Why do you need to work on your position in the saddle?

A good seat is the basis for all riding since the communication between rider and horse is predominately embodied and depending of the quality of the rider’s seat. Moreover, the rider’s seat is also a determination factor for the welfare and health of our horse. The rider uses his or her senses and body language to communicate with the horse, and to interact with the horse requires athletic skills like balance, strength, suppleness, body awareness and body control. We, as riders, need a well balanced and supple seat to be able to adapt to the pace and movements of the horse, and to create a common movement together with our horse without disturbing him or her.

The quality of the communication is affected by the rider’s position
Horses are social and very sensitive animals that are easily affected by our seat and body language. They can for instance sense when fly is landing on their body. Moreover, horses are also excellent in reading the body language of the rider. They have the ability to feel for instance if the rider is stressed or relaxed. Thus, the horse take an active part in the communication with humans.
The horse’s body and movements are affected by both the rider body and movements. When we mount our horse, the horse’s back is stretched out and getting lowered and the horse’s movements change. Thus, a less optimal seat will have a negative effect on the horses’ movements and health.

A balanced rider is necessary for the horse to be able to move in balance.
A symmetrical rider is also essential for a successful performance. If a rider for instance weigh 60 kilos and sit one centimeter to the right, the horse needs to carry around 6 kilos extra on his or her right legs. The horse needs to compensate for the rider’s asymmetry and this can cause problems in the horses muscles and can in the long term also cause problems with the skeleton. It has been shown that horses often suffer from back problem or lameness.
However, the positive aspect is that you as a rider can do something about this! On rider’s position we will provide you with both mounted and dismounted exercises that you can use to become a better rider. So, don’t wait – just get started! Here you will find summaries of scientific articles that explains more.

Mari Zetterqvist Blokhuis