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This is a discussion on Posture Help within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Why do you lean forward in saddle while western riding but not english

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    06-09-2013, 02:29 PM
  #11
Foal
I ride western and my heels are 53. I fear that you are right in that I have to force myself to sit upright even tho I feel I already am. I will push myself back with my horn until it becomes second nature......but how long will that take?!!!!!
I also move forward towards fetal position when there is a big spook or I'm not comfortable. Anyways, I'll try to post a video this evening.

Lower heels will not prevent you from leaning forward. I tend to lean forward a lot - it is my preference in riding - and a lower heel doesn't prevent me from doing so. Lots of folks ride in a forward seat with very low heels...my heels are 55, so they don't bend the way some people's do!

If you want to be more upright in the saddle, you will probably have to force yourself. It will feel like you are leaning back, but a picture would show you are not. In a western saddle, I've ended up holding the horn and feeling like I'm lounging back while trotting, only to have pictures show I was upright at the time. When you sit more upright, you will also need more movement in your lower back to move with the horse.[/QUOTE]
     
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    06-09-2013, 08:10 PM
  #12
Foal
Video for posture help

     
    06-09-2013, 08:20 PM
  #13
Yearling
Look up, you do the same thing I do, my problem is I start looking down to much and my upper body follows. Remember to feel even pressure on your, well, backside regardless if you choose to seat on your seat bones or more on your back pockets.

Relax your hands and have a less sever bend in the elbow (you look tense?), look up and sit with even pressure.
     
    06-09-2013, 08:43 PM
  #14
Foal
I agree and thanks. I definitely need to stop looking down. Thank you.
     
    06-09-2013, 09:40 PM
  #15
Trained
It looks to me like you have a lot of weight in your stirrups instead of in the saddle. Think of keeping your butt down and a string on the center of your chest being pulled straight up.

I agree as well, hands down, head up. To me your stirrup length looks ok, but you could play with it after your get your derriere into the saddle :)
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    06-09-2013, 09:48 PM
  #16
Yearling
You look like you are gripping for dear life with your knees. Once you start pinching your knees together you will just rise right up out of the saddle. I found Sally Swift's book Centered Riding to be helpful in finding the right position/posture in the saddle.
     
    06-09-2013, 09:55 PM
  #17
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernMama    
It looks to me like you have a lot of weight in your stirrups instead of in the saddle. Think of keeping your butt down and a string on the center of your chest being pulled straight up.

I was thinking the exact same thing. Since you are having issues with leaning forward, I would try sitting on your back pockets for a while.
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    06-09-2013, 10:09 PM
  #18
Yearling
I think riding without stirrups and without reins on a lunge-line might really help you find that "sweet-sport" where you are centered over your horse.
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    06-09-2013, 10:59 PM
  #19
Trained
If your horse doesn't neck rein, then try training the horse for it. Then try riding with one hand. With two hands, I tend to commit both shoulders forward. When I ride with one hand, it brings my shoulders and back to the rear. I'm used to using two hands, but Mia tends to pull my shoulders forward when I do.

I also tend to lean forward as a defensive reaction to having a horse who used to jump forward at times. She is doing much better now, but I sit more relaxed and more erect when I put my free hand on the saddle horn. We did spooks and bolts for a few years, and it takes a while to unlearn bad, defensive habits.

All FWIW. I'm mostly a self-taught rider who learned by watching his horse's reaction, and my eyes seem to ride her ears at times...which also pulls me forward.
     
    06-11-2013, 11:38 AM
  #20
Foal
Your video does give away that you look terribly tense. Almost as if you're teetering on a scale. You are looking down which will influence that, but are you nervous while riding at all?

One of my favorite exercises to fix the leaning forward problem (which I used to have badly), is at any gait, lean all the way forward. As far as is possible for you and stay there for a trip or two around the ring. Then do the same thing, but lean all the way back. An instructor in college had me do this and it really changed my perspective on where I was sitting and how it affected my balance.
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