How does everyone stay straight and balanced in the middle of the saddle? Especially, once you start working, if the horse isn't going perfectly straight.

Also, is there a way to test if you are properly feeling both seat bones and have equal weight in the stirrups? One leg seems to ride up a bit and doesn't want to relax as well as the other.
I am interested in any suggestions and help!Thanks!

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Hi Susan, After you have taken your stirrups off try this to get your horse going. First sit a little taller in the saddle, then lift your pelvis[ this will help you get start to get your leg longer] push your knees down , left your toes then squeeze with your lower leg. If the horse does'nt go do the whole thing again, this time as you squeeze, tap with the whip or cluck your tounge. If you do it slowly, one movement at a time , you will find over time two things will happen. One, you are straitening yourself up; two, you are teaching your horse to respond to lite aids .Which is going to help with your crookedness ,because you wont be applying a lot of pressure . Your horse will begin to move off from when you sit tall ,if you are consistant in all paces. It realy does work, I hope you will give it a try . let me know how you get on with it . Cheers Geoffrey get
This is a great exercise. I'm going to try it too, because I think it will help me with not collapsing my back.
I need this too- I am always crooked.
Lots of folks gave great suggestion. I have something to add though since I've struggled with this since I started riding (in fact it was extreme and one coach thought I would never learn to ride because of it). So what do I have to add?

Never stop working on it.

All these years later I still work on it every single ride. I have a check list in my mind and straightness is near the top. In fact I break it down. Do I have the same weight on both seatbones? Do I have the same weight in each stirrup? Are my hands even with each other. Do I have the same weight in both hands? Are my shoulders parallel to my horses shoulders?

Also for years now I've been trying to do most things with both hands. I gave up on some like brushing my teeth and writing but most everything else I try to do with both hands.

PS. I'm now showing 3rd level dressage, have trained many young horses and coach so there is hope.
There are a number of ways that you can test to see if you are sitting on both seat bones equally...the first is to softly draw your legs away from the saddle all together. This should place you directly over your seat bones. If you are crooked, you at this point will feel much more of one seat bone than the other. Think of your self sitting ontop of a cross over the saddle, with one seat bone on one side of the longitudinal line... from ears to tail... your seat bones should be on either side of that line... give this a try first... I have more... send me a message if you want more...

www.ruthhoganpoulsen.com
this is from Jane Savoies blog... she has more on her web site www.janesavoie.com her free news letter is GREAT... just sign up for it and FREE information!!!


Regardless of which discipline you ride, it's very important to sit straight and square in the saddle. Can you tell if you're collapsing at your waist and sitting crookedly?

Ask a ground person to stand behind you.
1. Are your shoulders level (i.e. the same height)?
2. Is your seat in the center of the saddle so that each seatbone is the same distance from the middle of the saddle?

If your shoulders aren't level which means that one shoulder is lower than the other, you're collapsed at your waist, your shoulders aren't the same height, and your seat isn't in the middle of the saddle.

Here are 3 simple tips to help you sit straight and square:

Let's say you've collapsed the left side of your waist, your left shoulder is lower, and your seat is off to the right.

1. Bring your right seat bone over and place it on top of an imaginary line that runs down the center of the saddle from the pommel to the cantle. You won't really be on top of that line. You'll just end up sitting in squarely.

2. Stretch your left arm straight up so it passes by your ear and your fingers are pointed straight toward the sky. Feel how that elongates your left side.

3. Now to keep yourself straight and stretching tall as you ride, pretend you have two sticks of equal length between your last rib and your waistband. If you collapse again, you'll get jabbed in the ribs by the stick on the left side. And the stick on the right side will end up on the ground.
Hi guys... Jane savoie and i just finished a dvd series on position issues... getting your self straight in the tack and over the center of your horse is a BIG part of it!! I have posted a clip of some of the ideas in the video on the video page... check it out!! Ruth

Ill be posting another on from the series today or tomorrow... hope you find them helpful...
Ok... you have probably seen the video on the home page!! great... the link to the position is live now at

http://janesavoie.com/programyourposition

but if you still want to get another educational bonus, here is a short segment from one of the CD's!!

Here is a clip from the INTRODUCTORY AUDIO CD. The link is

http://www.ruthhoganpoulsen.com/position-program-4-21-09.html
I once heard that once you figure out which side you tend to lean to, take that stirrup off only. So if you lean on your left more than your right, take that left stirrup away and it's supposed to help you fix it pretty quickly. Never tried it though.

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