More on imbalances of the seat
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Friday, December 9, 2011 08:31 PM
After I discovered that my left groin wasn't really attached to a saddle I have been working on it diligently (click here to read the blog about it). At first I would realize that my left knee and bottom of my left thigh grip instead of my left groin area snugly glues itself to the saddle. I still occasionally make that mistake. However, less and less and I can feel right away that it isn't what I want. The true connection of the whole thigh to the saddle creates incredible sense of being one with the horse. This connection does not feel like a grip, but a very snug contact. The hips stay supple and they allow thighs move with the saddle. Which gives the torso freedom to quietly ride in the center of the saddle.
I am not alone with the struggle to connect an upper thigh area. Many of my students have this issue. The repeating pattern that I see is the slow and heavy side of a rider's body usually have this problem. The rider sits too much into the seat bone on that side. Many riders sit into their both seat bones too much. This is a common mistake. However, even riders who start to be aware of their weight distribution in a saddle find that one side is easier to connect in the groin area than the other. The heavy side ends up being behind the motion of a horse and it likes to collapse. The rider literally settles into a chair seat on this side. Because the side is too soft and behind the movement it has hard time being on inside of a circle. The foot and the hand seek balance in the stirrup and rein correspondingly, sometimes riders grip with their knee too. The other side of the body often do not have a problem with groin/upper thigh connection. It's issues lies in too mobile seat bone which floats, slides, bounces, etc. The whole side is very easy to advance forward. Horses feel this imbalance and they very often follow it by dropping their backs under heavy side and by pushing up and out under the light mobile seat bone. Horses who initially had opposite tendencies change their way of going if ridden by such rider year after year. The rider creates a "bumprint" ( Mary Wanless) on his/her horse's back. Creating very centered and even bumprint is very important in order to ride straight and balanced.
The more riders are aware of their seat and it's structure the better they will feel where exactly their horse is at any moment. Learning to listen to and read your seat and a horse under it gives a rider better understanding on how to ride straight. When rider is absolutely centered and level the straight and round horse will fill all the space under the seat. When something is not right rider feels parts of the horse falling away, pushing up and out, tensing, twisting, etc. There is so much information the seat can deliver and it can help to correct crookedness and stiffness. Riders will have a huge hole in their vocabulary of aids if they focus primarily on the reins or lower legs to ride their horse leaving the seat unbalanced and passive, or even worse unbalanced and too active and pushy.
Happy riding...
Comment by haynet on Sunday, December 18, 2011 09:45 AM
Great blog! Why not come and post it for more to follow at an Equine Social Blogging Network!
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