I'm looking at the idea of a large feline as a rideable mount, and I'm running into a question about the rider's posture when riding. Would it be best to have the rider mounted Prone, like on a modern racing bike, or more upright, like on a more classical horse. Or even a bit more reclined?
This is a designed feline mount (ancient wizards), so things like spine flex and all the other problems with feline mounts (like described here and here) are not a problem, or at least not for this discussion.
The creature's designed intent was a fast moving, short range mount. Think a day or two's travel at most to get around the flank of an army, to get the spec-ops team into their area of battle, or for a quick getaway. This is not long hauls over great distances... the mount wouldn't have the stamina for that day for more than a couple days.
I like the concept of the Prone position, and it has history to it (See the Gandalara Cycle for example). I'm just not sure about position as a longer term ride either for the mount or the rider, and how the seat posture affects things like:
- visibility (fore and aft)
- the mount's mobility.
I'd also appreciate any feedback from motorcyclists with real word experience on the two styles of seats and middle range
- This is not for riding in battle, they would be more likely to dismount for that because 1) cat fighting, and 2) other reasons not pertinent to this discussion.
- I'm loosely basing the mount's build on an oversized Tiger, or a smilodon populator without the teeth. I might shorten the torso, depending on the rider's posture.
- This is not a land of giants. Super big cats also break normal sized tree limbs, so less climbing. Yes, we do have to take the vertical into account some, and while I would would like ideas on how that would affect the posture it's not a dominant thought.
- I'm also not caring as much about how the "saddle" is attached (as described here) but how the rider would be sitting on it. (If needed I can do a magic glue saddle attachment points.)
- Yes, this word does have magic, but it has rules, and I'd rather not have to stretch the rules here.
Edit note: Corrected from Supine (on the back) to Prone (on the belly) which was my intent. Thanks to Monty Wild.