SIDE SADDLE 2: SITTING PRETTY

A lot has been written over the years about the ‘balanced seat’. It is so important to sit correctly whilst riding side saddle.

Even if you do not ride you can try this simple exercise just by sitting on an upright dining chair. Sit on the chair with your legs just outside each leg. Do not lean back into the back of the chair, simply sit up nice, tall and straight, looking straight ahead.

Think about your seat bones and the weight that should be evenly distributed across them both. Now, without moving any of that weight, move your right leg over to the left-hand side without twisting to the left, or shifting any weight off that right seat bone. Not easy is it?

It is imperative to keep the weight evenly distributed whilst riding the horse, otherwise this will have a detrimental affect on the horse and in turn it’s back and may cause long term, if not permanent problems, including disobedience and a reluctance to move forwards correctly. Your hips should be square and your spine in alignment at right angles to the horse’s.

This is what is called the ‘balanced seat’, no different to riding astride really, although you will feel a lot more secure aside, once you have perfected the issue of balance.

My next side saddle blog will be on attire, what to wear and when, along with some finer points and tips on correct turn out, for both the hunting field and show ring.

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Photograph courtesy of White Feather Photography. Www.whitefeatherphotography.co.uk

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