Working on the seat

To ride well and be capable of addressing every possible situation, it is necessary not only to be fit but also to have every part of your body in the correct position. A rider, however, should never have to strain his/her muscles to find a good posture. Despite undisputed general rules, perfection does not exist.

Every rider has his/her own style and must find a position that is suited to their body and what they are aiming for. Ideally, one should maintain a position that prevents us from compensating for flaws by doing things such as for example pulling on the reins or over-tightening one’s legs so as not to lose our balance.

The rider must make sure that his joints are working correctly, like a skier going over a series of bumps in the snow, and absorb the movements by allowing the hips, knee and ankle joints to work.

At a canter, one must be capable of moving between a deep seat and a forward one in which our weight is 100% on the stirrups. To accomplish this, we must:

  • Have the feet slightly behind the girth
  • Place the pelvis above the feet
  • Look into the distance
  • Keep one’s hands forward and hold the reins at the right length, so that one does not have to restore balance by moving the pelvis back.

At a rising trot one must ride in the same way; keeping balanced with our weight on the stirrups so as not to pull on the reins. Bear in mind that the trot is the only gait at which the hands keep still and do not follow the horse’s mouth. The elbows joints maintain the hands in place and allow the body to rise and sit smoothly.

Michel Robert for Team WOW