates and terrains, there were many different adaptations.

But every horse has the same innate abilities. Humans who desire the particular abilities of one adaption can always use the horse in another place, but any horse will do better in the surroundings from which it was born into.

So any horse can be 'refined' for it's appearance to be made more pleasing to human eyes. And sometimes, that kind of breeding actually does create a very beautiful and very high-performing animal.

The Arabian is a very good example of this. Nature created the horse's abilities, and humans refined it's appearance. But nature does love to make beautiful things as much as it loves ugly things. Humans only tweak what nature created.
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Old Yesterday, 12:59 PM
 
14,120 posts, read 12,938,476 times
Reputation: 6562
Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
Sorry- I thought the McClellan saddle was more well known than it seems to be.

I've ridden English saddles and Australian stock saddles, western saddles, endurance saddles and others.
A saddle is a saddle. There is no particularly 'proper' style of riding with any of them, although different styles exist. About the only thing that is a constant is the use of good posture.

While there are many types of saddles, they are all designed for one of two uses- riding for short distances, with a lot of mounting and dismounting, and riding for long distances with no dismounting for hours at a time.

Riding is a lot like driving a car. On a long drive, a seat that allows the driver to move around a bit is more comfortable. The same is true with saddles. A saddle can be roomy or fit the rider closely, but roomy is easier to make; a close saddle has to be tailored to the rider for best comfort.

The McClellan saddle has a short narrow seat that is split into 2 pieces and has a high cantle. A rider is forced to sit straight up, but when sitting straight, the open seat is like straddling a board fence. And over time, as a rider grows weary, the high and narrow cantle tends the rider's butt to go numb. To relieve the numbness, the rider has to lean forward, which throws the saddle off-kilter on the horse.

The tree of the McClellan was designed for tall bony horses, so they are as uncomfortable for the horse as the rider. But for the needs of the Civil War, when Union cavalry rode to battle and then dismounted to fight, at a time when being clamped into a saddle was a good thing in a charge, they served their purposes.

Once the cavalry went out on the great plains, however, the McClellan was terrible.

There are multiple accounts in old cavalry diaries and records about the McClellan; over time, the saddle caused the rider's backbones to become arthritic or develop fractures.

Engaged in a horseback fight, the cavalry couldn't move around in the saddle enough to defend themselves well. The tribes used this to their advantage, riding up on the cavalry at angles that forced the cavalryman to twist his back to meet the oncoming Indian and fight him from that angle instead of straight on. The Indians could move around on their horse's backs at well very fluidly.

The saddle was light, though, and could be packed with gear very efficiently. They were cheap to manufacture, durable, and because they were essentially modular and all one size, were easy to keep in service.

I never knew McClellan used the Russian saddle as his prototype! It's no wonder then why my bro thought it was terrible.

Ironically, the Southern plantation saddle was a much better all-round design that was similar, but better in all respects.
That was McClellan; the guy could make an army spit-and-polish, but he never knew a thing about putting them into battle effectively. His saddle is a microcosm of his failure as a General. And a curse on his Army, who had so many of them built they are still in use.



I beg you different. I found Western saddle to be very different from the English( European) one; I found it to be more restrictive and plain uncomfortable, even though ironically it was supposed to be more comfortable.

What I didn't like about it SPECIFICALLY was how much of a contact with horse you lose in it, comparably to European saddle, be that the whole shin area, or even the feeling of the motion of the horse's back. It's almost like going from having ten buttons of control, to having only three. This saddle basically wants you to lean back and to sit in it almost like on the Davenport, all the way on your butt, no matter whether the horse is trotting or galloping.
But if that's the way you'll learn to ride, you will pay a hefty price switching to English/Russian saddle. When you ride THAT saddle, you have to constantly work WITH the horse's motion ( since you are much better tuned to it, ) and that includes going up and down while it's trotting. If you are not familiar with this technique, you will end up precisely with the kind of injuries your bro's friend described;

"But my bro's estimation of the Russian cavalry saddle was verified later to me by a mutual friend who went on the same expedition.
He rode a Russian saddle for 5 days, developed blisters on both cheeks so big that he had to ride more than 3/4 of the way in the back of the truck for fear of infection."


Why am I explaining these details? Because when it comes to skillful horseback riding, Russians never looked at Mongols as the shining example of it; they were considering it as primitive ( as anything else Mongolian,) believing that the reliance on brutal force is not the way to go.

Instead, they were eyeing the Caucasus, with its "art of horsemanship" and what's called "jigitovka" in particular. Not only it was living up to their expectations of being "bad ass," but they saw it as useful trait during the military endeavors.

Besides, they were eyeing the qualities of those more refined breeds of horses - Akhal-Teke, Kabarda, Karabakh. Even though they were on the smallish side, they were loyal to their masters and were willing to perform quite a few tricks. And that's what Russians were keeping in mind, while breeding their Don horse.



This is an example of what "jigitovka" is. In spite of all the showing off, you can see the elements that are considered useful in the warfare.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj-Z...TAr8tQ3z1quCmw


You wouldn't be able to do any of it using the western saddle, that was designed with a different purpose in mind. Same most likely goes to Mongolian saddles; they were designed for their own purpose. And no, I never rode in McClellan saddle, so I can't tell either way.

Last edited by erasure; Yesterday at 02:17 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 01:22 PM
 
14,120 posts, read 12,938,476 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
No one on this thread said Mongolia was part of the Soviet Union.

The definition "Soviet" has been used.

This is the definition reserved for the Soviet Union.
The rest of the satellites were "Socialist" or "People's" Republics.
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Old Yesterday, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
20,019 posts, read 13,448,077 times
Reputation: 14715
Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
I beg you different. I found Western saddle to be very different from the English( European) one; I found it to be more restrictive and plain uncomfortable, even though ironically it was supposed to be more comfortable.

What I didn't like about it SPECIFICALLY was how much of a contact with horse you lose in it, comparably to European saddle, be that the whole shin area, or even the feeling of the motion of the horse's back. It's almost like going from having ten buttons of control, to having only three. This saddle basically wants you to lean back and to sit in it almost like on the Davenport, all the way on your butt, no matter whether the horse is trotting or galloping.
But if that's the way you'll learn to ride, you will pay a hefty price switching to English/Russian saddle. When you ride THAT saddle, you have to constantly work WITH the horse's motion ( since you are much better tuned to it, ) and that includes going up and down while it's trotting. If you are not familiar with this technique, you will end up precisely with the kind of injuries your bro's friend described;

"But my bro's estimation of the Russian cavalry saddle was verified later to me by a mutual friend who went on the same expedition.
He rode a Russian saddle for 5 days, developed blisters on both cheeks so big that he had to ride more than 3/4 of the way in the back of the truck for fear of infection."


Why am I explaining these details? Because when it comes to skillful horseback riding, Russians never looked at Mongols as the shining example of it; they were considering it as primitive ( as anything else Mongolian,) believing that the reliance on brutal force is not the way to go.

Instead, they were eyeing the Caucasus, with its "art of horsemanship" and what's called "jigitovka" in particular. Not only it was living up to their expectations of being "bad ass," but they saw it as useful trait during the military endeavors.

Besides, they were eyeing the qualities of those more refined breeds of horses - Akhal-Teke, Kabarda, Karabakh. Even though they were on the smallish side, they were loyal to their masters and were willing to perform quite a few tricks. And that's what Russians were keeping in mind, while breeding their Don horse.



This is an example of what "jigitovka" is. In spite of all the showing off, you can see the elements that are considered useful in the warfare.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj-Z...TAr8tQ3z1quCmw


You wouldn't be able to do any of it using the western saddle, that was designed with a different purpose in mind. Same most likely goes to Mongolian saddles; they were designed for their own purpose. And no, I never rode in McClellan saddle, so I can't tell either way.
As I asked before, what are your qualifications? How do you know this for a fact?
You asked for mine, and I gave them. Please return my request.

As we both know, anyone who can pull up a video on the net can claim to be an expert. I'm not interested in arguing with one of those people.

But I do actually know the differences between a western saddle and the others, and I do know how both feel on a horse's back in action. Of course they feel different. They are different. I never said a word about going to war on a western saddle or any other kind because I've never gone to war on a horse. But I did say the Americans already had a better saddle than a McClellan, and since the McClellan is a war saddle, I did imply the Southern plantation saddle was a better war saddle.

And since the Confederates, the southerners who fought in the Civil War, did ride their plantation saddles to extremely good effect, I do think they were better. That's a well-recorded fact that I haven't mentioned before.

And neither the English nor the Western saddles feel anything like a McClellan. Since I've never ridden a Russian cavalry saddle, and have said so already, one more time, I'll declare I'll willing to take my brother's word for their similarity to the McClellan.

And honestly I don't care a whit about what the Russians thought about the way the Mongolians rode. This topic isn't even about the Russians. Why are you bringing in all this information that has nothing at all to do with what I said?

Forgive me if I've somehow upset you so much you want to start an argument.
I never intended to do that. All I intended was to give others a reliable second-hand account of what it is like to ride the steppes on a Mongolian pony today, which is quite similar to the way the Mongols rode at the Romans. And I do consider my brother to be reliable in his account.

if you want to say something about how the Russians rode at the Romans, that's OK with me.

I also don't care if you believe I'm a phony expert. I know who I am and what I know, and so do those who know me.

Since I gave you as much of my credentials as I thought were internet safe, before you continue this fight, I would like to know if you are the real deal, too. Or not.

I will know the difference for sure. All horsemen are horsemen. We differ, but at the bottom, we are all the same. And that goes for horsewomen too.

Last edited by banjomike; Yesterday at 08:54 PM..
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Old Today, 07:24 PM
 
14,120 posts, read 12,938,476 times
Reputation: 6562
Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
As I asked before, what are your qualifications? How do you know this for a fact?

"Know for a fact" what exactly?



Quote:
You asked for mine, and I gave them. Please return my request.
See, interestingly enough I never asked you for any qualifications. What I gathered from your posts was good enough for me.

So I am a bit puzzled by your question.

The best way I can answer - probably 20 years on and off in a saddle in different settings, since I was 11 or so. Hope this answers your question.


Quote:
As we both know, anyone who can pull up a video on the net can claim to be an expert. I'm not interested in arguing with one of those people.
No, I didn't know that such possibility even exists. You wouldn't be able to know from the videos what kind of injuries you get while switching saddles)))



Quote:
And honestly I don't care a whit about what the Russians thought about the way the Mongolians rode. This topic isn't even about the Russians. Why are you bringing in all this information that has nothing at all to do with what I said?
YOU brought it into conversation yourself))) Why did you need to go on and on about the Russian saddle and how bad it was, when we were talking about Mongols?


Quote:
Forgive me if I've somehow upset you so much you want to start an argument. I never intended to do that. All I intended was to give others a reliable second-hand account of what it is like to ride the steppes on a Mongolian pony today, which is quite similar to the way the Mongols rode at the Romans. And I do consider my brother to be reliable in his account.
But you did, so I had to point at the fact that there was nothing wrong with their saddles; now you can see that Russians are accomplished horsemen by the way, that can steal the show; therefore they know what they are doing when it comes to saddles. It works for their own purposes, where Mongolian saddles ( approved by your brother) wouldn't.


( Here is a bit more of entertainment for everyone




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QNC...TAr8tQ3z1quCmw


Horses are awesome)))



Quote:
if you want to say something about how the Russians rode at the Romans, that's OK with me.
Not sure what does it mean, sorry.


Quote:
I also don't care if you believe I'm a phony expert. I know who I am and what I know, and so do those who know me.
I didn't think you were a "phony" expert.
I rather thought that your expertise was limited.


Quote:
Since I gave you as much of my credentials as I thought were internet safe, before you continue this fight, I would like to know if you are the real deal, too. Or not.

I will know the difference for sure. All horsemen are horsemen. We differ, but at the bottom, we are all the same. And that goes for horsewomen too.
What difference?


But back to Mongols however. One of the reasons of their ( former) glory was exploiting the wild horses, that they didn't need to care for. Unlike more developed civilizations.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WErW84Csxsc


Now can we move on pls?

Last edited by erasure; Today at 08:31 PM..
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