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A weighty subject

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  • A weighty subject

    Weight and using it. For years I was taught by various wonderful and well intentioned instructors, to weight my inside or outside seatbone heavier, as an aid for various movements. I am now learning to keep the weight equal, but perhaps the position of the seatbones changes; one may be forward a bit, along the same plane one in asking the horse to maintain his hips. This makes a lot of sense, because, by weighting one over another, naturally one becomes unbalanced.


  • #2
    Spot on on the new advice. In a sense you should *float* over your horse's center of gravity by following the movement natually with you buns lightly stuck to the saddle like velcro It's a dance.


    • #3
      this seems to be a never ending process... i'm still learning to undo many years of "lack of equitation" and hunter riding, so the fact I can keep my butt in the saddle is a big deal..but I know there is more than that; and you have described the next steps pretty darn well...
      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


      • #4
        I've ridden under a few dressage instructors and been told opposite things about weight, particularly in respect to lateral work. One instructor advised that to move the horse right, you put weight heavily in left thigh, thereby asking the horse to move away from the weight. Another instructor was pretty much the opposite. She explained that you should not put weight on the left to move the horse to the right, but rather put slightly more weight in the right seatbone, encouraging the horse to move to stay under you weight!

        OP, your latest advice seems to have both of them beat, IMO.
        2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
        Our training journal.
        1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
        I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.


        • #5
          Ok--then--when you change the position of your seatbones, does not that changed position "weight" that side? If so, would you not consider using the aids as 'weighted"?


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by Mr.GMan View Post
            Ok--then--when you change the position of your seatbones, does not that changed position "weight" that side? If so, would you not consider using the aids as 'weighted"?
            Yes, but to put one seatbone slightly more forward is completely different than putting more weight into that seatbone. The latter creates an unbalenced, crooked seat, with a dropped hip on the rider's 'weighted' side, and likely a dropped shoulder on the opposite side.


            • #7
              Just an observation.

              Consciously weighting one seat bone or another frequently produces overkill.
              However the subtle shift of leg position is usually enough to produce the weight shift necessary. However some riders can still weight the outside seatbone while carrying their outside leg back and bending the horse to the inside.

              The other direction you hear, is to "step down on the inside stirrup", which to my mind would produce a counterproductive stiff knee. Stretch down and close the inside leg seems to be a more useful concept.
              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


              • #8
                Well the way I've been told is it depends on the horse. Some horses don't need a shift in the weight as much as the leg and a shifting of the seatbone. Then others (like mine ) Need more weight put into one side or another, depending on the move.
                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                • #9
                  I think the key word here is "movements". Half pass does require more weight in one seatbone. I think it depends on which specific movement you are talking about.

                  There are of course reasons why a trainer would tell you to shift your weight in walk trot or canter, I think the most important thing to understand is the context around why a trainer tells you to do something. If the trainer tells you to put more weight on the left seat bone, ask why. Perhaps a rider is sitting more to the right, and having the rider think about weight in the left will cause rider to sit more equal. Young horses and riders are always developing therefore the aids will change. If you are teaching a horse or a rider a new movement, the aids will refine over time.
                  Welcome to my dressage world http://www.juliefranzen.blogspot.com/


                  • #10
                    IMO it greatly differs from horse to horse. I've ridden horses who I suppose were trained to come under the weight of the seatbones. If I sat just a little stronger on the left seatbone, horse would move left. Now my OTTB is SUPER sensitive to seat aids/weight and will move away from the pressure. So, when for example we are doing a shoulder-in right I must really weight my right seatbone to keep the bend and push him down the rail. It is easy to collapse when doing this like others have mentioned, so I have to be totally conscious of it at all times.


                    • #11
                      It makes sense, after all, a horse can feel a fly so its probably not very helpful to change our balance all that much.

                      One thing that I am working on now is pretty zen lol, my trainer has me do half halts and leg yeilds but get this, I ask and as soon and I FEEL the change in the horse I dont ask further for anything perceptable.

                      So like your watching on the rail you'd have to look closely to see the shift in the horse posture but no actual movement.

                      She said this A. Quickens the aids, and B. Gets me NOT changing my balance when asking.

                      She said a horse can feel the slightest THOUGHT of a movement from my body if I train the reaction correctly.

                      Its kinda fun actually FEELING my horse start to do a movement when Im in the thinking stages of ig
                      ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


                      • #12
                        I finally decided that riding is actually easier if I just; 1) balance myself properly 2) do as little as necessary 3) turn my body in the direction I want to go. (As a whole that simply puts everything in an effective position, mimicking where the theories want you to be. Except for maybe the turning your body part --- that varies on discipline.) Oh and breathe! It's a little more complex when doing lateral movements, but keeping it simple actually works. Like Centered Riding's barber pole. . . it took me years to weed through all the theories to find out how simple it really is. Now in my (late!) forties it is actually easier since I've stopped trying so hard.