What exactly is halfseat? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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What exactly is halfseat?

I hear it a lot, kind of know what it is based off of the name of it, but what exactly is halfseat and what are its purposes?
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 01:46 PM
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It's the same thing as two point position, jumping position or any number of other names.

It means your weight is out of the saddle and balanced over your stirrups, with a slight fold in your hip and your seatbones just barely out of the saddle.

Used when teaching a beginner how to canter in some disciplines, when galloping cross-country, when jumping and when traveling up hill. Also useful when warming up a horse with a stiff or tight back; also useful when trail riding or riding long distances to take the rider's weight off of the horse's back.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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So why do some people say that they alternate between two point, halfseat, and fullseat?

Thank you, however.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 02:00 PM
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Alternating between twopoint or halfseat and full seat makes sense; not sure that alternating between two point and half seat makes sense, unless someone is using the words differently that I'm used to (always a possibility with horse terms.)

The other term you'll hear from some instructors is "three point contact" or three point position which is somewhere between two point and full seat. In three point contact, your crotch actually touchs the saddle lightly, but you're still inclined slightly forward. This is what you'll see with hunters on the flat, or when a hunter rider sits up in the corners of a course but doesn't take a full, following seat. So the progression is full seat = almost a dressage seat to three point contact = a forward seat to two point/half seat = out of the saddle and forward.

HTH

Last edited by maura; 08-14-2010 at 02:08 PM.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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I always heard that three point was the general sitting riding position.

I think it might have stemmed from riders confusing a classical two-point position with half seat, and when they think jumping they might be thinking that jumping ahead position lots of riders these days have, and half seat a correct position?

I do think they confuse terms, I just get confused, but thank you.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 02:11 PM
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I hope this thread garners some other responses, because I'm not entirely sure either. I'd love to get some other opinions/versions.

Through most of my riding education, I just heard and used the terms two-point and sitting. I vaguely remember someone making the distinction between two point and three point - two points of contact with the saddle - your knees; three point, your knees and crotch, but *not* your seat bones, which would be full seat. (I just edited my above post to reflect what I just said, I had to think throught the rationale of the names.)

I also assumed that half seat and two point were the same and interchangable; but I'd love to hear from others. I'd also love to know if anybody else has heard or been taught the distinction about three point contact.

As far as standing in your stirrups with your crotch in front of the pommel and laying on the horses neck; that's just bad, incorrect riding and doesn't need a special term.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input, and I'm hoping for some other opinions. I think the terminology is just mixed between riders is all.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 02:51 PM
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from what I was taught 2 pt was butt out of the saddle, as in if your going over a jump. Hand and legs in contact with the horse.
Half seat was not quite out of the saddle but not in full contact. I think you call it 3 pt. It was your croch, leg and hands in contact. Leaning forward (not far far forward, but justa bit). You could keep your weight backa nd still drive the horse to a jump but be ready for a jump. Also used for hand gallop (think??).
And then full seat is when your really sitting in the saddle using weight, leg, hands.

Its been awhile.. a LONG while since I was in lessons or gave any.. I think I encouraged 2 pt and half seat for trotting poles. Half seat also helped some stetch their calf muscles and good for bouncing exercises. 2 pt was used to work your muscles and keep you strong for when you did jump or post.

I'd actually have to get out there in my saddle and ride my hrose to remember. Its all become instinctive and I just don't think about it anymore. I just do it. So sitting here in an arm chair I keep trying to see it in my head! LOL

but this is what I remember of 2 pt, half seat, and full seat.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-15-2010, 02:39 PM
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I heard a great description for half seat. Start to post and stop half way up. That's half seat. Little tough on the leg muscles when starting out.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-17-2010, 12:56 PM
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I think the "half seat" and "2-point" have several definitions depending on who you talk to! I've heard them used interchangably, have specific terms, etc.

The way I understand it and teach it (for the sake of clarity) is that 3 Point is 3 points of contact (leg, leg, full seat). Basically the position you'd be in if you were walking. 2 Point is 2 points of contact (leg, leg, butt in the air), basically the position you're in over the fence. The half seat (or medium seat or light seat) is somewhere inbetween, not quite so high out of the saddle or quite so forward out with my body. But for me (some people may disagree and that's ok) the half seat isn't an exact degree of angle with my upper body. (Just somewhere in between 2 and 3 point) Mainly b/c I change my body position a little through the course but still consider myself to be in a half seat. Going toward a jump or inbetween a line I'm light in my saddle, a little forward with my body, but on the backside of the fence if I need to steady or balance I'll stretch up, but not so much that I'm in a full seat. And I'd still consider that to be my half seat. This is how I ride a hunter anyways! When I ride a jumper I'd like for the horse to be a little bit more on his haunch, a little more collected, so I'll sit up a little more and ride more to the base of the fence. Generally though I'm usually still not in a true full seat when riding a jumper either, unless that horse is trying to take off with me... Then I'm doing anything in my power to keep control. :)

But like I said, everyone has their own interpretation and I'm not certain there's a true answer. This is just how I teach it!
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