The thing to keep in your mind always is that there are several ways to modify a rdiing style to suit a sports discipline. If you ride 'light' as one does in a dressage test and you try to ride in the same way when out hunting a fox, then you'll come off at the first sharp turn. Likewise if you don't shorten the stirrups when competing in a show jumping competition, then you'll lose some shock absorbing ability when landing.
But back to using your weight - yes, use it to turn - in dressage just drop a hip but when hunting or out on a fast hilarious cross country ride, then when you go round a sharp bend or want to dodge a puddle then lean in and push down on the inside cheek. You've got to stay with the momentum of the horse and must not disturb the horse's balance.
A naturalised American, a Russian by birth, named Vladimir Littauer, used to write books on the 'Forward Seat' and he promoted coming up off the saddle and leaning forwards -Capt Caprilli style- which is sacrilege in modern parlance.
But Littauer and Caprilli rode their horses to war and neither visited horse circuses in Paris. Both guys, sadly, are long since dead.
Littauer trained cross country teams and he used to do things like galloping downhill and galloping along twisting turning woodland paths - and in such circumstances the rider definitely uses his/her weight and comes up off the saddle and pushes weight onto the stirrup irons.
Go play Chase me Charley in the woods and lean into the turns. That's fun - so long as you have a sure footed horse.
Last edited by xxBarry Godden; 10-30-2011 at 05:07 PM.