Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Davida Oberman & Musie

Are You Riding Correctly?

I haven’t blogged for awhile, I’m going to blog more often to assist those needing advice on how to become a better, safer rider as well as how to bond on a deeper level with their equine family member & friend.

I receive questions all the time asking for help on how to become a better, more confident rider.  Being an accomplished equestrian doesn’t mean you have to compete or take expensive lessons from a professional trainer. It means having a deep spiritual bond with your horse and riding correctly in the saddle to create a harmonious team together when in the saddle and on the ground.

Riding correctly is essential to be a happy & safe equestrian.  I have seen way too many “accomplished” riders bouncing in their saddle when trotting or cantering their horse.  My heart always goes out to the horse as it has to suffer the ongoing pounding on their spinal cord which runs down the center of the back. If you bounce in the saddle (your fanny coming out of the saddle unintentionally) then that indicates that you do not have a balanced or secure seat...

To ride correctly tuck & sit your fanny in the saddle – sit on your back pockets. Feel the arch in your lower back with your hands, if it is filled in then you are sitting correctly; however, if you feel an arch in your back then you're sitting too far forward on your pubic bone resulting in an unbalanced seat. Sit up tall, shoulders back, long legs (your heels should be in line with your hips) and toes forward with heels down.  Be sure to relax in the saddle and follow her movement with your seat & hands softly, (as though you were holding hands with her). If your fanny comes out of the saddle at a sitting trot or at the canter then you're not sitting correctly... When you tuck & sit your center of gravity will be in the center of your horse’s center of gravity giving you a secure seat.

An exercise to strengthen your seat and core muscles needed for a balanced seat practice riding without stirrups.  Place each stirrup up and over the front of the saddle near your horse’s withers.  Ride in the walk and trot first without stirrups.  In the beginning it is best to do this on a lunge line with an experienced trainer or friend. Riding without stirrups often will build up your seat, core & balance dramatically. 

Having a balanced seat makes for a beautiful equestrian team. When you are in-synch with each other and at one in spirit you will have more faith in your abilities and your horse will thank you for it by earning his/her trust & respect as his/her leader & friend… Happy trails! J

~Carol Whitaker