Having probs with your seat? Do you feel a little lazy or worse yet a little bouncy at times? An unexpected bounce here or bounce there deserves a little wake up call. We’ve all been there. Coming from a more pleasure riding directive currently, I often forget the little exercises my first show trainer instilled upon us…usually on an “Equitation Saturday” where we were forced to work on our seat and aids and not jump big fences. As an adolescent this was pure torture. As an adult, a gentle reminder that what we do in the seat affects not only ourselves but the performance going on underneath us. It’s important to recognize our faults and address them as it’s not always our horse’s problem. Insert smiley face.
OK, so I started doing some reading in addition to plaguing my memory with Equitation Saturdays. Lately, I’ve been focusing on improving my OTTB’s top-line and I remembered a little exercise that not only would improve my seat but help him in using his back end, which in the end would add to the benefit of his top-line. Here’s hoping. I went into this knowing without practicing, it had been awhile, most likely I would just exacerbate his patience and he’d end up trying to buck me off, but what the heck, it was worth a go….in the soft round pen.
I didn’t want to go in blindly or relying on my memory from decades ago so I did some research and found that this seemed to be the easy way to start and seemed the basic plan of attack in getting my butt soft in the saddle and my boy using his back end.
I started by trotting around on a loose rein and posting up-up-down-up-up-down until I found a comfortable balance and rhythm. Doing this I became aware of how I landed in the saddle. Sometimes better than others. Haha. I kept doing it barely making contact with the saddle at all using my knees instead of actually sitting my weight into the saddle. This required me to use way more body control to post than what I would normally be doing but after a few rounds I felt more balanced and so did he and he was probably thankful for my lighter seat as he started rounding up. Victory achieved. Now that I had the up up down figured out I went back to regular posting but he seemed happier. Every couple rounds I’d add in another Up Up and down barely touching the saddle to keep up with my balancing act. And it did become easier! Now I’m going to slowly start to integrate other steps of up ups and downs into my new “Equitation Saturdays” where I can improve his top-line and improve our communication through varying the rhythm and increasing and decreasing his trot through my seat.
Note: This added exercising made me a little sore but my boy a lot happier and he’s moving in open fields a lot more controlled and receptive. Next week……poles.