Correct canter seat

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Correct canter seat

This is a discussion on Correct canter seat within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

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    05-05-2011, 07:20 PM
Correct canter seat

Alrighty so I haven't been able to ride in almost 3 weeks so to pass the time I was looking through videos that my barn has up on their youtube page and I was just curious.

I've been told many times that I sit too far back on my seat bones and that I want to be more forward...looking at these videos I think I see more of what my seat should be like.

Am I correct in thinking that this is more of where I want to be?

And when I get up out of the saddle into more of a half seat type thing...I want to be more of where she is at the beginning of this video, yes?

[no critiquing the videos because they're clearly not me...they're both my trainer riding various horses. She's amazing and I hope to ride like her one day but for now, I'll just use her as a point for comparison].

Just so you know what I mean with MY I am riding:

Thanks :)
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    05-08-2011, 08:07 AM
You have a fairly good seat as you're not jumping out of the saddle much but I agree that you should be leaning slightly more forward and ofcourse like the discription says on your video keep your heels back. I am against how your trainer sits on thier horse even though most people ride this way when jumping. She comes out of the seat quite a bit. I don't mean to critique the person but that's how I see it. I like the rider to sit nice a deep in their saddle as it helps when the horse runs out or refuses. I hope this helps and good luck!
    05-08-2011, 10:17 AM
Originally Posted by SugarPlumLove    
You have a fairly good seat as you're not jumping out of the saddle much but I agree that you should be leaning slightly more forward and of course like the description says on your video keep your heels back. I am against how your trainer sits on their horse even though most people ride this way when jumping. She comes out of the seat quite a bit. I don't mean to critique the person but that's how I see it. I like the rider to sit nice a deep in their saddle as it helps when the horse runs out or refuses. I hope this helps and good luck!

I agree.

To the OP

Your trainer rides more American style while you seem to have adopted a more European style. I do believe you are not coming out of your seat enough or soon enough though when you actually approach the jump and this will hinder you when you go for the bigger jumps. Having more seat in the saddle between the jumps can give you an edge. The second to last video of your trainer riding showed the horse acting up near the end and being out of the saddle like she was she had less control. If that was a critical jump facing her she would have had major problems.
    05-08-2011, 10:59 AM
You are riding behind the motion in what many people call a 'chair seat'. You need to bring your leg back quite a bit, so that it is under your hip. (remember heel - hip line!). Think of tilting your pelvis more forward so that you are actually sitting on your seat bones and not so much on your butt. Your calf and thigh should be where you ride from, not your stirrup. When it is too froward up by the girth, it causes you to bounce out and bump the saddle every time you ride, rather than moving with the horse and sitting gently at all times in the canter. Even your trainer is guilty of this, look how much her lower leg swings forward when she is jumping. She is not really using her calf to support her at all. Actually at those heights her leg should come a bit back as her upper body comes slightly forward to support her. Here's a video that will show this better.

    05-08-2011, 01:20 PM
Your saddle isn't working for you - you need to look for something that aids you, not hinders you. You shouldn't be in a chair seat at all Junior - and that's not helping you out.
    05-08-2011, 03:31 PM
I know that my chair seat is horrible...I was hoping that maybe fixing the way I sat in the saddle would correct it a tiny bit. I know my saddle isn't ideal but I really don't have the option of finding a new one so it's basically this or a school saddle. :\

Here's a video from my lesson on Friday. I was trying to keep my pelvis...I dunno, tilted? Down the line and not sit on my back pockets so much...

Then this was the whole lesson which I hesitate to put up because there are some embarrassing refusals [I forgot how to steer apparently] BUT I'm showing you because if you look, there's a girl in a gray shirt on a bay horse in the background of some of the shots...I rode in that saddle a few weeks ago and felt 110% more balanced even though my knees hung over the edge and everything...but I don't know if it was the saddle or the horse, because I was riding a different horse too. But anyways...
Don't critique my riding here, I already know a lot of my issues. I also resorted to sitting really deep right before the jump because he was super spooky/tense at the beginning of our ride [you can kinda see it] so I didn't know how it would translate to the jumps. This is also the highest I've ever jumped him :o
    05-08-2011, 08:29 PM
I think the short clip of you is better! While the saddle may not help, the problem is more in that your leg needs to come back so you can sit properly on your seat bones. Many trainers tell their students to keep their leg by the girth. This is just plain wrong because it will force you to sit back in order to compensate for the forward leg. Try putting your feet forward when you are standing - you will fall! Ideally if you took the horse out from underneath the rider you will land perfectly in a slight squatting position (you would fall right onto your butt now lol)

This article shows seat position well: The quest for Equipoise: All straight lines are not vertical

Still think about bringing your pelvis forward and your leg back. Give yourself time to get there, you have to change your whole body mechanics and it will require lots of stretching and building up new muscles. Also keep in mind that you have to be able to do it at 100% at the walk, then trot, then canter, before it will really work over fences. It should take a few months to really get there and change everything!
    05-09-2011, 11:11 AM
Yep. I've never been told to keep my leg at the girth, so I dunno where it came from. Actually, come to think of of my former trainers never focused on my position at all - it was always what the horse was doing. I rode with her for probably 3 years and started jumping under her sooo...I guess this is what came of that, haha. [that also explains my issues over's only been in the past 2 years with my current trainer that I've learned a proper position/looking for distances].

It's also kind of funny that you guys mention that I ride more European vs. American because every single one of my trainers rode in the American style, haha. So I have no idea where I picked that up from

I know that Fry is probably not helping me fix my seat because he does have a tendency to stop and when he does, it's not pretty [all the refusals you saw in the video were mild, but he has gotten me off before] so I always tend to sit back in the hopes that I'll have an easier time staying on if he decides to stop/have another temper tantrum [if he gets really upset, he'll spin and has thrown a few bucks before. Nothing terrible, but it was enough to make me bail on him once]. BUT, he's teaching me loads too and he's really the only horse that I have available to ride right now soo...I'll just have to learn to not give in to my urge to sit so far back.
    05-09-2011, 11:59 AM
There is no "correct" or "incorrect" - it is about what works best for you.

Just so long as you are not hindering your horse from doing his/her job, and you are staying balanced - then do what works for you. If the European Style is what is comfortable for you and what comes natural, then so be it.

But you need to invest in a saddle that aids you - because this one is hindering you. And I believe, that no matter how hard to try to correct your chair seat, you'll only get so far because of how this saddle naturally places you.

Discuss this with your parents, and your Trainer. Where there is a will, there is a way.
    05-09-2011, 08:19 PM
If there was any way at all for me to get a new saddle, I would have done so months ago. Unfortunately, it's just not going to happen :\

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