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I've had this issue for a while, and neither me nor my instructor have any idea how to fix it.While I'm posting the trot, my legs tend to fall back out beneath me, and my feet sometimes end up near the horses flanks, and I am left sitting right on my crotch or on the ground. Hard to explain, I know.
My entire body leans forward, and as you know, I lose my balance.
I'm a Canadian Rider Level 1, and this is the only thing keeping me back from level 2. I've been riding for two years, and picking up concepts well, this just seems to be holding me back. I'm also having issues with cantering because it happens while cantering as well.
I don't have a horse, and I only can ride once a week for an hour and fifteen minutes, so extra practice is off the table
It probably should be mentioned that I do have a medical diagnosis of hypotonia (very low muscle tone), which isn't the same as no muscles :) . It's just the fact that I am extremely clumsy, shaky, and have poor posture and balance, as in, I couldn't dress myself until age 9, and I fall on my face daily :p.
I'm thinking that maybe the hypotonia is a problem in this situation, but I'm not sure.


Any help, suggestions, or comments appreciated :D
 

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well, good on you for just riding!

a lot of things can influence this sort of seat. if the hrose is very downhill, or the saddle is too wide in front and thus takes a downhill cant, of you are really pinching with your knees.

can you practice balanceing on a large physio ball? this could help build your core and your balance, so that you will ride more from balance than from strength in the leg.

get the biggest physio ball yo can , and inflate fully. sit on it as close to as if straddling a horse. when you are balanced, lift your toes off the ground and try to balance. use your core to literally "Pull" the ball up to where you need it so that it stays right under you. you make the ball move with your core, you don't move your body to fit it.
 

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That is very interesting. Do you have a chat group with people who have the same condition? I would bet it is related but I think you need to do some investigation on the subject. Maybe ask your doctor. I am a new rider and found the posting trot quite easy? Maybe there is something else you can do like Western Pleasure that doesn't require it?
 

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I'm not familiar with the medical condition you describe. If there is an equine therapy facility near you, you might visit and ask if anyone there is knowledgeable about this and how it may relate to riding.

I like tinyliny's suggestions for off horse work.

When a rider's legs fall behind the vertical when posting, I suspect tension as the cause. Unless otherwise supported, a body will try to stay in balance. If one portion moves in one direction from the line of gravity, another portion will move in the opposite direction. Tension causes stiffness which produces rough movement.

Consider how you post. Are you drawing yourself up with the reins? Are you pushing yourself up with your legs? Or are you simply letting the horse's movements "throw" your body upward?

Before posting or even trotting, evaluate how you are riding the walk. Is your body balanced head over shoulders over hips over heels? Is your pelvis bone erect so you are sitting on your crotch as well as your seat bones? Are you sitting in the center of the saddle so you are not tempted to lean against the cantle?

Are the muscles in your torso relaxed so your spine rather than your muscles are supporting your weight? Are the muscles around your pelvis and throughout your legs, ankles, and feet relaxed so that gravity alone provides you with a deep seat and low heels? Gravity should also be providing the adhering effect of your legs against the sides of the horse rather than any muscular tension.

As gravity does its thing, imagine feeling your weight sift like sand in an hourglass down through your body. This provides your body with a low center of gravity, much like an inflatable doll with sand in the bottom. If you are thrown off balance, your low center of gravity immediately brings you back into balance.

As the horse lifts your body in a rising trot, you simply remain balanced over your feet. Gravity will bring your seat back down. You just control the motion so you don't plop back onto the horse's back.

I hope this explanation helps.
 

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you may need a different twist. Stand in the 2 point and what happens? That is a good indication if the saddle is right for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everybody!! I tried the physio and the imaging, and it seems to be helping! Once I get a horse, I will also be sure to get a proper fitting saddle. Thanks so much!!
 

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It is often a lack of strength in the hip flexors and lower abdominals. That would make sense with your medical condition.

I don't know how much you can gain by doing the usual squats and lunges. A physioball certainly won't hurt. If you are interested, a sympathetic therapist, who knows riding and understands the desire, can show you how to kinesio tape certain areas to facilitate more muscle contraction in targeted muscle groups. And if you don't get results from that, there are some methods of using a sport tape for additional support.

You can also reinforce breeches to support the weaker areas by putting non-stretch panels attached on the inside. Not even noticeable unless one comes up and inspects the garment closely. Wouldn't seem like much, but it can help.

Best wishes.
 

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I'm not familiar with your medical condition either but I did struggle to keep from leaning forward too much when I transitioned over to English. I would catch myself sitting forward on my crotch and not my seat bones, which made my whole upper body lean more forward and my legs stayed back too far. I agree w/the other people who said more off the horse exercises, especially since you can't practice a lot. I've seen good results from balance and core exercises like yoga and pilates.
I have to make a conscious effort to keep my shoulders back, chest up and core engaged so I keep steady and not slowly creep forward with my upper body. The more you pay attention to your seat bones helps too. Also if you're pinching too much with your knees and not feeling the weight in your feet that could do it too. If you don't keep steady, even weight in your feet (not pushing down in the stirrup though) that might help keep them in place.
As for cantering, I feel you!! For probably a month I had to just forget the perfect position for dressage and actually throw my feet forward for the canter. After a while my leg position slowly got better.
But keep at it! I learned a lot from watching youtube videos and picking up things I could keep in my mind when I ride. I would say the thing that helped me the most was to remember to imagine that you draw a straight line from your shoulder to your hip to your heel.
 
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