As horsemen, Cossacks had a different sitting position than regular cavalry. For
cavalry it’s typical to manage horse by means of the rider’s torso, bridle reins and
legs (from knee to ankle). The rider’s legs are supposed to closely adhere to the sides
of the horse, and the heel has to be lower than the toe. The stirrups are adjusted so that
the distance between the rider raised on the stirrups with straightened legs and the
saddle is about the size of the man’s fist.
When riding in Cossack saddle with a bolster and
saddle girth, the horseman’s shanks stretch back, and he is raised considerably higher
over the horse’s back. The influence of the legs over the horse is much less. As a
result Cossacks manage their horses mostly by means of the bridle, the bending of the body
and the whip. When standing still or cantering Cossacks put little weight on the stirrups,
however, at a trot they have to lean forward, bend their legs more, pressing against the
stirrups. At a gallop one almost does not need to press against the stirrups, and the
rider sits deeply in the saddle.