Showing posts from September, 2008

Inside vs. Outside: The Weight Debate

Billie from Camera-Obscura asked a great question in response to my previous post, which I thought I’d answer in a separate post. In reference to the turning seat and weighting the inside seat through turns and on circles, she asked: “how does the weighted outside stirrup fit in with what you're describing?” It’s something I didn’t address directly, but is an important point, and one subject to some debate, so I hope others will feel free to bring their opinions and experiences to this discussion. And thanks to billie for bringing it up! My instructors in the past have told me to weight the outside seat/stirrup through a turn, so understanding and applying the theory behind weighting the inside was a bit of a stretch on my part, as it seems contradictory to the aim of keeping the horse balanced; after all, horses always want to fall in on a turn, so weighting the inside should make the problem worse, right? Not necessarily. Most horses, particularly young or de

The Turning Seat

The turning seat , sometimes also called the “bending seat,” is not really an aid in itself, but it positions the seat more effectively in order to give some leg, seat and rein aids involved in bending and some lateral movements. We all know that, ideally, the rider should sit with shoulders level and square, legs down at the girth, and with weight distributed on either side of the saddle evenly. However, this is the ideal position for the halt and for riding straight lines only. It does not apply to turns, bends and some of the lateral movements, which require shifts in the rider’s weight and sometimes also a change in his upper and lower body positions. Technique: The following take place simultaneously: · Inside seat is weighted slightly · Outside seat bone lightens and slides slightly back · Inside leg remains down at girth · Outside leg moves slightly behind the girth (no more than a hand’s width) and remains passive ·