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A “good seat”, that ability to follow the movement of the horse, remaining in balance, centered, directing the horse with the smallest of weight shifts… it is the goal of any rider. 

What really creates a good seat? Is it our posture or movement, our sense of balance?

A good seat is all of these things, it is far more than simply our backside plopped in the saddle. 

Beyond all the tips and tricks and visualizations for how to sit and move on a horse, there is one thing that matters most. It may seem so simple, but I’ve discovered that it is often the most simple answers that can do the most for us. 

Watch the video and learn what matters most for a great seat.

See you in the comments! 




P.S. We have one of our most popular workshops starting Monday, April 5 with Wendy Murdoch, international clinician and instructor, and a very influential mentor on my own riding and teaching.

AND… we decided to do something special today… everyone who signs up for this Free Workshop, and watches and comments on each of the three videos, will be entered for an opportunity to win FREE Enrollment in Wendy’s online course – The Effortless Rider.

CLICK HERE to get signed up!


*We will announce the winner on our Facebook page and through email.


Daily exercises for an immovable seat, steady hands, and a happier horse

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Daily exercises for an immovable seat, steady hands, and a happier horse

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62 Responses

  1. When I pick up the trot I could have a better seat. I tend to brace anticipating a fast pace and find it difficult to soften and allow my body to follow. I will try to remember breathing to see if I can find that softness. Thank you!

  2. This really is a great video – simple, but effective. I’ve been really struggling to just relax as an adult who just started riding in the last two years. My thighs really grip to keep balanced, my legs creep up, and I just get thrown off center, so of course, terrible seat! Even doing this exercise in my chair was really eye opening how I lean and brace against every breath, not to mention what it does to my horse. Appreciate all of your videos, especially the simple ones!

    1. Hope this exercise helps you find more ease next time you are in the saddle Stephanie 🙂

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  3. Thank you as usual. You are an excellent teacher. You say so much with a lovely economy of words.

  4. Love your video as usual Callie. All the steps you spoke about in the beginning are all things I have done and then end up to tense and not breathing . Working on my breath will be a first step from now on.

  5. This is great to know because as a swimmer and meditator breathing comes easily for me. Better to start there than with heels down. Thank you!

    1. Absolutely! Swimming and meditation are great breathing exercises 🙂

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  6. Your soothing manner and style (and voice) make everything sensible and possible. I have issues with sitting the trot, especially with our big Appendix QH who seems very bouncy at a trot.

    1. This exercise is great for horses with bouncy trots Kaye!

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  7. I tend to ride in my reins and tense up and move my lower leg. I will try the breathing exercise to see if that helps. Thank you

  8. Thank you! People tell me to breathe, but I never knew what they meant. You made it clear.

    I struggle most with my seat at a canter…fear being the biggest problem!

    1. Most riders do Gale! Could you practice it at a faster trot?

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  9. Thank you Callie! Loved this reminder to breathe!! I’m usually focused on leg position, shoulders down, centered over my horse, and lastly breathing!! So it’s time to put breathing at the top of the list!

    1. Breathing is something we often will forget to do in the saddle – great to be mindful of all the time!

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  10. that’s good. keeping the thigh on the saddle more has really improved my seat. what is that bridle? it looks really good.

  11. Thank you Callie,your short but informative videos are perfect for a beginner like me, just conquering rising trot in a Spanish saddle and have been focusing just on my legs, will be doing the breathing exercises tomorrow.

  12. Thanks Callie! Excellent reminder to breathe!! I am usually focused on many other things that my riding instructor is telling me to focus on. I love that you are riding in a bitless bridle too!

  13. Does anyone else wear earbuds and have issues with the audio in all of her videos being coming out of only one earbud?

    Only when she’s speaking, the music is evenly distributed to both sides, but her speaking is Always distributed to only one side of the earbuds. Any other video I watch anywhere else is even in sound distribution. It’s only on her videos that I have issues with..

    Just wondering if it can be fixed in future videos by the producers!

    1. Thanks for your feedback Liana, we will pass it onto the video crew and see if we can resolve this!

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  14. I was thinking about very sensitive horses (nervous?) and how relaxed we need to be in the saddle. This is a great reminder that we need to relax tension in our bodies to get the best out of our horses. Many thanks

  15. Great reminder on breathing. Thank you! FYI I have taken the Effortless Rider course and it is wonderful!

    1. Thanks for being a member of the Effortless Rider Course Marilyn 🙂

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  16. Thank you for remind me to breathe.
    I can do this in a good way when the horse is walking or trotting, but I get tensed when I start to canter and during the canter. Do you have a good advice for me to help my horse into a nice canter

    1. Hi Camilla, is it the canter transition or the actually gait that you are having trouble with?

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  17. Thank you. So helpful. And most important of all – easy to remember. So I’ll certainly be using this most useful tip.

    1. Have fun practicing next time you are at the barn Rona!

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  18. Dear Callie, thanks for this. Have been locked down since January so I’m going to concentrate on this for my 1st time back in a few weeks time, hopefully. Gillian, Ireland

    1. Fingers crossed you’ll be back in the saddle soon Gillian 🙂

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  19. Simple and essential, breathe!!! Thank you!

    Tips for maintaining a seat on steep downhill trails?

    1. Hi Jo, when riding extreme downhills it is important to open the hip angle. I would recommend checking out this video we did on opening the hip to get a better understanding of what it actually means 🙂

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

    1. Awareness is the first step to fixing any problem Maryann!

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  20. Thanks Callie! I really like the way you teach!
    I have this problem of pushing my heels down and taking my thighs off of the saddle.
    And so true! I need to remember to breath! (like when I do yoga! :))
    Thanks again for all your great tips!

  21. Thankyou Callie, I am learning to canter now, and feel insecure once again in the saddle.
    I bounce around, and find myself getting rigid, your tips really help my lessons!

    1. Glad Callie’s riding tips are helpful! It sounds like you may be tensing your muscles in the saddle, hard muscle bounces.

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  22. Really helpful. I have a spooky mare so this helps me stay with her when she shies, and I think it makes me feel more relaxed, which helps her too.

    1. This will be perfect for you and your mare Lyz, allowing your muscles to relax will allow you to move more easily with your mare.

      -Julia, HorseClass Support

  23. Great video. I really need to work on this when my new horse is anxious and wants to walk out when on a trail ride. I need to breathe to relax so she can relax.

    1. Give this exercise a try Debbie and let us know how it goes!

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  24. This is a good reminder to include this into my riding when I’m practicing alone. Come back to the walk and be conscious of my breathing as sort of a reset.

    1. Absolutely! Stopping to take a few breaths is always a good way to reset your mind and body.

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  25. thank you again, as always, so helpful, love your vids, so grateful. Hope it’s not raining tomorrow, I need some saddle time.

  26. After my lessons this week, I noticed that I tend to brace when I get nervous, which doesn’t help the boy relax. This is another way for me to focus myself on relaxing, to be able to settle him. Many thanks!

    1. Anthea, bracing causes a lack of stability in the saddle. It will actually allow you to be more confident in the saddle if you think about relaxing your muscles.

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  27. Great video Callie! I can control my body at the walk and trot, but my horse gets rushy at the canter and I feel myself tense up. He would get tense at the trot as well, but I seem to be able to control my body and mind at the trot. It’s a work in progress. I’m aware that if I could let go of all my tension it would go much better.

    1. Hi Darcy, I’d love to have you check out this video we posted several years ago here on the website about tension and how to deal with it in the saddle – think you’ll find some very helpful tips!

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

  28. My mare gets very excited and it takes effort to hold her back and stop her galloping off up the road when hacking alone or in big groups – I relax the reins and she takes advantage. I’m aware I tense when she does this and sometimes end up with back ache because of it. I’m making a conscious effort to relax and breathe deeply. It seemed to work at walk but it’s hard to not tense up when she’s fighting to get away and dancing all over the place.

  29. This video has helped me understand better what I need to adjust to have a better ride. I can very tense in the canter and find that everything I do well trotting goes away. This is due to tensing my upper body and not breathing nor relaxing enough in order to do a decent canter. I will try review this video again before my next ride and apply these techniques. Love this – keep up the great work.

  30. When I try to do something new, I focus so hard on what I’m trying to do that I tend to hold my breath and tense up in my efforts to “do it right”.

    1. That is a very typical response Ruth, try to focus on your breathing and the rest will get easier!

      -Julia, HorseClass Community Manager

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