Last Updated on February 22, 2022 by Allison Price
The correct, balanced riding position will allow your horse to move freely and in balance. Russell Guire, a biomechanics expert and trainer, offers advice on how to achieve the right riding position.
Any movement from the correct position can have dramatic effects on horses. Just think about how your horse feels when a fly lands on it. Now think about how you feel and how you need to change his behavior if he is sitting poorly.
Imagine that someone is sitting on your shoulders. This will help you see how your position can have an impact on your horse’s performance.
If your horse tilts their body to one side or the other, this will also mean that you must move in the same direction as your horse to keep your balance.
No matter how experienced you are, it doesn’t really matter if you’re just starting out in riding. You need to be aware of your position and correct any mistakes before they become a routine.
Let’s start by looking at what you should do when you are halted.
Riding position in halt
You should be able to sit correctly on your horse when you do this:
- Equal weight for each seat bone
- Draw a vertical line starting at your ear, shoulder and hip.
- Keep a straight line starting at your elbow and running down your arm to the bit.
Your riding position during the move
A soft, supple and flexible seat is key to maintaining a good posture at all times. Your pelvis should follow your horse’s movements.
Imagine your pelvis as a bowl of water, and you are walking around the arena. Your goal is to keep the water from escaping the bowl.
This is possible by moving your pelvis gently in sync with the pace of the walk.
Ideal location for walking
Keep your knees loose. Instead of pushing your weight into your heels, think about bringing your toes upwards. This will allow you to keep your legs relaxed.
Gripping with your knees or thighs will make your leg unstable and cause you to feel unbalanced.
Move on to your arms. Keep your elbows soft. Think of your forearms like extensions of your reins.
For your safety and to keep your hands in the right position, don’t forget your wrists!
Your thumbs should be pointing towards the ears of your horse and should be placed on top each rein.