When riding, the seat is essential for correct and harmonious riding. If the rider does not sit properly, the rest of the movement cannot function well. As a rider, you have been fine-tuning your rider’s seat, especially at the beginning. Beginners in particular practice on the lunge until their seat makes a good and safe impression – above all, regardless of reins. But even if you ride safely, the rider’s seat should be checked and improved again and again. The following (stretching) exercises or measures can support you in this.
Some riders tend to use their knees for more support. They press their knees against the horse, which usually causes them to slide upwards, as do their heels. To avoid this, you can try to flex your hips so that you can sit more on your buttocks again. For this exercise, sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together. Now carefully push your knees down until you can clearly feel the stretch and hold it for about 10 to 20 seconds, later longer. Make sure to keep your back straight and sit up straight. This exercise loosens your hips and stretches the inside of your thighs.
If you find it difficult to maintain an upright seat, you can practice sitting more consciously on the seat bones. To do this, sit down on the floor again, but stretch your legs forward next to each other. Now straighten your feet by pulling the tips of your toes towards you. Likewise, straighten your back. Sitting straight is quite exhausting, but an optimal exercise for a correct rider seat on the horse.
Especially riders who sit a lot have the problem that it is difficult for them to sit upright because their groin area is too tight and there may be a lack of back and abdominal muscles. The following exercise can help to stretch the groin and thereby make the pelvis more flexible: Take a deep lunge, then place your knee on the floor. The raised leg remains at a right angle as you get into the stretch. Now make sure to keep your hips straight and then tense your stomach. Do the exercise on both sides.
Immediate Help for the Right Rider’s Seat
There are special terms for some incorrect postures, such as the chair seat or the split seat. With a chair seat you can easily visualize the problem because, as the name suggests, the rider sits similar to a chair. The heels are not below the hips, but in front of them, so that the rider sits too far back on the bottom. This problem can be corrected as first aid by using longer stirrups.
This can also be done with the split seat because here the rider sits more on his thighs instead of his buttocks. This puts the whole rider in a wrong posture. A hollow back, heels that are too high and a sloping upper body are the result. To prevent this from happening, the stirrups can be shortened.
A seat that is tilted to one side can cause one-sided stress on the horse’s back. In order to compensate for this, the horse will adopt a relieving posture over time. This causes the horse’s back to being crooked. Here it is important to find the cause. Is the rider generally “crooked”, are only the stirrups of different lengths, or does the horse have a crooked back? It is advisable to consult an osteopath here. To correct a buckled seat, additional exercises can help to consciously straighten the hips and strengthen the core muscles.
Fitness for the Rider’s Seat
Sitting actively upright can be exhausting. A body tension must be maintained over a longer period of time in order to sit correctly. If there is a lack of muscles or stamina, it is easy to collapse and no longer pay attention to a straight hip, an upright back, calm legs, or avoiding a hollow back. Has it happened to you that at the beginning of a riding lesson you paid close attention to everything, you sat well and things got a little worse at the end of the training?
In addition to horse riding, it is recommended to do cardio training (such as jogging or swimming) and regular strength exercises for strong core muscles.