Advice for student stuck in "chair seat" - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 27 Old 11-29-2013, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
Yes very much a trainer error - which makes you wonder how qualified some of them are
Sometimes the end result of having someone stand up in their stirrups to put the leg back into a better position - only way you can really stand up - is that when they sit back down they still push all that weight on to the heel which will have the effect of forcing the leg forwards, tensing the calf muscles, pushing their backsides out of line and straight into that dreaded chair seat position
yup, and the add too short stirrups.....
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post #22 of 27 Old 12-02-2013, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Just wanted to thank everyone for this really interesting discussion- it has really made me think more about the typical progression of lessons at our barn. We do introduce most of our students to "2-point" early in their riding, but as a therapeutic facility, I think that what is "2-point" in our vocabulary is different from what many of us were taught when coming up through pony club, etc. in preparation to jump. We are aiming to help students strengthen their legs, stretch different body parts, play games that require reaching for objects, go on short trail rides in hilly territory, etc. We certainly do focus on the "proper" mechanics of riding, but of course make some adaptations along the way to accommodate disabilities. We do very little jumping at our facility, so most 2-point position is displayed walking over poles or up small hills...

All that said, this thread has been the basis of good discussion with my mentor, and she will be working closely with me and my "chair seat" rider in his next lesson.

And, as I'm really still learning about instructing, it's been great to see so many different perspectives on the issue.
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post #23 of 27 Old 04-11-2014, 03:20 PM
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I always made riders ride bareback and/or with a stirrupless bareback pad for the first 1-2 months of lessons. This developed a good nature seat and flow with the horse's movements. They didn't get to use stirrups until they were cantering bareback.

And yes, even did this on my trotting horses. Students learned to sit deep and move with the horse's shoulders in the trot.

Once they had 'earned' the use of a saddle, we'd take it back to the basics and start dropping heels, etc at walk then trot then canter. I've had many a former student that would go on to a show jumping barn (I was a basic skill building barn/pony club type)... And I'd be sent a video from this show or that. Where they would lose a stirrup on a jump - and just kick the other one out and finish the entire course smoothly without even seeming to notice.

The mistake that so many barns make - is producing students whom are dependent on stirrups for balance. I've had to rebalance every student who ever went to a barn before mine. And it always took them longer than my rank beginners - because they were physically and psychologically dependent on the stirrups.
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post #24 of 27 Old 04-15-2014, 09:31 AM
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I make my students test themselves regularly by telling them to rise in the saddle (english and western both). They know that if they can't rise easily and get their butt out of the saddle, they are riding in a "chair seat". If they fall over the neck, it means they've tucked their legs too far behind.
I don't have to say much-they correct themselves immediately once they understand it.
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post #25 of 27 Old 04-21-2014, 08:00 PM
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I had one really tough chair seat rider. All the traditional "put your toe behind your knee", all the two point... Nothing worked. So one day, I told her to put her heels up. Heels up forced her lower leg to swing back. Of course, I "fixed" a problem and created another, but I allowed her to ride with her heels up for several lessons. I gradually asked her to lower her heels again... And shazam, the leg stayed back. No more chair seat. It was a weird fix, but sometimes you gotta get inventive.
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post #26 of 27 Old 05-15-2014, 03:05 PM
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Not sure if this will help, but a little boy I know struggled keeping his heels down while he rode. He wanted to play a game so we had him get a toy and hold it on top of his helmet, and then also behind his back or saddle for a couple laps while I led him around. For whatever reason, it really helped with his leg position. Maybe you could try this as a warm up for your student

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post #27 of 27 Old 05-30-2014, 07:25 PM
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Just thought of something. Is he assuming the chair seat because of groin stretch? A child experiencing this will assume the chair seat or bend it's knees and move the feet behind to get relief. Not all will say anything about this because of where they have to point to show you.
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