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Video: How To Get The Right Fit On A Horse?
The concept of "rider seating" is often misinterpreted, because what is ultimately important is not the position of the limbs, as is usually believed, but how the rider holds himself in the saddle, maintaining balance; sitting on a horse, relaxing the muscles; knows how to enter the rhythm of the horse's movement.
The correct seating position for someone who has mastered these three elements sits well and beautifully, which in turn allows him to correctly influence the horse. The idea of the so-called classic, ideal fit pushes the novice rider on the path of formal imitation of the “ideal”, which only brings harm.
Different riders sit in the saddle in different ways
You can, of course, learn a lot by looking at others, since any image of the correct fit or its description involuntarily forces beginners to imitate it, then the trainer will be wrong, demanding from a beginner rider to accurately copy such a "classic" position in the saddle. This will inevitably lead to stiffness, which is even worse. Question: "How can a rider learn to sit correctly in the saddle?" - is extremely important. It is not simple and cannot be answered in a few words.
As with the other two questions that beginners so often ask: "Am I sitting right?" and "What mistakes am I still making?" Oddly enough, but each rider must answer the last two questions himself. Only he alone can judge whether he sits correctly in the saddle and whether he has learned to maintain contact with the horse. But all this is provided that the novice rider himself understands what is at stake and what the concepts include: balance, muscle relaxation and entering the rhythm of the horse's movement.
Sitting in the saddle, the rider should not assume an unnatural posture, and the position of his limbs is determined by the type of impact he is going to have on the horse. Therefore, the position of the hands is not so important as the whole complex of possible effects on the horse - with the reins, legs and body of the rider.
The first thing a beginner rider should learn is to maintain balance. He should be able to sit in the saddle, and not cling to the mane in despair, not convulsively squeeze the horse's sides with his legs. The rider's body is always vertically positioned at the deepest point of the saddle on both pelvic bones. It is important to remember, however, that the deepest point is in the middle of the saddle and not moved forward or backward, although this does happen with poorly made saddles, and quite often. The arms and legs have nothing to do with maintaining the equilibrium of the rider, and only when the balance is lost, when the threat of falling to the ground, everyone clings to the horse than he can.
Most likely, the rider can learn to maintain balance by riding the horse at a walk for a while, and then at a calm trot.The less instruction he receives, the easier it is for him to concentrate and learn to maintain balance. If, in addition, a beginner rider comes across a smooth, well-trained horse, then the ability to balance will develop quite quickly. It is important that the beginner first mounts a horse with gentle movements and a calm temperament. At first, you need to ride with stirrups in order to feel completely safe from the very beginning; then there will be confidence because there is no reason to be constrained. If the rider still has difficulties, it is most often because his horse is moving too fast. In this case, it is necessary to take a calmer horse: the calmer the beginner rider feels at the first stage of training, the faster he will gain confidence and learn to maintain balance.
The acquired skill (and it comes after a few lessons) must be consolidated. And for this you need to ride without stirrups, but this should be done gradually so that the novice rider does not lose confidence and does not start clinging to the horse again, otherwise stiffness of movements and uncertainty reappears, which can lead to a fall from the horse. Gradually, the rider learns to ride without stirrups, first a little, and then for an increasingly longer time, and, being in the saddle, will be able to turn and do gymnastic exercises. Thus, he more and more consolidates the skill to maintain balance in the saddle.
The ability to balance in the saddle quickly comes to every novice rider. It will be strengthened due to the fact that the rider learns to control the muscles of the lumbosacral region and the body. And only then will he sit in the saddle at ease and firmly. Here it is necessary to explain what they mean when they talk about controlling the muscles of the lumbosacral region and entering the rhythm of the horse's movement, otherwise the requirements to sit straight or push the body back will lead to stiffness of the rider or he will have a too arched lower back, and maintain balance with such landing is very difficult.
Every rider must first learn how to balance while riding a horse, this is just as necessary as when riding a bicycle. Only by learning to maintain balance, the rider can constantly feel the rhythm of the horse's movement, enter it and influence the horse with the body. (Very useful to ride bareback. Instead, put a saddle blanket and fasten it Troc. So the rider to quickly learn how to accompany fluctuations in the horse's back movement of his spine, finding a single rhythm of movement.)
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If the rider does not have confidence in maintaining balance, then he will never become a master of equestrian sports.
The ability to balance can be considered acquired if the rider, even without stirrups, confidently sits on a horse making a turn or moving in a serpentine, can turn, do gymnastic exercises and talk.
If the rider sits confidently in the saddle, maintaining balance, without interfering with the horse's movements, then a moment will soon come when the horse will try to maintain balance with the rider, react to any of his influences.
Also, a rider who already has some skills should systematically ride without stirrups. If someone does not like this, then he must honestly admit that he is restrained in the saddle and does not know how to maintain balance. Otherwise, riding without stirrups shouldn't feel uncomfortable.
Source: V. Muzeler "Riding School", Translated from German by N. A. Savinkov.
Under the general editorship of Professor I.F.Bobylev. Moscow "Progress" 1980