Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canberra Australia
Are you fairly stiff? Or do you bounce around in the saddle a bit? If so it could be that you are not moving with the rhythm of the horse. I’m guessing that the leaning back and not feeling safe when leaning forwards a bit could be from having your centre of gravity in around your chest area instead of down in your pelvis. And leaning back will probably push your feet forwards. Combine parts one and two, the stiff no rhythm with the horse, with the high centre of gravity, and it will make it hard to ride at all. (and no rhythm with the horse might mean you have the rhythm but are a bit behind the horse’s rhythm too).
Good thing is though that it’s something we all went through at one stage or another, it’s part of learning, so don’t get down about it, and it means that if you have the idea of what to do you will get it with practice.
I was taught to think of everything from my belt down to be part of the horse and everything above that to be floating along on that, and to kind of imagine pushing my weight down into my pelvis with my weight flowing out through my heels kind of like sand running through an hourglass. Then you have to really relax your hips so that they move with the horse and your upper body just sits on top of that lightly staying pretty well upright. So the join between the hips down, which belongs to the horse, and your hips up which attaches lightly to it, should move kind of like the universal joint on a drive shaft.
If you are riding with your stirrups too short It can make it hard to settle your weight down into the saddle and bring your centre of gravity up too.
And with the leaning forwards, if you get your weight down into the saddle and get your heels well down and keep your upper body light it should take care of that.