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Training Tips: Position or Posture?


It’s very important to differentiate between position and posture and ensure both are correct.

You can’t have a good seat and balance unless your position is correct in the first place. The very first thing we are taught when we sit on a horse is to have a good position, which generally is a fast process; then we have to spend the rest of our lives perfecting our seat and balance.

The main difference between the two is that the position is static, and the seat/posture must be dynamic. So we might have the perfect position when your horse is standing still or maybe in walk, but as soon as we start trotting, cantering and especially jumping it’s very likely we lose a good position.

The irony is that, when we look at professional riders, they look so “still” on their horses, almost like they aren’t moving…but if they were not moving they would be probably bounce off the horse. They are in fact moving every part of their bodies to adapt to the horse’s movement and they are in such balance they look like they are not moving.

Follow our tips to improve your position and posture:

  • Particularly when jumping your body must be in balance with the horse; your horse should be allowed to move under the saddle in the most natural way possible and be free to bascule and move his back freely
  • Practice ‘Two Point Position’ in all the three paces. This is one of the best exercises to improve your posture and balance whilst still concentrating on keeping a good position
  • Listen to your horse by feeling how he moves and adapting to that moment softly
  • Make sure your seat is centred. Leaning to one side, tipping forward with your shoulders, or having one shoulder lower that the others results in a bad position and it will also affect your balance and posture
  • Remember that the way you sit and balance on your horse will depend on the way your body is designed, a very tall person will find it more difficult to balance their upper body, someone with shorter legs will need to concentrate more in perfecting a deeper seat. The beauty of horse riding is that it suits most body shapes, so be aware of body shape and work on your weaknesses

So the secret for a perfectly STILL position is actually MOVING every single muscle of the body as required.

How to maintain a good position and improve your seat and balance?

  • Make an effort to work on both at the same time. When your horse starts moving and particularly when jumping, make sure you keep a correct position in mind without being stiff
  • Concentrate on your position but relax, especially with your legs and seat, allowing your lower leg to stretch softly around the horse’s body and your ankles to relax, resulting in a low heel
  • Your upper body should be upright and straight, your shoulders open and your hips should be forward on the seat and in front of your shoulders, but at the same time it needs to be soft to accommodate the horse’s movement in lightness, with the minimum amount of interference to it

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If you have any questions on equine supplements, and want to improve your horse’s health, performance, or attitude give our friendly team a call 01672 541 157 for advice. We won’t try and hard sell you anything – we promise.

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Posted in General, Rider Fitness, training
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