Improving my seat and balance.
 
 

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Improving my seat and balance.

This is a discussion on Improving my seat and balance. within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to improve my seat and balance
  • How to improve balance in trot

 
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    04-10-2011, 04:07 PM
  #1
Weanling
Improving my seat and balance.

Does anybody have any exercises to improve my seat and balance? I really cannot do sitting trot without stirrups lol I fall off!
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    04-10-2011, 04:38 PM
  #2
Super Moderator
This might not be possible for you, but if you are able to ride out in uneven terrain, it helps a lot to ride out on trails or hack out, as you all say, in the hills. That sort of riding helps loads.

Also, are you able to have a good friend or trainer help you by giving you lungeline lessons? This is invaluable to helping a person learn how to follow the movement of the horse because you need not worry about steering him.
This is probably the number one best way to work on your seat, especially if you don't hvae a good place to hack out.

When you are sitting the trot, try to sing out loud or at least count out loud. This will keep you breathing and keep your mind and body from freezing up.
     
    04-10-2011, 05:50 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
Tinyliny gave you some great suggestions. :)
Another exercise I like to do is to stand in my stirrups, legs under me, not holding on to anything and just hang out there. I find that it really helps me understand being over my horse's center of balance and how to stay in my horse's center of balance, which makes me have better balance as a result!
Another good one is riding bareback! I've found that trotting bareback, it seems most effective without a bareback pad but with a pad works too, really has helped me be able to sit my mare's big, very animated, trot much more effectively in a saddle. I think it's because when you're bareback, it's hard not to follow the horse's motion so you kind of learn exactly how your horse moves at the trot, instead of just what your body thinks the horse should be doing while you're trotting. Also with bareback, at least for me, I can feel myself stiffening up at the trot much better than I can when I'm riding in the saddle. And since stiffness is basically the arch-nemesis of trotting, I can figure out what makes me stiff and solve it much more easily when I can actually feel it.
     
    04-10-2011, 06:32 PM
  #4
Weanling
Thank you another problem I have is I grip with my knees and can't keep my heels down. If I ride bareback will I not be at even more risk of falling off?
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    04-10-2011, 06:51 PM
  #5
Yearling
Quote:
When you are sitting the trot, try to sing out loud or at least count out loud. This will keep you breathing and keep your mind and body from freezing up.
Great advice! Also remember to relax and move with the horse, the more you stiffen up, the more likely you will be to fall. This might seem odd, but try to keep a running discussion with yourself in your head, especially if you get nervous: "I'M going to FALL! Wait...not ON MY WATCH! Heels down, relax, move with the horse, smile, you call this riding?!" It's saved me a few times, but I may just be a weirdo .

I would also invest in some lungeline lessons and go somewhere where they will let you keep your arms off to the side. This tends to get rid of bad habits pretty quickly, I wish we had places that let you do that around here.
     
    04-10-2011, 11:49 PM
  #6
Started
If you can not do the sitting trot without stirrups, that means you rely on your stirrups too much. You know what that means? Better start practicing no stirrups!! The biggest thing that will help with a sitting trot and to ride with no stirrups is to RELAX. Part of the reason why you can't ride with out stirrups or sit the trot is because you are probably very tense and nervous. You feel this way because you know what happens when you sit the trot. The only thing to fear is fear itself.

The sitting trot can be one the most beautiful things ever when done correctly and you and your horse are moving as one.

When you are preparing to sit the trot take a deep breath, let it out, sit and relax. Focus on how your horse moves and how he moves you. Breathe. Loosen up in your hips and allow him to move you. Breathe. If it gets to be too much, start posting and once you've regained your confidence, gently come back to the saddle. Breathe. ;)

Lunge lessons would also be great right now. Then you can concentrate on all of this and not worry about where he's going.
     

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