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View Full Version : Weight on the Seatbones during Lateral Work: Direction of TRAVEL or BEND?



HollysHobbies
Feb. 2, 2011, 10:42 AM
During lateral work where you are not bent in the direction of travel (shoulder in, leg yield), do you weight your inside seatbone (in the direction of the bend) or do you weight the seatbone in the direction of travel?

Why?

I've always weighted to the inside of the bend, but I was watching a Jane Savoie clip and she seems to advocate weighting in the direction of travel. (Actually, during shoulder in, I just move my inside seatbone forward and carry even weight, but during leg yield I weight around the bend)

Barbara_F
Feb. 2, 2011, 10:48 AM
I just has this conversation with an Olympic rider this past week. She told me that as she learns more and more, she is not so stringent about weight during lateral movement. She told me to play around and do whatever works for my horse. In his case, weight in the direction of travel in the shoulder-in.

UniqueSaddlePads
Feb. 2, 2011, 10:51 AM
I've always been taught that it's easier for them to move in the direction that you want if you've got the seat bone in the direction of travel. Works well for my guy because it gives him cues to which direction that I want him going in.

Petstorejunkie
Feb. 2, 2011, 10:51 AM
pelvis level, think inside seatbone pushes the horse wherever you want to go. it's not push down it's think direction.
because it's not the seatbone that directs the horse it's all those tiny muscles that connect your femur to your crotch and hip.

alibi_18
Feb. 2, 2011, 11:00 AM
I just has this conversation with an Olympic rider this past week. She told me that as she learns more and more, she is not so stringent about weight during lateral movement. She told me to play around and do whatever works for my horse. In his case, weight in the direction of travel in the shoulder-in.

Ditto this!

cyberbay
Feb. 2, 2011, 11:25 AM
The rule I've been taught and seen reiterated is: Sit in the direction of travel, except for the shoulder-in.
I think that that rule can be also be identically expressed as: sit in the bend.

Also do agree with if the 'rule' doesn't get the results you'd like, experiment with the other way.

[Not to be too tech-y, but a leg-yield is not considered a lateral movement, b/c it requires no bend in the body, just flexion at the poll.]

alicen
Feb. 2, 2011, 11:27 AM
Poll is running 50/50 on this one and horses still leg-yield, and do shoulder-in. I wish we could poll the horses.

Equibrit
Feb. 2, 2011, 11:46 AM
You can also shift the weight with the movement, across the hips in the direction of travel, which is more in sync with your horse.

Mozart
Feb. 2, 2011, 12:05 PM
Poll is running 50/50 on this one and horses still leg-yield, and do shoulder-in. I wish we could poll the horses.

Agreed!

feuerkracher
Feb. 2, 2011, 12:26 PM
This does seem to be individual depending on the horse. I generally weight in the direction of the bend, and then will experiment on each horse to see what works for them. On my upper level horse, if I weight very much in the direction of the bend in shoulder-in, we then get half-pass. I think this is very horse specific and every horse is very individual in their preferences and sensitivities to the aids, so you should do what works!

Quibbler
Feb. 2, 2011, 12:27 PM
While I have often been told that it is in the direction of the bend, I have had better results with my mare when I go in the direction she is travelling for shoulder-in.

netg
Feb. 2, 2011, 12:57 PM
During lateral work where you are not bent in the direction of travel (shoulder in, leg yield), do you weight your inside seatbone (in the direction of the bend) or do you weight the seatbone in the direction of travel?

Why?

I've always weighted to the inside of the bend, but I was watching a Jane Savoie clip and she seems to advocate weighting in the direction of travel. (Actually, during shoulder in, I just move my inside seatbone forward and carry even weight, but during leg yield I weight around the bend)

I've always done direction of the bend before, but probably saw the same Jane Savoie clip and played with it - and discovered my horse stops trailing his hind end in leg yield if I weight in direction of travel. I don't really weight either seat bone for shoulder in or haunches in, but shift based upon how he's reacting - and he responds differently on different days. s/i is usually even, but somedays I actually have to weight one as he's trying to swing his hind end, too.

JackSprats Mom
Feb. 2, 2011, 01:45 PM
My horse goes significantly better in LY if I weight in the direction of travel.

SillyHorse
Feb. 2, 2011, 02:11 PM
...I was watching a Jane Savoie clip and she seems to advocate weighting in the direction of travel.
Interesting -- I just recently watched a Jane Savoie clip and she explicitly said the seatbones are weighted equally in the leg yield.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HcA5bw2Pqs
:confused:

alibi_18
Feb. 2, 2011, 03:43 PM
Interesting -- I just recently watched a Jane Savoie clip and she explicitly said the seatbones are weighted equally in the leg yield.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HcA5bw2Pqs
:confused:

:lol:

Velvet
Feb. 2, 2011, 04:26 PM
You want to always be over the middle of your horse no matter what it is doing. If you lean or drop your weight too much to one side or the other, you will make them run to get under you and will lose collection.

I hope everyone here is thinking more about marginal changes, as in when you look in the direction of travel and your weight drops to that side automatically, and not forced weight throwing the horse over into the lateral work.

Most people think of putting more weight to the side of the bend because that keeps them from falling out. In half pass it if you think of forcing your weight over to any side, you're toast and lose the freedom in the movement.

I'd think of it in the direction of the bend. I think of my seat allowing the horse to move over once the movement has begun from the aids.

JMO

merrygoround
Feb. 2, 2011, 05:15 PM
Velvet,Thank you!!!!!

jodyb
Feb. 2, 2011, 06:06 PM
Well I put a vote in for "other". I used to always weight the inside seatbone 'til a clinician persuaded me that weight goes in the direction of travel. I did that for a long time. Now I weight the stirrup in the direction of travel and use my inside seatbone to encourage the bend (inside seat bone moves with inside hind leg). It sounds like I'm on a similiar page as Velvet.

spirithorse
Feb. 2, 2011, 06:59 PM
Sit the middle.

In halfpass left, I release the left leg so there is no pressure, push with the right calf and hip. This causes the horse to move into the left calf and achieve bend.
Do not weight the stirrups.

dwblover
Feb. 2, 2011, 07:11 PM
I really do think it depends on the horse. My TB instinctively moves away from seatbone pressure (since day 1) , my DWB would move into it to get underneath me. Of course the warmblood was trained by an upper level rider so perhaps he was specifically taught that way. I simply do what works for each horse.

EasyStreet
Feb. 2, 2011, 07:58 PM
Ditto on the "Thank you Velvet!!"

CFFarm
Feb. 3, 2011, 11:45 AM
I agree it depends on the horse. I find that usually it's natural for the horse to want to keep you over his center of balance so sitting in the middle and looking in the direction of travel and "lengthening" the inside leg in the stirrup is usually enough to encourage movement in that direction. Some, less sensitive horses, of course need more encouragement with the legs and weight. JMHO

mbm
Feb. 3, 2011, 12:04 PM
even weight, sit in middle of horse.

cyberbay
Feb. 3, 2011, 01:51 PM
If the rider is doing any more than, say, what mbm or CFFarm have noted, that aid would be more than 'weighing the seatbone' and more probably indicating that the rider is now leaning.

IMO, you have to be in the middle of the horse in order to weigh a seatbone properly...

netg
Feb. 3, 2011, 01:58 PM
If the rider is doing any more than, say, what mbm or CFFarm have noted, that aid would be more than 'weighing the seatbone' and more probably indicating that the rider is now leaning.

IMO, you have to be in the middle of the horse in order to weigh a seatbone properly...

I'd agree - and I have to say while I disctinctly remember the Jane Savoie "weight the seatbone in the direction of travel" from something (no, not the video linked in this thread) my guess is it may well be due to the tendency to weight the OTHER seatbone. Without a machine hooked up measuring me to give me an answer, I can only guess that my "weighting" is more evening than truly weighting that seatbone. So when I say I change according to my horse - I'm actually probably being schooled on sitting properly by my horse. As is most likely the case with most of the posters on this thread, those who sit with even weight and those who don't. ;)

MelantheLLC
Feb. 3, 2011, 03:25 PM
Agree with Velvet and netg, I think if you actually weight the seatbone, especially the inside, you are on the slippery slope to leaning and/or collapsing and using that to leverage the leg aid. (At least I am!) Better to sit up evenly and think of that video of the SRS! The horse carries you and you go with him precisely, not ahead of him and not behind him.

Amazone
Feb. 3, 2011, 03:36 PM
PK explains weight in direction of movement quite well in his book Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage - personally I do not have a problem with modern/competition dressage, but I did find his explanations quite useful

horsefaerie
Feb. 4, 2011, 01:50 AM
You can weight a seatbone quite heavily without leaning or collapsing.

If you are training, weighting the inside seatbone encourages the inside hind leg to come up and underneath your center of gravity. This allows for overstride and collection.

For leg yield I weight the outside seatbone for the same reason.

If you do not weight seatbones, especially in the sitting trot you encourage gross onesidedness on the part of the horse and also allow yourself to less strong and remain one sided yourself.

Getting the horse to bring the back muscles up and underneath your seat equally to both sides you do much to prevent back soreness and discourage the desire to go hollow.

I know this goes against some BNT gospel, but I find it to be true.

Also it goes a long way to clarify the aids for lateral work itself. It also allows a rider to learn to drape the leg and use the seatbones with greater influence.

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 11:08 AM
Wow, I just couldn't disagree more with the term "heavily weighted" seat bones. :no: Heavy, to me, would indicate sitting hard into the horse's back. You need to follow the movement of the horse's back to allow him to be free in the back. Weighting the seat bones (especially "heavily") will create resistance.

Think about it. If you had someone stabbing an elbow into your back on one side, you'd definitely tighten the muscles to get away from the pressure. That is the only way to really relate/equate a "heavy" seat bone on a horse. The saddle only affords so much protection.

horsefaerie
Feb. 4, 2011, 11:34 AM
V, I did not use the term "heavily weighted seatbones". You are elaborating on a concept that you really might explore first.

Weighting the seatbone however, is done with your shoulders level and your pelvis in motion. Think of an hydraulic press not an elbow.

Your analogy does create a rather ugly picture but it is nothing like what I am talking about.

I sit on my student's thighs and weight my seatbones so they can feel what it should feel like. Influence, not anything to tighten against. If you try this you will find some horses will give you no place to sit on one side or the other. One sided. Most people are the same way. When a rider uses their leg on the right they lift their seatbone OFF the horse on that side. they weight the opposite side whether they want to or not. Then they are off balance and ineffective.

If you learn to lengthen through your torso, downward, you will actually feel what happens when you use your leg in a clumsy manner. Even trying to look lovely using your leg, disturbs your position and actually makes the horse have to work harder to balance your weight and move with any grace.

Not at all like an elbow in the back.

Velvet
Feb. 4, 2011, 11:44 AM
I would still have to beg to disagree with the descriptive terms being used. To have a horse bring up its back and be comfortable, you need to not be pressing with extra weight, but to be actively following.

Not sure if this is where you're actually headed, or if we're still in strong disagreement. I'm find with agreeing to disagree. My experiences with training and riding collection is to have a following seat and to stay more centered over the middle of the horse and to have only the slightest changes come from such marginal shifts as looking one direction or another with your head--not in specifically and deliberately trying to weight a seat bone--unless, of course, the rider is crooked. Then you have them focus on what feels like putting more pressure on the side that actually has none so they can find their center/balance point again.

When you reach the point of sublety, you are not really weighting and changing things, you are more in the business of asking the horse and following to allow them to then continue with what you've asked.

mbm
Feb. 4, 2011, 12:54 PM
agree with velvet. less is more. conscious weighting will be overkill. and on a sensitive backed horse it would get them to hollow out under you....

lstevenson
Feb. 4, 2011, 03:37 PM
When teaching, I prefer to use the term "engaging" a particular seat bone rather than "weighting" a particular seat bone, as I find that it prevents riders from incorrectly leaning and getting crooked.

In general the inside seat bone relative to the bend should be more engaged. BUT it depends on what the horse needs at the moment. I might even ocassionally need to switch back and forth from inside to outside seat bone during a movement, to make corrections. But when things are going well, it's usually the inside of the bend.

So to me the answer is "it depends".




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BaroquePony
Feb. 4, 2011, 08:54 PM
Posted by Velvet:

To have a horse bring up its back and be comfortable, you need to not be pressing with extra weight, but to be actively following.

I'd have to agree with this. Basically your hips should be actively following your horse's hips ... so you really need to rock'n'roll through every stride.

BaroquePony
Feb. 4, 2011, 09:08 PM
Actually your horse's hips should be following the rider's hips once you really have developed the correct connection. Always moving in ryhtym and cadence.

All of the wieghting of this and that is usually used to help rider's correct imbalances ... which means they haven't developed a correct connection yet.

horsefaerie
Feb. 5, 2011, 01:10 AM
Not at all. In fact quite the opposite.

Stretching down through your torso, independently on either side, is almost impossible for most riders. We tend to be one sided as do our horses.

Once learned, leaning or collapsing is almost impossible, even to your weak side.

Becomes really important when you start training things like canter pirouette.

Just another tool, not something you will do overnight either.

There may be some agreement here but semantic may be getting in the way.

cyberbay
Feb. 5, 2011, 10:21 AM
I think I hear you, Velvet, but maybe the terminology doesn't have to be taken so hard. Words impact people differently, but it doesn't mean anyone is 'wrong.'

This conversation is getting divided unexpectedly btwn. discussing horses that know how to yield to the pressure of the seat, and horses that are intermittent in their response and ability to bend and move b/c they're green; unsubmissive; naturally tight-muscled; whatever.

Horsefaerie is bringing up real issues about bend, which is that, out of the box, horses and humans are not symmetrical. So the bending experience is automatically different from side to side just within any given horse. Bending evenly on either side is not a given in any horse.

horsey girl
Feb. 5, 2011, 09:15 PM
I think terminolgy is at fault here. I was taught weight aids and pressure aids are two different things. By nature, a good horse (not a rotten pony!) moves under your weight, that is the horse's natural first reaction to our weight aid. Our second aid is a pressure aid, either leg, rein, seat bone, and that is what they react two next....Two very different but very related aids.....
We dressage riders spend all our time training our horses to yeild to pressure, they don't do this naturally! By nature, they push against pressure, watch a weanling being lead for the first time, or a horse's nature reaction to being tied up, they fight the pressure. We train spend much of our time teaching our dressage horses to yeild to our leg aid pressure, bit pressure and seat bone pressure, not something that they naturally do.
But by nature, they will move under our weight...or we fall off our pony.
So.... if we are having a good day and so is our horse, our weight is going in the direction of the school figure, no matter what it is, circle, half pass, shoulder in, leg yeild.... and we are applying a pressure aid, i.e. inside leg, inside seat bone, out side leg or what ever, the horse goes in the direction of our weight and yeilds to the pressure of whatever aid we are using. This applies to all school figures, that is why upper level riders can make them look so beautiful and effortless... They can happen at the same time, weight in the direction of the shoulder in, pressure on the inside seat bone.
While we are trying to master this, MANY people put their wieght into their pressure aid, hence the leaning of the rider you see in leg yeilding, half pass, counter canter , that is so against the movement and disruptive to the horse.
You wonder why this sport takes sooooo long to master.... weight and pressure are two differnet things, just like rhythm and tempo....

Bats79
Feb. 6, 2011, 06:16 AM
Well I put a vote in for "other". I used to always weight the inside seatbone 'til a clinician persuaded me that weight goes in the direction of travel. I did that for a long time. Now I weight the stirrup in the direction of travel and use my inside seatbone to encourage the bend (inside seat bone moves with inside hind leg). It sounds like I'm on a similiar page as Velvet.


"like"

easyrider
Feb. 6, 2011, 01:50 PM
My French dressage trainer, in answer to this question, had this to say:

"I'm French! In France, we say 'There are many ways to make love!'"

And that was his final word on the subject.

dwblover
Feb. 6, 2011, 02:10 PM
Easyrider, hillarious! And SO true!!

Digby
Feb. 8, 2011, 11:49 AM
Good question! IMO, leg yield and half pass are totally different things and should be ridden as such. Leg yeild teaches the horse to move away from your leg and is a tool to enhance straightness, therefore no weighted seatbones. As you move toward half pass (and eventually on to pirouettes), I like to sit as though I'm riding the curve- a hairs breath of extra weight in the leading inside seatbone. For me, I find this helps maintain consistent bend through the barrel. Subtlety is your best friend!