The Seat
Chapter I

    It goes without saying that the rider's seat is the foundation for the proper development of any riding style or type. Though almost everybody in the riding world is aware of that fact, most of the time it is only something to talk about. Unfortunately in this day and age the practical implementation and teaching of a correct seat is being for the most part ignored by most riding teachers, as well as their pupils. The problem basically lays in the fact that the riding itself today is primarily part of the entertainment industry and is no longer a necessity to our daily lives, nor it is part of the military. The young people (children) and the adult new-comers attracted to riding, as well as to the appearance of it, want to see some immediate results without putting out any extreme effort and without dealing with the physical pain that comes with the correct development of the seat. 

This picture demonstrate the riders inability to sit straight in the deep seat, leaning backward, inconsistent with the motion forward.

    The correct education of the seat is commonly skipped by the riding teachers, because they either do not know it, or because they fear that the pupils would leave and go elsewhere to a teacher who will tickle their ears, emphasizing how well they are doing etc. The riding teacher, whose livelihood depends on the number of students, must provide the type of education that sells and not the one that would be rejected by most new comers to the riding sport. Such a "nice" teacher will usually produce the required results, and have the child in the show circle the same year he/she started to learn how to ride. This has been going on for the last several decades and as a testimony to that fact stand all those top riders of the world who for the most part cannot sit in horses. The wide spread of the incorrect seat leads to incorrect riding which in today's world is responsible for most of the horse abuse and lame horses. 
    Bearing the testimony to the week seat development is the so-called "forward seat" in which case the rider neither stands in the irons nor he is sitting in the saddle. When I was a young riding pupil we used to make a fun of such seat and called it the s seat, because such seat is often seen by all green riders when something goes wrong. Most green riders will take a similar position of the "forward seat" when ever they get afraid of falling off the horse, when they lose control of their horse etc. 


A typical incorrect "hunt seat".

     The forward seat may have practical uses in various styles of riding and disciplines, however it is not a genuine seat since the rider is only partially sitting on the horse. Therefore it is incorrect to teach it as the initial seat for riding horses, instead of the correct "deep" seat. The development of correct deep seat is the foundation for all styles of riding, whether in dressage, jumping, racing, Western or English style riding etc. Our articles will demonstrate the importance of the correct seat and it's implementation in all types of riding styles.

    It is important to understand, that the proper development of the rider's seat is not only painful, but the entire future of the rider depends on it. Once when the incorrect seat develops by the new rider it becomes very hard, if not impossible, to correct it. 

     When I used to "teach" riding, I have always preferred a pupil that has never been on a horse before, rather than a person who has had some experience. The more experience the people had, the more it became obvious to me that they will never learn to sit in the horse. This is one of the main reasons why I have quit "teaching" riding, as I am sure that any builder would refuse to build a house on a faulty foundation or a cleaning service NYC that would be willing to clean without any cleaning supplies. So, if you have ridden horses for several years (more likely incorrectly) the chances are that you will never learn how and that your style of riding will remain the same till the day you die, unless you forget everything and start from the scratch, so to speak. If you are a new rider or a teacher of riding you may benefit by our articles published on this site. This site is not here to please anyone, but it is here to preserve the truth about riding and horses.

Written by Ludvik K Stanek a.k.a Lee Stanek