Training

Maintain Balance in the Saddle

Whether you ride western or English, better balance will improve your ride.

AQHA Professional Horsewoman Lynn Salvatori Palm explains that many riders exhibit "an overall stiffness," which decreases their effective communication with their horses because they can't truly synchronize with their horses' motion.

Leaning forward and looking down also deter riders from having a great ride.

Maintaining balance is one of your most important responsibilities on the back of a horse.

Once you get into good balance, you have to keep practicing to maintain it, Lynn says. You have to keep yourself in good shape and continually assess yourself, no matter how advanced a rider you are. She suggests having someone take pictures of you while you're riding.

Find Your Ideal Seat Position

Lynn explains a great way to learn how to feel when your seat bones are positioned correctly:

"Sit on a hard-bottomed chair, with your feet in front of you. If you tilt forward with the upper body (with an arched back), you'll feel yourself sit on your crotch. If you sit (correctly) straight up and down, you should feel the points of your two seat bones, the bottom of your pelvis. If you lean back (with a rounded back), then you're sitting on your tailbone."