Finding the correct saddle position on your horse can take a lot of practice until you get it right. Not sitting properly or having poor posture can make your horse feel nervous and can cause damage to your muscles which may prevent you from riding for weeks. Luckily here at Waterman's Country Supplies we have put together a simple 5 step guide to achieving the perfect saddle position helping to improve your skill as a competent rider.
1) Sit Square
The first step once you are up on the horse is to find your balance. Make sure that if this is your first time on a horse to have someone steady the horse until your are comfortable. Sit square on the saddle with your pelvis at the centre of the seat and your legs hanging loosely on either side. This helps the horse feel more comfortable and understand the signals that you will be giving him later.
Place your feet in the stirrups resting the widest part of your foot on the bar lightly. Your toes should point outwards slightly in the same direction as your knees. Check your position to make sure that your toes don't start to point in. If any adjustment is needed with the stirrups get someone to do these for you whilst you are still on the horse.
3) Sit Tall
Sit up straight in the saddle making yourself tall. Roll your shoulders back and look past the horse's ears. Looking down can damage your neck and make you feel slightly uncomfortable which will spook the horse. Make sure that you stay relaxed through this and understand that it will take several attempts until your muscles adjust to this form.
Hold the reins at about a 30 degree angle with a relaxed grip. The rein that controls the bit should be coming out past the little finger and the loose rein should be placed in between your thumb and forefinger. Don't stiffen or grip too hard on the reins as this will start sending signals to the horse.
Whether you are nervous or not, remember to breathe throughout this entire process and stay relaxed. This will help your posture seem more comfortable and send positive signals to the horse making him aware that you know what you are doing.
And there it is. 5 simple steps to the perfect saddle position making you feel more confident and in control of your horse.