The old saddles were much flatter, and yes they do put you into a different position. The horses of olden days were built a little differently too, and so that is part of the reason they do not fit some horses today.
I have found that I have to do quite a bit of shimming and padding, especially with the riser pads in the rear, to get that current 'correct' position that the newer saddles 'automatically' put you in.
Well, you can learn to ride correctly bareback, so it's up to you how you want to ride in the saddle, and whether or not you want to be dependent on the saddle to put you in the 'right' position.
But, on the other hand, I know judges who will mark you down for not having the 'right' kind of equipment, so...depends on what you plan to do with your horse, and saddle.
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