How to Developing a Good Position in the Saddle


Developing a good position in the saddle can take time, and a range of common problems often need to be overcome by the novice rider. A rider who is unfit or has yet to develop the correct muscles for riding will find it difficult to maintain the right position.

Daily posture

The way we use our bodies when off horse affects the way we can use them when on horse. A rider who spends hours a day slouched in an office chair in front of a computer is likely to slouch in the saddle. The core stability muscles needed to hold the body tall and straight will not be developed, so when these muscles are needed to maintain a correct position in the saddle, the rider will struggle. Instead, the rider may adopt a position that they find physically easier in an attempt to be more comfortable. The following describes some of the common problems found in riding.

Good Position  Saddle

Leaning too far back or slouching

A rider who slouches usually leans too far back. Their legs will either lie too far forward or behind the correct position. They often hold on to the reins too tightly to help them balance and so lean heavily on the horse’s mouth. Leaning back and throwing your legs forward places the rider’s body weight “behind the vertical,” which makes it difficult for the horse to balance itself.

Leaning too far forward

A rider who leans too far forward places their body weight “in front of the vertical.” This affects the horse’s balance as it needs to move its weight forward onto its shoulders to help carry the rider. This can encourage the horse to lean on the reins and makes it easier for the horse to run off. When leaning forward, the rider’s legs are often positioned too far back, which makes communication from the leg aids less effective.

Knee off the saddle

Often because of lack of muscle development, the rider turns out at the hips. This impacts on the whole leg position as it takes the thigh away from the saddle and turns out the knee and toe. This compromises the rider’s balance and lessens the effect of the leg aids.

Gripping with the knees

In trot, a rider who is not properly aligned will usually be unbalanced by the increased movement from the horse. A common response is to grip with the knees in order to gain some stability. In fact, this makes the rider more unstable as they will be pushing their weight upward rather than allowing it to drop down. Performing rising trot then becomes much more difficult to do.

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  4. How to Trot Your Horse
  5. How to Gallop a Horse

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About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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