The correct Dressage seat and balance are obtained when there is a perfect line from your ear, the point of your shoulder, the second sacral vertebra, through the hip joint, and from there through the ankle.
These lines are perfect when you are standing upright. The correct line in the saddle will therefore be similar to the standing position, if you bend your knees to the angle you would when sitting in the saddle.
In this position you will be able to raise yourself easily when posting at the trot, since your line of balance is exactly the same as when standing upright. If you are in this position (in perfect balance) you will be able to adjust easily if the horse moves into a different position unexpectedly.
However, if your legs are forward (sitting position) you are out of balance (alignment) and insecured. Your inner thigh contact with the horse has been lost, and you are prone to fall if the horse makes an unexpected move. If your balance is correct, and the inner thigh contact is close, the legs keep you in the saddle and you move with the horse.
The correct seat (correct leg position, back, pelvis and shoulders in correct alignment) ensures safety, control, an elegant posture, confidence and harmony with your horse.
By constantly practicing this seat, the rider enhances the development of the horse’s muscles into the desired way, developing the horse into a graceful athlete. The picture which is pleasing to the eye will develop automatically and spontaneously.
It is imperative that the rider will not be rigid, but remain flexible and supple, and the pelvis, seat and legs will be able to move with the horse, developing a feeling of closeness, feeling the rhythm of the movements of the horse and staying in touch with it, while the upper body remains upright. In practice the waist should be the area of separation between the upper body which stays aligned and erect, and the pelvis, seat and legs which are adjustable tot the movements of the horse.
“Stretch your legs to the ground and your torso towards the clouds”. Sit tall and proud , and your horse will adopt the same form.
To measure your stirrup leathers, let your legs hang freely, and adjust your stirrup leathers so that the stirrup bar will be parallel to your ankle bone. It is impossible to have a balanced seat when your stirrups leathers are too short.
The correct position of every body part is explained in detail in the advanced horsemanship manual SMART HORSE.
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SMART HORSE describes advanced horsemanship in a simplistic form anyone can understand and absorb, in various disciplines such as Dressage (up to Piaffe, Passage and Pirouette), jumping, showing foals in halter classes and feeding. Visit
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