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Seat position exercises

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  • Seat position exercises

    I wasn't sure if I should ask this here or in the dressage forum, but I am mostly a hunter/jumper, so here goes. I am in need of some exercise to help strenghten my own seat. I have had an issue with my mare picking up the incorrect lead going to the right, because I love to lean on my outside seat bone. I have been really aware of what my butt is doing since I have figured out that I am the problem and have had much success, but I do live to lean to the left.

  • #2
    do you do any off horse exercises? I really liked Pilates for body awareness/evening me out.


    • #3
      My filly hollows her left side since her right side is stronger.... it does occassionally flip to the other since she is still growing.
      But my coach told me to put more weight in the opposite side.... ie: hollowing the left side, more weight in right seat bone and unmoving right leg so when she pops her barrel to hollow she finds your leg which does not yield to her.

      Overall, my seat has gotten a lot stronger after I figured out how my horse was affecting my postion. (I do have to really think about what I am doing though since I tend to follow her)

      You may have to overexagerate your leaning (to the opposite of your stronger side for awhile). It seems like to me you either had a problem like I had (above) or your stronger side wants to compensate for the weaker.

      Try no stirrup work, this way you really have to use yourself on both sides, otherwise you will topple to one side.

      Best of luck, hope this helps.


      • #4
        Originally posted by KateKat View Post
        do you do any off horse exercises? I really liked Pilates for body awareness/evening me out.
        Ditto! There are also workouts on the internet with a ball that helps.


        • #5
          I did a 5 Minute Clinic series on position with Bernie Traurig last month. He says that strength in the seat starts with stability in the leg/base (to be fair, that is my interpretation of what he would say. If you want to know what he actually says, you can read it here.) He also has a bunch of great exercises, one of which is without stirrup work like pryme thyme suggested.

          Enabling hunter/jumper addicts everywhere.


          • #6
            Along with all the great advice posted already, I would suggest you think about seeing a chiropractor. I had issues with my mare this spring not picking up her left lead, to the point where I was in tears after some rides, and was about to call the vet. Turns out my pelvis was locked on one side and blocking her shoulder, and she is apparently just that sensitive!! So anyway, if the exercises above don't quite cut it, that's always another idea.


            • #7
              I'd lose the stirrups (although that's my answer for everything...) for a bit and do pilates or yoga to work on body awareness. I'd also consider seeing a reputable chiropractor for yourself--I know some people think they are so much BS, but I've used one since I was pretty young and can definitely feel a difference in my riding when I'm "out" as opposed to when I've been adjusted regularly.
              Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


              • #8
                Take lungeline lessons and dressage lessons. Those will help you quickly build a better understanding of how your posture and balance influence your horse vs. just guessing or leaning too much the opposite way.
                Savor those rides where you feel like a million bucks, because there will be those where you feel like a cheap date...


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks for the suggestions!

                  I have a feeling that maybe I lean so much to the left because I have ridden mostly green beans and I may have had to "push" them over using my left seat bone. I will be working alot with no stirrups to hopefully re-adjust myself.