I’m trying to keep them quick fire and succinct with links to other blogs that might help you and to give you a quick nudge and provoke a thought before you ride. I really think there will be something for everyone.
Self-Assessment Question #2 : Are you in balance?
Can you let go of the reins and ride without reliance on your hand? If you can’t you may need to go back to basics which means checking your riding position.
Find Your Centre of Gravity
To find if you are truly over the centre of gravity whilst the horse is moving, means verifying that your legs are in the correct position. To do this lift your bottom out of the saddle and go into ‘half seat’ (at least).
However, in order to check absolute alignment (and slightly more difficult to do) is the ability to stand up straight, with an upright back. Do this from your seated position without gripping with your legs or using the reins to keep your balance.
If you find that you tip forwards or fall backwards, or if you find that you need to move your legs in order to stand up independently, then your legs were not in the correct position when you started.
To align your position ensure that you move your legs from the hip-joint so that your weight is re-distributed properly in the centre of the saddle. Only moving the lower leg back from the knee will be your automatic response; largely because this is the easy option. Unfortunately, this will not put you over the centre of gravity.
When one of my readers tried the standing up check, she wrote back surprised at how easy it was. That was until I reminded her that the upper body should be upright – Ahh! not so easy. Next time she wrote she asked if it was even possible!
Here’s a couple of previous posts that you might want to dive into to help you understand balance …
Everything I post has the word balance in it somewhere. Ensuring you are ‘in balance’ with the horse whilst he is constantly changing his centre of gravity takes time to learn. How many of us are aware that the aids given with the legs can affect the upper body. Notice whether you are collapsing in the upper body with the effort of the leg aids. Read full post HERE
In the British Dressage Rulebook the subject of position is entitled ‘The position and aids of the athlete’ – very apt. If you do not already think of yourself as an athlete, you really should. In this post you will find all you need to check your alignment and position to establish if you are ‘in balance’. Read full post HERE