Balanced Rider Free Workshop - Video 1

Your Best Riding Position

Watch the workshop

VIDEO 1

Your Best Riding Position

VIDEO 2

Step by Step Training for Friendship and Trust

VIDEO 3

Build Riding Confidence at Any Level

Watch the workshop

VIDEO 1

Your Best Riding Position

COMING
APRIL 26

Step by Step Training for Friendship and Trust

COMING
APRIL 28

Build Riding Confidence at Any Level

BRC Enrollment thumb

COMING
May 2

Spring Enrollment Opens May 2

Watch the workshop

VIDEO 1

Your Best Riding Position

VIDEO 2

Step by Step Training for Friendship and Trust

COMING
APRIL 28

Build Riding Confidence at Any Level

BRC Enrollment thumb

COMING
May 2

Spring Enrollment Opens May 2

Watch the workshop

VIDEO 1

Your Best Riding Position

VIDEO 2

Step by Step Training for Friendship and Trust

Video 3

Build Riding Confidence at Any Level

BRC Enrollment thumb

COMING
May 2

Spring Enrollment Opens May 2

Balanced Riding Course Spring Enrollment Now Open!

Now I Would Love to Hear From You!

What would you love to experience in your riding?

​Leave a comment below!

187 Responses

    1. I always had difficulties with my posture: heals up . I tried a lesson with Franklinballs to improve.
      But Iam so glad with your step by step explanation about all the details that are involved; pelvic, shoulders, legposition and breathing to softness.
      After years of ridinglessons this is the first time to hear this. Thankyou so much for your perfect instruction on this subject🙏

    2. Hi, Callie!

      I just watched the video and I think you gave fantastic hints. I will try to use the breathing in my first riding lesson next Thursday. I do Yoga and I know how important breathing is to relax.
      I cannot wait for the next video!

      Thank you so much!

    3. I have seen the workshop-repeat. But I miss the reactions and comments. is it possible to add them because I missed them during the zoom meeting.
      ☺️ thank you so much

    4. I am looking forward to this ! I feel like I have balanced seat but I tend to fall off more often than i think i should…

    5. I have gone back to riding after an absence of over 20 years and it is just like being a complete novice. I remember some skills but my seat is a problem at the moment leaning forward, shoulders forward so these tips are really helpful.

    6. Unfortunately, my horse of 19 years let me know it was time to let him go at age 26. I am actively searching for my next forever partner and don’t want to make the same riding mistakes I did with him. Lack of confidence in my riding and knowledge skills questioning myself to where I get confused not to mention confusing my forever horse, getting out of balance asking him to put me back in balance, which he did… Thank you for this free course! I am learning new things and the things I know are being reinforced.

    7. Hi Callie, like so many other people i really love all your videos and your knowledge and you make it so easy to understand. I took a video of myself riding because I find myself really having to work hard to keep my horse motivated, he has always been hard work and call him my onion because it has literally been a journey of layer by layer, we are finally at the stage in our relationship where he is trying really hard to partner up with me in the saddle but upon looking at my riding stills i appear to have quite a bit of movement in my legs which I thought before watching the video were really still, however in a trot it looks like my legs swing from my hips, my hands look like they are too high and often feel like my arms are too short, I think with all this movement I am causing my body to become stiff and blocking my horse. I am interested in your opinion and what is the best way to stop my legs from being so loud. I don’t think my horse is lazy I believe it is a mind thing and I am causing him to be stuck, Thank you 😊

      1. I really enjoyed watching this as it had been well over 25 years since I last had a lesson so this helped me a lot and I’ll keep practising it on my 2 boys and get better each time. thank you and I’m looking forward to the next video.

    8. Hi Callie, I thank you for your videos. I’m almost 55 and only got into riding 3 years ago, but due to covid etc I didn’t get much work done. Feb 2021 I came of and broke a bone in my back. My confidence is gone, I got back on but still struggle by looking at the ground, looking for obstacles to trip over. My boy is quite lazy at times not picking his feet up. I’m constantly waiting to come off or him to trip up. I so wish to progress. I hope you can help. Sandra.xx

      1. Callie, I meant to say that my horse is quite forward going and wants to trot all the time, he’s an ex hunter. Yesterday I spent most of myntime with him telling him to walk walk walk and found this a strain on me and him.
        Sandra

    9. Hi Callie, this is a fabulous workshop! I really commend you on the very comprehensive content, that is practical & meaningful, delivered with your style that is is honest, candid & straightforward. I’ve always suffered a bit from the chair seat, & then was coaxed to utilise the pelvic tilt to remedy that. Your description of breathing between your back belt area & your chest floated out, is perfect.
      And I very much believe in the premise that riding is part art & part science; that there is no 1 thing that will fix everything!
      I’m also a firm believer in the essential value of building trust, understanding & partnership with our horses. I believe there is no value in being dominant & working towards getting submission. And I have experienced this 1st hand with my horses, who I respect as my loving friends & feel their mutual love & care in all of our interactions. There is nothing so rewarding! Thankyou for sharing! I have now subscribed to your Channel. Best wishes, Benita 🐴🐎🙏

    10. I began riding at 48. I bought a horse, he was my world. We had a wonderful relationship for 11 years. I had to put him down due to lymes disease. Broke my heart. Long story short. I got a new horse, all seemed good. One day he bucked me off, it took me eight months to recover. Since then I have been working hard on regaining my confidence. I believe rebuilding my confidence is my goal, along with learning as much as I can. Thank you very much for offering this workshop. I feel I have learned a great deal in your first video!

    11. Hi Callie! I am an adult rider riding for 8 months. I have a hard time keeping my legs back once I start posting trot. It’s as if the first bounce takes my legs right into a forward position and then my trainer starts telling me to get my feet behind the girth. Any suggestions?? I’m determined to canter before my one year riding anniversary, thanks for all of your amazing instruction!!!

    12. Great workshop! My balance is something that i definitely need to work on. Thank you so much!

    13. Hi Callie,
      I’ve just watched the first workshop on best riding position. I have always been a horse lover and have done trail rides whenever I could. However, it was never an option until recently (six months ago) that I was able to sign up for weekly lessons riding English saddle. I’ve received a lot of comments from friends and family that I shouldn’t be doing this in my fifties but I truly find so much joy. I’ve fallen in love and have just recently started taking lessons twice per week. I related immediately to this first video and it was so helpful to learn the techniques you teach. Though I don’t own my own horse, I hope to one day. At the very least, a full lease. My heart feels light and happy when I’m on a horse. Thank you so much for these workshops! I would love to take your course in the future!

  1. The first video about position is very helpful. My pelvis is tilted so I often am told I’m leaning forward, despite feeling pretty secure. I’m going to do the rein tug test to see if I’m as secure as I think I am! Thanks for always giving us tangible things we can try to improve our riding.

    1. This is such a good test! It will really help you feel a secure position and find which changes make you most secure!

  2. Seat and posture when riding, is something I’ve always had difficulty with. I just don’t know what it should ‘feel’ like. I get a bit wonky in the saddle and use muscles I probably shouldn’t be using! I’m going to try these activities today. I find that the fenders on my saddle seem to make it harder not to sit like I’m in a chair. Keep my leg back is tricky.

    1. Hi Narelle, Finding a good leg position can be more difficult if you are having to “fight” the saddle. Some saddles, especially western saddles are constructed with the fenders too far forward for ideal centered balance. (Not every saddle manufacturer makes a great product unfortunately!) Sometimes the saddle is great, but it just doesn’t fit the rider effectively. In this case, a piece of equipment called the Equiband can be very helpful. This is a stretchy strap that goes from one stirrup to the other, around the back of the saddle.

      1. How can I know which is the best saddle for me? 47 years old, 1,57 meters tall and 70 kg. Important issue, I will have my first class this week. Thank you very much!

        1. There is so much to this question! The right saddle depends on not just your height, but the length of your thigh, the width of your thigh, what activity you are doing, and your budget! I wish I could recommend a specific brand, but it’s just not that easy. However, when you know the basics of good saddle fit, then you can try different saddles and find a great one that fits you well!

      2. Hi Callie, reading comments I’m going to jump in here. In looking up the Equiband it looks like it actually goes around the back of the horse? I’m not sure if I’m looking at the correct item you’re referring to here. Do you have further information or a link possibly? Thank you.

  3. I have a tailbone injury from riding and I often feel unbalanced and full of tension. I look forward to trying this out. Thank you

      1. It’s been about four months. I have decreased the amount that I ride. It’s going to be a long process. I often switch to riding canter in two point which helps.

  4. This was so helpful. I look forward to putting those sitting techniques into action. The breathing and putting the hand on the small of the back, and on the sternum is a good reminder on how to sit properly.

  5. I’ve just started riding again after many years. I was a bit apprehensive, remembering how difficult it felt back then to get into the right riding position while the instructor kept shouting: heels down, back straight etc.
    My instructor now has a similar approach as yours and I feel so much more comfortable and secure in the saddle. Thanks!

  6. So helpful! I cant wait try these out on my TWH. We have been months working on control from the higher gaits and its been hard to control the bounce in my seat when we transition back to the walk – now I think I can zero in on it and correct the issue. Looking forward to the next two myth busting videos!

  7. I have been doing the exercises. Also using yoga to breathe in to the belly. I find maintaining posture/alignment the hardest in the canter transition.

    1. Hi Donna, Do you find you have a tendency to lean forward in the canter transition? This is the most common challenge I see riders having during this transition. In tomorrow’s live clinic I am going to coach one of the riders on this and provide several exercises that may be helpful for you as well!

  8. I understand what you are saying and what I am seeing but I have difficulty actually doing it on my own. I was able to adopt my heart horse. Unfortunately it is going to be a bit before I can ride her. She hasn’t been ridden in a little over a year so I am working on ground manners. I so want to be able to understand her and have her want to be with me as much as I do with her. I an older rider with ortho issues and really want to do this correctly for her sake as well as mine

    1. may I just insert a thumbs up to Kari for her approach; groundwork takes the time it takes. proud of your patience

  9. THANK U CALLIE,AWESOME INFORMATION. I HAVE SCOLIOSIS & IM BUYING A SPOTTED SADDLE HORSE ON THURSDAY WITH A SMOOTH GAIT I HOPE.I MAYBE NEED ALL YOUR ADVICE. 🙂

  10. Oh my, I can’t tell you how many times I have “fixed” my posture by sitting up tall, arching my back, and pulling my shoulders back!! So looking forward to practicing these exercises and also sharing them with my friends!!

  11. Thanks so much Callie for this in-depth look at the “right” riding position. I am very, very grateful for your video and clear, insightful instruction. I laughed at the “trying really hard for good posture” – that’s me!- the over-achiever! I recently discovered that my horse actually “tells me” when I’m trying too hard and have a stiff back – she slows her walk – its like putting the handbrake on the car.

  12. Thank you for the great tips! I’m always over focusing on having the upright position, and then I lose my whole position as the tension in my back shoots my leg forward and puts me into a chair position. Will be making a point of having a hand on my lower back and sternum. Its amazing how we push our shoulder blades together to put our shoulders back, this video explains shoulder back perfectly, now I can work on correcting that tension in my riding. Thank you! Cant wait for the next work shop 🙂

  13. I like your logical explanation and will certainly use the tips.

    I feel that I my seat is not the same every time. It is as if I get it and the next minute it is gone…

    1. Don’t worry Louise! What you are experiencing is a normal part of the learning process – keep building on those moments where it feels really good – you will have more and more of these!

  14. Thank you for this great video. My trainer always tells me that he thinks my legs are tense because I’m pushing my heels down even though I think my leg is relaxed. I can’t wait to try your advice for relaxing the leg and sitting more securely. Unfortunately we have rain in the forecast for the rest of the week so it will be a few days before I can try it.

    1. It is amazing how we can think we are doing one thing while our bodies are doing something different! This is why I love to use exercises in my teaching to create the specific feeling.

  15. Enjoyed the 1st video very much. I have used breathing exercises to relax but not with using my hands, looking forward to try when back in the saddle. Heels down was never my strength but since having broken my leg in 9 places and chattered my ankle that got sorted out by having learned to relax my leg and just put some weight in the heels. I have two well made western saddles and they differ regarding leg position.would be interested to have your view on what I have heard many time, sit on your pockets.

  16. I feel I have made huge progress over the last five years, in regard to building a solid relationship with my horse, improving communication, improving timing, etc.

    While I have numerous areas I still hope to learn, right now I have two things I am really struggling with… two very related things.

    The first is a solid relaxed seat in the canter. I just feel tense, bouncy, and out of balance.

    The second is fear of speed. When moving cattle, there are moments I need just a little extra burst of speed from my horse. My horse is ready and willing, but I hold back out of fear… and we lose control of the cow.

    The fear of speed leads to tension… the tension leads to poor balance… which reinforces the fear of speed…

    I hope this lesson will help.

    I think I tend to lean forward. Then, when I try to compensate I sit back in the chair or try too hard and tense overall.

    1. Hi Joe, you are absolutely spot on in the cycle that can be caused by fear, tension, more fear! Focusing on finding your seat will absolutely be the skill that will help you the most in your work with cattle!

  17. Your advice was very helpful. I am 75 yr old and been riding 16 years. I have knee problems and find it hard to ride very long at a time. Any suggestions ?

    1. Hi Diane, I would first evaluate your position using the exercises I covered in this video. Any excess tension in your leg could add to the discomfort in your knee. Also, perhaps check with your doctor or physical therapist to see if there are additional exercises that could benefit your body depending on the knee issue you have.

  18. well Callie you truly are an inspiration, i had a couple of goes doing the position exercises, had people join in as well as having turns at tugging the reins, it was a good laugh but also very interesting, im on a lesson horse but im sure i will be on board my own boy pretty soon with your help! I cant thank you enough!

    1. This is so exciting Yvonne! That you will be riding your own horse soon!
      Also sounds like a lot of fun with your fellow riders 🙂

  19. Callie,
    Awesome first video. I’m a new rider with about 9 months of lessons and your details about riding position really gives me a much better understanding of how to work to get a better riding position. I can’t wait for the next videos!

  20. Hi Callie, I really loved this and related to your comments. I’m always told heels down, less tension. I’m going to practice everything you suggested tomorrow. Thank you.

  21. Great video! I’ll try some of your suggestions tonight. I missed the live video on Oct 12th. Will it be archived? Thanks!

  22. Great instruction and video -Thank you so much!
    I’m have not ridden in a long time but expect to at least work with horses again, even if not riding. So you are helping to get me mentally back in stride (sorry, couldn’t resist that), and hopefully an asset and not a hindrance to all creatures involved.
    Your videos are a “balm for my soul”.

  23. Loved the visuals of what happens when you pulled the riders forward when they were not balanced. No way do I want to be in that tippy position! Thank you!

  24. Very clear instruction. Like all dressage riders I never felt I was truly balanced while in the saddle. I’m thrilled to give these postures a try. Thank you

  25. Thank you so much for this first video. I was getting a bit tired of the comment/advice, “breathing is important” (yeah yeah, I know……) but this video “visually” taught me how breathing IS important for good posture. Thank you!

  26. Hi Callie,
    Thanks for the informative video.
    Tried out the three positions with my instructor yesterday and sure enough, correct position kept me in the saddle when she pulled the reins! Amazing!

  27. Thank you so much for this info. I have such a hard time sitting a trot/jog because I’m too tense in my seat. I’ve always sat up straight and up on my pelvic bone and not only is is very uncomfortable but I bounce around in the saddle horribly that I give up and post which is also unbalanced. I practiced western for a Heroes on Horses western pleasure class at QH Congress and got so unconfident that I switched to English last minute so I could post and we failed miserably. I’m prepping and learning now to fix this for next year’s class and mostly so I can have a better ride and communication with my horses.

    1. Great to have you here LeAnne! It sounds like this free workshop is coming at the perfect time to help you prep for your upcoming class!

  28. I somehow have “mastered” the chair position and incredibly tight shoulders/upper back. A friend filmed me and I was shocked at how tense I was. I love these tips to do at the start. Breathe work is a go to for me, yet I seem to forget to breath in the saddle! Thank you, Callie!

  29. I would ask why do you buck on the right rein and throw your rider are you hurting are you scared what can I do to help. I’m getting her back checked out on Friday.

    1. Good for you in having her back checked! Physical issues is one of the most commonly over looked causes of behavior problems.

  30. Callie, this was an excellent presentation of – as you put it – “having a conversation with your horse while riding.” (I love that!) It is hard to unlearn old habits. For years, I have been told that my position is all important in getting the horse to do what you want him to do….Chest out, heels down. The #3 “Too Much Tension” was one of my obstacles to overcome. People would tell me I am a good rider; yet, I never felt real secure, and I did bounce. After finding your videos and courses, I followed your instructions about getting soft while riding so I could move WITH the horse. You do a beautiful job to divide fact from fiction, and it was helpful to see you work with Allie. The exercises you gave in this video are great! I also appreciate the reminder that a physical trigger (like the hand resting on your back) gives a mental picture to help think about how it feels and provides an anchor. Thank you for the PDF The Riding Seat… lots of great information there. I cannot tell you HOW MUCH I am enjoying this precursor to the new Balanced Riding Course!!!! I am excited about this new journey through the course!!!!

    1. Thank you Teri! You always soak up so much in each learning opportunity and I can’t wait to have you go through the program again as a Balanced Riding Course alumni!

  31. I find that I tend to sit straight with decent alignment, but I get stiff in my legs. I was taught by gaited trainer to sit in a chair like position for a secure seat. I look forward to trying that test with my son on our next ride. The chair like position does seem to help when working on obstacles and my horse gives a sudden movement. I don’t fall forward or lose my balance.

    1. It would be really interesting for you to try this exercise with someone pulling on the reins and notice where you feel most secure there as well!

  32. Thank you so much and as a novice rider I am all three of these things at least every ride! The exercises are brilliant and I have no doubt these tools will support me having a better, clearer more calm seat.

  33. Very clear explained 😃.

    My problem is that I get into a fetal position when I get nervous.
    So Amy advice on how to relax when I am afraid that my horse might spook?

    Thanks!
    Miranda (from the Netherlands)

    1. Hi Miranda,
      There is a great exercise coming up for you in part 3 of this workshop, coming out tomorrow, that really helps with learning to relax and go with the horse’s movement!

  34. Callie,

    My name is Morgen Farrell and I co-own a horse with my sister, whose name is Boomer. We had also co-owned another one and his name was Bailey. However, we unfortunately lost him a little over 2 years ago in November to a brain anerism that sadly happened overnight. I also school in dressage with my current riding instructor and currently take lessons at Rancho del Lago in Briones, CA. Her name is Jessica Miller. She also teaches jumping and I’ve had one jumping lesson with her so far. Regarding my own horse, I’ve also been starting to ride him and have ridden him 4 times at this point and last time I rode him, I started trotting.

    To answer the question what would I like to experience in my riding, I would just really love to experience translating what I learn in my riding lessons with my current riding instructor to practicing those skills every time I ride my own horse, Boomer. I just always want to continue to improve my riding, even if it’s only a little, every time I ride, whether it’s my own horse or in a riding lesson with my instructor. With my instructor, I’m currently starting to take lessons on Donnevin. So, I think that’s what I’d like to experience.

    I hope you’re being healthy and staying safe, everything considered.

  35. My Peruvian horses are no longer rideable…so in the last month I bought a new horse to ride. Discovered my wintec lite saddle didn’t work on her…she has too much movement and I didn’t feel safe. So am getting a different saddle for her next week. I am sharing this because the whole idea of balance and communication while riding is extremely important to me…I haven’t ridden much in the last couple of years… and hopefully soon I can settle down and start reading, watching and practicing the lessons on my new horse.

    1. Thank you for sharing Eileen, this is a great example of the “big picture” of riding – horse, rider, and tack – balance and good health needed all the way around!

  36. I have to watch the recordings instead of live but I am so thrilled that you are talking about congruency with the horse. They are so tuned into us and if we are not honest with how we are feeling the horse knows and they cannot trust us and will feel and then carry the tension. Better to tell your horse and spend the time with breath and mindfulness. Don’t be afraid to not to do the scary thing that day. Do something to relax both of you.

  37. Serenity, unity, partnership.
    I want to be a good load to be carried: I want to improve our physical well-being and reach peace of mind!

  38. Hi Callie,
    It’s the first time I have a clear explanation about position on a horse. I’ve tried your tips but I forget as I’m riding because I am concetrated on the exercises my teacher tells me to do. But I haven’t forgotten your precious tips. Thank you so much.
    Ann

  39. Love the position reminders—thank you! My At

    Arab and I have established pretty solid balance. My big challenge is our very DOMINANT quarter horse mare. I’m tense in the saddle because of ground work issues she rears, turns, and kicks on the ground (in close proximity to me). Do you have training videos that might be helpful?

    1. Hi Sandy, thank you for your comment! I would love to help you and your horse and will need more information before I can recommend anything specific, send me an email at [email protected], and also be sure to watch the next video that is coming up in this workshop!

  40. Thank you Callie for the demonstrations. I ride both English and Western, and have hip arthritis, so the posture is very important, but it helps to see everything demonstrated with the rider and/or the skeleton (I love your plastic pelvis model!) Your Horse Class really helps me with so many questions and practices. I ride many different horses, so this can be a confidence drifter,so I need to get to know each horse as well.

    1. That’s great that you ride many different horses! The basics really are the same for any horse!

  41. Thank you for this! I took many years off from riding and am now getting back into it. I find that my leg is the hardest to get into position (floating too far forward), and hadn’t occurred to me to slide it back from the hip, rather than the knee, until I watched this. One other question I have is when you refer to “your horse” does this mean one’s own personal horse, or any horse we ride? I don’t have my own horse and so ride school horses during lessons. I wonder about the human-horse bond and how much this is a factor in communicating with a horse that doesn’t know me as well, or has many other riders. Thank you!

    1. When I say “your horse” I am just referring to the horse you are riding. Thanks for your question!

  42. I enjoyed watching the video and am looking forward to trying the seat exercises! What I would like to accomplish is having a good riding connection with my horse. She is lovely on the ground, but she tends to get nervous sometimes when we ride and just wants to go, she can’t seem to just relax and walk. Maybe my softer seat will help!

  43. Greetings from the UK! Truly the land of the horse. I live in London and am fulfilling a dream of learning to ride properly at the ripe old age of 69! You’re all going to think I’m crazy, but I want to learn to ride side-saddle, and boy! – do you need a secure seat for that!
    I had my first ever riding lesson on Oct 18 last year, and am now cantering, but tend to be too far forward. This first video may well really help – can’t wait to try in my lesson on Friday. I ride school horses, and doubt I will ever own my horse, so being able to connect well will really help!
    Love the Horse Class Vids, Callie! Been following you for awhile. Really excited to be on this crazy adventure!

  44. This was a lovely lesson showing very useful ways to improve and stabalise my seat. I’ve seen a few of them before but its always helpful to have it set out so clearly. My instructor just has to say shoulders and somehow that is the cue for me to correct my pelvis and improve my seat. it is also remarkable how incredibly well my very sensitive Friesian immediately slows down and becomes more responsive.

    1. Yes! It is great to connect movement to a given instruction, that phrase can then serve as a trigger or reminder.

  45. Thank you… your work is always so positive and helpful. You have already given me some tips for my students and me too, in Video 1. again, thank you.💕🐴👍😊

  46. Iv just brought myself a Cob shes a bit green in school but iv rode her twice and feel talking to her as she was a ride and drive horse that my breathing is better as she responds well to you taking to her. Before on lessons with other Cobs iv felt a nervous unease about how I sit in the saddle because of this then found myself out of breath very quickly. That’s just transitioning from walk to trot. I’m really hoping as iv found my own to being so responsive to talking and my breathing is better more relaxed that with the additional lesson 1 on myths etc from you that I will be able to now focus on your tips alongside. Can’t wait to try. Xx

    1. Congratulations on your new horse, that’s so exciting! Let me know how it goes when you try these new ideas!

  47. Thank you so much for showing both English and Western!! I can’t wait to try all of this. I could relate to all of the positions while trying to get the right position. I’m still so confused about what your legs should be doing. I’ve heard everything from wrapping them around the horse to keeping the lower leg completely off the horse…im so confused about this.

  48. I am using the breath into your back & feel like my seat bones sit deeper & my weight seems to shift back. I feel more secure but am I supposed to get off my pubic bones & sit on the two seat bones on the pelvis? Am I doing it correctly? Is there such a thing that I am siting TOO HEAVY in the saddle.
    Also I LOVE LOVE the counting breathing:
    at walk 1,2,3,4 inhale 1,2,3,4 exhale makes a HUGE difference in feeling secure inn seat.

    1. Hi JoAnn, the contact you will feel in your public bone versus seat bones depends on your saddle, so I am not able to answer that one directly. However, yes, almost always when students do this exercise the back of the pelvis shifts back. This is where the next exercise, floating out with your sternum, then serves to organize the upper body, so that you are not over-slumped in the saddle.
      Glad you are enjoying the breathing exercise!

  49. Callie,
    I’m wondering what you think of riding with a bareback pad. In all my lifelong lessons the seat was my biffest struggle and as you show, i was instructed so many different ways that in the end i got so confused in my head i just could get comfortable. then i rode for a bit with a bareback pad because i was finally able to “feel” it instead of think it and i felt like my seat in the saddle has been so much better.

    What do you think about that?

    1. Yes, riding in a bareback pad can be very helpful. Riding for long periods bareback or with a pad is typically not very comfortable for the horse, especially for long periods at walk. But for fun and for developing balance, it is an excellent exercise!

  50. Hi Laura, thank you for your comment! What you feel in your lower leg depends on your conformation and how you fit your horse. Someone with a short lower leg on a wide horse will feel very different contact than someone with a long leg on a pony.
    This is one reason why riding instruction often gets confusing. I will walk you through more exercises step by step to feel this leg position for YOU in the course, but the concept is your leg needs to hang so that your ankle is under your hip – with your weight in the stirrup, but not bracing or pushing.

  51. comfortable non bouncy seat; confident trotting to galloping; trail riding for hours; run barrels with my boy for fun; cut cows with him – course is great so far. Do you allow people & their horses come to you for training? Would you travel down the east coast to Virginia for a training weekend?

    1. Hi Scott, thank you for your comment and being a part of the workshop! Yes, we do host clinics and private intensives here at the farm in Pa – we would love to have you visit!
      Unfortunately I do not travel for clinics though. I love your goals – enjoying many different riding disciplines has been my passion as well!

  52. I am a beginner and want to learn correctly. I don’t want to develop bad habits that I have to correct.

  53. This was such a helpful video! I worked on being centered and stable using the exercises you demonstrated.
    I had my husband do the rein pull while I was seated. It was amazing how being off balance makes it so easy to pull you out of your position.

    1. Hi Stephanie, I am so glad you did this rein test! Creating the feeling is so important for the learning. It is why I always give exercises when I teach so you can have that experience 🙂

  54. Callie, thank you for these amazing videos. Unfortunately I do not have a video to share. I’m new to the horse world. I started taking lessons about 4 months ago and was getting very discouraged. I can not keep my heels down without pressing them down which of course puts even more tension in my legs and probably explains why the horse is always stopping. I’ve realized I hold tension from head-to-toe, but I have great posture. LOL. I’ve stopped taking lessons for now and I’m focusing on bonding with my neighbors horses as I do not own a horse yet. Her horses are amazing and I’ve actually ridden her Arabian bareback in the round pen. I was totally relaxed, and getting into rhythm with her movements. The Arabian has been trained to feel the lightest touch so I don’t have to stress about kicking in the right spot. She hasn’t been trained to stand for the mounting block so I was able to incorporate your teaching in the last video and got her use to the mounting block and off we went. It was great. I actually rode about 5-6 strides of the trot bareback. I’m learning so much from your videos; finding my seat, learning to relax, recognizing my fear and adjusting as needed. I’ve realized, for me, implementing these things seems easier without a saddle. Of course it helps to have such an amazing horse. I look forward to more of your instruction and I’m hoping before long I’ll have a horse of my own. Thank you.

    1. Hi Pam, thank you so much for joining in here for this workshop! Taking the time to just hang with horses is time well spent! That is still one of my favorite things to do with my own horses.
      Also sounds like you had a great ride lately on the Arab too!
      Good to have you here 🙂

  55. I didn’t sign up for anything where is the lessons 

    I have done horse riding before but not since I was a kid but I still remember how to ride confidently 

    I only stop going as my disabled horse riding school stop doing actual lessons and just rides with the horse.

    I love horse riding and I miss it

    From Charlotte 

  56. could you please show how to put the extra rings on the Dr Cook Beta bitless bridle again?
    do I understand correctly this will help with the rein release delay?

    thanks bunches!

  57. Hello Callie,

    I’ve had around a dozen group lessons and I’m loving it but I can’t get secure in the saddle for a trot. I’m 5 feet tall. I tried to measure my length dividing between head to hip and hip to heel and it’s almost 30 inches top and 30 bottom. I will use as many of your suggestions at my next lesson to get my body aligned correctly, but I did want to ask if because of my short legs, should I do anything else?

    1. Hi Amelia, the same principles for the alignment of your legs applies with short legs – your ankle under your hip, and joints soft. One thing to be aware of is that with short legs you will typically have more contact with your calf on the saddle or the side of the horse. You don’t want to try to “wrap” your legs around the horse, but allow them to hang and feel the contact where they hang.

  58. Great video. Thank you.
    You mentioned that a rider with shorter arms (& in my case; a longer torso as well) that keeping the hands at the withers could be detrimental. As I do seem to have trouble with my hands/arms I was wondering if you could address this issue & give some suggestions for riders with similar physical conformations.
    Thank you.

  59. I love these videos. I’m brining my 22 year old Canadian home to our property. He reluctantly does ring work but loves trails. So that is where we are heading.

  60. Hello Callie,

    I am very happy that you are offering this course. I rode a little as a kid but life happened. Recently I purchased a small farm and thought it would be nice to have a few horses. A friend of mine (who stables horses and teaches dressage) said to me “why don’t you learn to ride”. And I thought… oh, that is probably a good idea!

    So, I have been taking lessons from a dressage trainer now for a few months. I am learning on a great 26 year old Trakenher mare that is very patient. I think I’ve gone through a pretty standard sequence of events…
    (keeping my feet in the stirrups, getting the horse to listen to leg motions, balancing in the seat, etc.)

    I have actually come farther in the time frame than I expected. I would say I have found balance in the posting and seated trot about 75% of the time. But then I lose it. I find that I put a lot more pressure on the right leg than my left. I am trying to not “list” but I think this is a big problem. During the last 2 lessons, we cantered on a lunge line. It was AMAZING! However, I was only able to be balanced for a short time during each canter. I leave myself open to the centrifical motion of going in a circle.

    The tips you are giving here make very good sense. Previously, I’d been told to act as though I was being held from an imaginary string, which didn’t help me because that would me I’d be letting the string do all the work… Things I’ve been trying to do between training sessions is strengthen my legs and core, posture and now I will add breathing exercises.

    Thank you soooo much for all your great advice!

  61. Hi Allison, this sounds like an amazing journey of getting your own farm and learning to ride! I am so happy you are here in the workshop and finding this information valuable! More to come 🙂

  62. Hello Callie!
    Thank you so much for your videoes! I have found them really helpfull in my restart into riding again in the age of 40. I did a lot of riding in my younger days, when I had no fear and felt like I owned the world.
    I have now bought my own horse a few months ago, a norwegian trotter, and I have really been having a hard time relaxing in the saddle. But after watching many of your videoes on youtube and signing up for the “better riding in 7 days” course, I have been able to relax much more when riding. I am really looking forward to following these next videoes to learn how to be a balanced and secure rider and giving my horse the best version of me as possible.

    Thank you so much all the way from the northern Norway!

  63. Hello Callie!
    Thank you so much for this workshop. You are such an excellent teacher!
    I am 63 and got my 1st riding lessons at about 55 and hated being yelled at about lowering my heels, putting my shoulders back, etc.
    What you teach is very valuable and I am looking forward to try it. I sent the link of the workshop to a friend of mine hoping that we will work this together.
    Thanks again!
    From Quebec Province, Canada

    1. Hi Josee, glad you are able to learn here in a different way than the old “shoulders back and heels down!”

      There is so much more to riding 🙂

  64. very informative!! cant wait to try!! I have always been told I have a beautiful
    seat, but I dont feel secure at all!! I
    think I can figure out what I am doing
    wrong by this video!! Thank you!!

    1. Aw, yes! Many riders are told this as we are taught to ride to a certain “look” without the function on effectiveness. Let me know how your next rides are after watching this!

  65. Thank you for those informations! I am tired to do not have the good position to have fun and feel secured, I Will try it in my next visit to the barn! When you ´re riding, our body is moving so you have to «  refit » often on the horse? This is all the thing here!

    1. Hi Helene, thank you for your comment. If I understood the question correctly, no, you should not have to continually re-adjust on the horse, the movement happens through this alignment. However, in the beginning, as you are learning and changing old habits it is very normal to need to readjust often as you catch yourself going back to old ways of sitting or moving.

  66. Honestly I really enjoyed watching that video, it’s nice to have a proper topical session that doesn’t waiver and answers the questions as they appear in your mind. Good refreshing and well backed information

    1. Glad you enjoyed this Lisa! Having taught many lessons, I do anticipate the questions in the student 🙂

  67. Hello, I just finished the first video and am looking forward to trying your methods for my seat (I tend to lean forward).
    I am 74 and not a very coordinated person I do tend to ride more with my hands instead of my seat. I have had my horse(s) for a long time so I think they learn how I ride. Haha
    looking forward to your next video.

  68. Hi Kelly 🙂 you are so kind and generous to provide this information. You are truly making the world a better place for humans and horses! I find that when I am doing these exercises, everything goes well at the walk, but the minute I move into the trot, then everything changes. We don’t have any mirrors in our arena so I can’t check myself. My horse definitely tells me I am doing all three of these problems… I guess years of poor riding habits feel natural when in fact they need to be improved. Suggestions on how to make sure you’re keeping proper alignment and relaxation when moving into faster gaits?

  69. I ride western and look forward to trying the things you showed to change my seat. I look forward to being able to relax more in my seat.

  70. Hi, Callie, thank you, once again for this video and the handy helps with position…. really clear, user friendly advice….love your methods and have been using your book with great success. thank you💕🐴

  71. I love your balance course, but my issue is that I will have to train myself alot of things because I have alot of tension. I’m so tense when I ride I’m sure my mare feels it as well. One of my problems are my toes always want to turn in and my knees ache. I alway sit up in the saddle as straight as a board and I’m quite sore the next day after even riding for a short period. I will try and practice what I watch in the video but I’ve been taught this since I started riding at 4yrs old and I’m 67 now so this will take a bit I’m sure. I’m also a nervous rider now after my horse and I were put in a ditch.I would love to road ride again do to the fact that no one around me rides horses but my mare is afraid of cars now and I’m afraid of this happening so I’ve only been able to ride around my 3.4 acre yard. I’m losing interest fast but don’t want to give up I love my mare and would love some advice please. I love everything about you and your lessons. Thank you so much.

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