No bounce v. bounce in the seat

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No bounce v. bounce in the seat

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    07-07-2010, 05:40 PM
No bounce v. bounce in the seat

Next to the pressure upon the bit, the seat is the most important element in the rider's contact with the horse.

On another forum there is a discussion in which the bounce was referenced and summarily defended by some and likewise prosecuted by others. So I thought it would be a great thread for all English/Western riders to discuss here. Are you game?

Upon observation of a great majority of riders, including international GP riders, the still quiet seat is really not there.

In actuallity the riders' bodies are imposing a downward vertical thrust upon the horses' backs. The riders torso and pelvic actually rise and fall in the vertical line from the saddle, which means the laws of physics will apply all motion into the back of the horses.

The old school I was privaliged to educated in taught the rider to allow the torso and legs to be independent and the hips to move forward and backward in rhythm with the hips of the horse?

Has anyone else been so educated or is it now a lost art?
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    07-07-2010, 06:05 PM
SH8, care to comment on the currently prevalent directive to sit "on one's pockets"? (small of back convex)
    07-07-2010, 06:27 PM
The old school I was privaliged to educated in taught the rider to allow the torso and legs to be independent and the hips to move forward and backward in rhythm with the hips of the horse?

This is what I have been taught - Each section of my body, much like my horses, should be controlled indivually and independant of each other. Not just each part, but each side of each part.

I ride quite differently to a lot of people I know. Most cow people around here ride like Northern mentioned - With quite a hunch in the back. And they are good riders with willing horses - However, my body just cannot do that comfortably - I feel all disconnected when I try. I have a swayed back so it may have impacted my position, I don't know - But I sit on my crotch more so than my pockets. It also may be that most are men and can't sit on the same region that I can due to anatomy!

My position isn't anything I was told to do - It is the way I discovered myself from years of riding bareback and saddled over many miles on good horses. I teach my horses to be responsive to my seat, so riding on my pockets for me feels like riding with the brakes on. I like to ride with an open pelvis that isn't restricting, and when I close my pelvis is when I am asking for a slow in pace or a stop.
    07-07-2010, 06:32 PM
If one truly sits on one's pockets the pelvic would be tilted forward and upward which would create a convex spine.

You can test seat position easily. The longer and lower the leg, the more pelvic tilt downward is created. The shorter the leg and the more forward the calf is placed the more the pelvic is set into its natural position.
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File Type: jpg mandal_horse.jpg (15.3 KB, 179 views)
    07-07-2010, 07:05 PM
This photo shows my seat - I'm tilted a bit forward as I allow my upper body to move a bit more to maintain a stiller seat, and this is that moment in the canter - but you can see where my leg normally sits. My heel is about level or where you see it here - I'm not big on forcing my heel down to look pretty, I ahve a functional leg so I don't see the need to change it.

    07-07-2010, 07:16 PM
I think your leg is great.
That being said your pelvic does actually have a forward tilt and that places the weight during movement more forward.
Might I suggest this for you to try....stand in the saddle tighten your abs and butt muscles then sit down in the saddle. This will set your pelvic in the proper position and I believe you will enjoy the ride more.
Also, when you lean forward you actually release your seat, and thus you assist in the weight being transfered forward.
    07-07-2010, 07:39 PM
I will definitely give it a go. However I do think some of my pelvic tilt is due to my back - you can't see very well because of the shirt but I have quite a sway back which effects my position quite a bit. I'll see if I can find a better pic of it...
    07-07-2010, 07:44 PM
Ooo - neat! I like the constructive criticism given here! I'd like to get someone at my farm to take my picture on my horses and have you guys give me some feedback. I'm certifying for NARHA, and while I passed all the written tests and the teaching portion, my riding pattern was "unsatisfactory" because of my seat. I blame it on the fact that I was riding a slow western-pleasure gelding in a hunt saddle that was too small for my butt and pitched me forward... but, all in all, I'm always looking for things to improve upon anyhow...
    07-07-2010, 07:45 PM
The sway back should not have much impact on your pelvic area.
Our hips are the most important attribute to get right ! LOL With my big hips sometimes I blow my position
    07-07-2010, 08:09 PM
^ I know that feeling. My butt can be a hindrance sometimes!

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