Improve Riders Position
The rider must influence the horse effectively with clear communication from the saddle. When the horse does not perform correctly, the origin of the problem is almost always with the riders postion. Therefore it is important to understand the correct position and how to fix any misalignment. The rider’s postion should also make the timing and coordination of the aids easy and harmonious with the movement of the horse. Some common faults are:
The arms are too straight which results in a loss of flexibility in the elbow joint.
The elbows fall behind the riders back, or the reins are too long resulting in the loss of flexibility in the shoulder.
The shoulders are raised and pushed forward resulting in the loss of flexibility in the shoulder joint.
The elbows are sticking out causing loss of flexibility in elbow and shoulder joints.
The head is pushed forward losing alignment with the spine.
The waist is weak and wobbly creating loss of straightness in the back, as well as overall strength in the vertical postion.
Gripping of the knee causing loss of flexibility in the hip and knee joints.
The lower legs are too far back causing loss of balance and flexibility in the hip and knee joints.
The toes of the inside foot are pressed down against the iron and the heel raised, to give more strength to the leg aid and allow the use of the spur causing loss of flexibility in the knee and ankle as well as losing the lateral postion in the saddle.
The outside of the foot is lower than the inside, the ankle bulging outward causing loss of flexibility in the hip, knee and ankle joints.
By now it is clear that the riders position in relaxation and alignment is critical to effective communication with the horse. Check your position the next time you ride and learn to experience when you are out of balance or out of alignmnet. Without a doubt, your horse will perform more effectively when you correct your position.