¡Ever found yourself astride a tense horse, feeling equally tight and unsure? We’ve all been there, and it’s never a joyride. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t worry! A simple seat exercise may be just the remedy you need to ease tension in your horse and transform your ride.
The Problem: Tension in the Horse
A tense horse may display a tight back, short strides, and overall discomfort. While this behavior can be concerning, it is often not indicative of any underlying health issues or poorly fitted tack. It could just be a matter of the horse needing time to loosen up physically and mentally.
Discovering the Seat Bones
The key to alleviating tension may lie in the rider’s connection to their seat bones. In fact, many riders may not even be aware of how their seat bones are moving in response to the horse’s rhythm. A disconnect here can lead to misalignment, imbalance, and even more tension in the horse.
- 1. Find Your Seat Bones: Before you can influence your horse’s movement with your seat, you need to know where your seat bones are and how they’re moving. You can do this by gently rocking your pelvis forward and back, and side to side, feeling the two distinct points that are your seat bones.
- 2. Balance Your Weight: Many riders unknowingly sit with more weight on one seat bone. This exercise helps in identifying if you’re doing that and aids in distributing your weight evenly.
- 3. Move with Your Horse: Start at a walk and feel how your seat bones move with the horse’s motion. Then progress to trot, focusing on the subtle movements of your seat in rhythm with the horse.
- 4. Stay Mindful: Focus on how your seat interacts with the horse’s back. Be gentle and responsive, not forceful. Your seat is a powerful tool, and small, thoughtful movements can have a big impact.
Why It Works
This seat exercise works by creating a more in-tune connection between horse and rider. It helps the rider to become more aware of how their movements affect the horse and allows them to make small, intuitive adjustments that can relax and lengthen the horse’s stride.
The focus on the seat bones and the gentle, rhythmic movements encourage a softer, more relaxed seat. It guides the rider to move with the horse, not against it.
Give It a Try!
If you’ve ever felt like you’re just perched on top of your horse, unable to connect, this simple seat exercise could be the key to a more harmonious ride. It doesn’t require any special equipment or an expert trainer by your side. Just a little attention to your seat, some patience, and a willingness to learn and adjust.