The Turning Seat… Reconsidered?
I have posted before on the position known as the “ turning seat ” and its necessity for balance and positioning through bends and in turns. The theory, in a nutshell, is that the rider’s hips and shoulders should be parallel to the horse’s hips and shoulders respectively. Prevailing wisdom tells us that, while bending, the horse’s inside hip comes forward and inside shoulder comes back. Therefore, the rider’s inside hip should be positioned slightly forward and inside shoulder should come slightly back (and outside shoulder slightly forward) to match those of the horse. It sounds like a perfectly reasonable theory, and in practice it seems to work. But it may be based on a false assumption. Jean-Claude Racinet (among others, I am sure) makes the point that, when flexed laterally, the horse’s inside shoulder does not come back, but forward! Most assume the horse’s shoulders and hips remain perpendicular to the spine no matter which way it bends. Apparen