Do you ever feel as though you just cant get with the movement of your horse? Like you are just bouncing around in the saddle?
It may sound like a question for new riders, but even seasoned riders experience this feeling – perhaps in a transition, through a lead change, or on a different horse with a lot more impulsion!
I find that “bouncing” in the saddle, in all gaits, is most often caused by two things…
The first is a rider’s body being out of alignment or balance. If a rider leans forward with their upper body, they are no longer balanced over the horse’s center of mass and can easily get jarred. The same is true for a rider sitting too far back with a slumped posture.
Good alignment of our body is important for balance (our center of mass over the horse’s center of mass) as well as for movement.
The main points of good alignment are: a flat back, open chest, feet under center, hip, knee, and ankle joints soft, upper arm hanging, and wrist straight.
When we feel out of balance, we tighten up in an attempt to hold ourselves on. This creates tension, the second big factor in “bouncing.”
Too much tension in any part of our body, and we can longer move freely and make those adjustments to our posture to effectively stay with a moving horse.
Tension also creates tight, hard muscles, and hard muscle bounces!
In this week’s video, I demonstrate how too much tension, whether from pushing into my heel, gripping with my knee, or pulling my shoulders back can quickly turn good movement into bouncing!
After watching this video, Click Here for specific exercises to help you ride with less tension.