Using Your Weight to Turn? - Page 3

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Using Your Weight to Turn?

This is a discussion on Using Your Weight to Turn? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Using seatbone to turn horse
  • Using weight to assist in riding horses

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    10-30-2011, 10:56 AM
The point of changing your position in the saddle is to help to horse navigate the terrain, help them jump so we aren't too much of a burden, and to make everyone more comfortable at the task at hand. That was always the way I thought of it.
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    10-30-2011, 11:01 AM
Originally Posted by SpottedDraftRider    
Scoutrider: My mom was watching me ride (She has been riding for 20+ years now) and she said that I wasn't leaning one bit. My instructor also didn't tell me that I was leaning at all during the lesson. Otherwise that is what I thought at first. I will have to look into Sally Swift.
Huh... well, that kills that theory, lol. Then again, I'm not a trained hunter rider, so perhaps there's something in the theory that I'm not aware of regarding the use of weight aids in that discipline that I'm not aware of. In terms of sheer common sense, though, weight is going to factor in to your turns no matter what. Even to simply remain in balance, to be a non-interfering passenger, you need to apply your weight to stay in balance with the horse's position and motion through your turn... All the actual weight aid is is using your own weight and balance to make it easier for the horse to adopt the correct balance and posture...
    10-30-2011, 11:07 AM
Lol yes it does. I have been a Hunter for a year now. So I am still learning about this discipline myself haha. I know the main things, but I am still learning tidbits like this.
    10-30-2011, 11:13 AM
Yes I do shift weight to the inside seatbone. I've never heard of not doing that but I've never done hunters either. Doesn't make sense to me not to in all honesty. It helps balance the turn.

And to whomever said that you would be leaning - no, you don't lean. You stretch the side you are sitting into.
    10-30-2011, 01:07 PM
YW SpottedDraftRider! It does take practice and its hard not to swivel your shoulders when doing this at first. My mare was a Jiggy beast on the trail when I rode with a group. This method has calmed her alot... Its a part of a Natural Horsemenship style of riding with Dressage thrown in... I am a western rider and don't know much about Dressage but after learning a few of theses basic cues I hunger for more.... ;)
    10-30-2011, 01:23 PM
The way I do it is to feel the weight on your seat bones and how you can rock back and forth on them. If you rock a bit more onto the front edge of the seatbone on the side of the turn, your leg on the opposite side will want to slide back a bit to control the back end, this way you don't twist in the saddle or lean.
    10-30-2011, 03:26 PM
Deej: I know what you mean. My mom taught me a little dressage, and now I plan on taking a few dressage lessons.

Fatty Lumpkin: I never really thought of it that way. I definitely see what your talking about though. :)
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    10-30-2011, 05:03 PM
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.

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