Behind the Motion
There is trouble brewing if you are leaning behind the motion. When you are behind the center of balance, you are more likely to get left behind and fall off backward if your horse makes a sudden move. Have someone watch you ride or look at yourself in photos or a video to check your body alignment. This problem originates in the pelvis. The pelvis is tilted back, thus allowing the upper body also to lean back. Men often exhibit this riding fault. This posture does not allow you to remain in balance with the horse because your seat bones are not centered over the horse’s back in an upright manner. When your upper torso leans behind the motion as well, the problem is further exacerbated (Illus. 32).
Finding the best spot — Lean far forward, then lean far back. Once you have felt the extremes, ask a helper to assist you in finding the middle balance point over the horse by telling you when you are in the correct position. Remember that your seat bones should have contact. Think about what your seat bones feel like when you have achieved the correct position so you can find this position again through feel (Illus. 33).
Read Part 1 (Sticking to Your Horse with a Deep Seat) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 2 (Deep Seat versus Light Seat) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 3 (Deep Seat Problem and Solution) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 4 (Arched Back — Problems and Solutions) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 5 (Torso Leaning Forward — Collapsed Chest) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 6 (Rounded Shoulders, Collapsed Chest) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 7 (Knees and Heels Creeping Up) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 8 (Toes and Knees Turned Out) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 9 (Gripping with Knees) in the "Deep Seat" series
Debbie Sams teaches English and Western riding with an emphasis on dressage. At her Springer's Stables in Broadalbin, New York, she also teaches drill team and vaulting. Her farm gives pony parties and holds horse camps for scouts and local community college and elementary school youth programs, as well as for the Sacandaga Bible Conference and Retreat Center. Debbie has been teaching drama and drill team on horseback since 1979; in 1985 she became a Certified Horsemanship Association Instructor. She is the author of 101 Drill Team Exercises and has also put her horse knowledge to work in writing for such publications as Practical Horseman, Equus, and the Northeast Horseman’s Journal.