Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
Now why would somebody make a bunch of mistakes all over again and learn the hard way if qualified instruction is available...
Define qualified instruction. Most of those who claim your heels need to be under your hip have never tried riding any other way. They look at a static picture, assume things that are not true, and then proudly reject what they have no experience with or understanding of.
I've had very experienced horse owners/riders 'teach' me that Appys have terrible hooves, because light colored hooves are weak. I've had them 'teach' me that my toes need to point straight ahead. I've been 'taught' that Arabian mares are psychotic monsters, and I need to sell mine to anyone stupid enough to buy her.
Most analysis I've seen of riding positions is simplistic to an embarrassing extreme. The page below comes from a well respected, well reviewed book I own and have read, arguing that a forward seat is unbalanced.
That analysis is so full of horse poop, it could fertilize a dozen orchards. From an engineering viewpoint, or a common sense viewpoint, it is pathetic.
OTOH, if you pay attention to your body and your horse, you may find out a lot of things. Things that actually work when applied.
Buck Brannaman on a horse:
The leg position is pretty close to what seems to get a good response from Mia while trail riding at a relaxed pace - heel in front of belt buckle. If I want her to go fast, then bringing my heel back some and leaning forward gives a position more like this guy's:
I'm not opposed to someone taking lessons. But finding someone who knows what they are doing and saying is pretty tough. Folks are free to blow off anything I write here, and that is OK. No one is paying for my advice. But if you do take lessons - and I have - just be aware that a lot of what is taught is taught as regurgitation, rather than thoughtful advice based on you, your horse, and your goals.
IMHO, one of the biggest sins in riding is worrying about 'position' instead of 'balance'. I've got several shelves of books that talk about position. And maybe that is because it is really tough to write about balance...
For balance, you have to mount up, and experiment and learn over time.