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Buying a horse property might be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make -
Understanding why horses behave they way they do is the key to having a better relationship with your horse. For their sake and yours, don’t make assumptions about horse behaviour, get the facts.
I wish this book had been out when I bought my first horse property, it would have saved me a lot of anguish. I love the check list and I am using it as we look for our next property. Vicky, Texas, USA
This book has brought up so many points that I just would not have thought about if I had not read it. Thanks a million! Bob, Nottingham, UK
So many great pictures and such a straightforward way of explaining how to work out what is important, and what is not. Kirsty, Geelong, Australia
This book covers all of the important things about horse behaviour and the information comes from correct scientific sources. Mel, Brisbane, Australia
I now have a far better understanding of my horse whereas before I used to think my horse was behaving a certain way on purpose. Sarah, Devon, UK
Fun to read, great pictures, thanks Jane for making this subject so easy to understand. Pip, NZ
Oct 2015 to June 2016
Australia inc. QLD, NSW and VIC (maybe TAS too). Lots of Healthy Land, Healthy Pasture, Healthy Horses talks and some HRM riding clinics scheduled.
June 2016 to Oct 2016
Mainly UK, France and possibly other European destinations.
Oct 2016 to June 2017
The Workshops and Clinics page of our Equiculture website is a good place to find out what we are doing and when.
You can access full a list of our Facebook pages on the contact us page.
Learn how to improve your balance so that you feel more secure when riding. This book is the second in this series and it shows you how to increase your balance. It contains 18 lessons for you to follow in your own time.
Learn how to improve your own position so that you ride to the best of your ability. This book is a step by step guide to correcting your own position so that you ride as straight as possible. Your horse will thank you for it!
What a simple way to improve balance, I now teach this method to all of my students, from beginners to advanced. Fiona, Toronto, Canada
I am now much closer to achieving a truly ‘independent seat’. Feeling secure and confident. Bring on the next book! Megan, Cambridge, UK
This book is very easy to follow and has saved me money. My own instructor is great but she does not cover these fundamental basics. Thank you Jane for making it so easy to improve my riding, Jan. Kent, UK
The best book I have ever come across on this so important subject. Easy to read and easy to implement. Jan, South Australia
This book sorted out my problem with ‘wonky’ ankles and I can now ride pain free. Megan, Cambridge, UK
Where have you been all my life Jane? This book should have been written years ago! I would say this book is essential reading for riders and riding coaches alike. Linda, Melbourne, Australia
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© Equiculture and Horse Rider’s Mechanic 2000 -
An ‘independent seat’
Approximately 650 words article
What is an ‘independent seat’ and why would you want one? The term ‘independent seat’ is rather old fashioned but developing an independent seat is just as important today as it ever was if you want to ride in such a way that you help your horse to carry you. Developing an independent seat involves much more than learning to simply keep your bottom in the saddle though.
Sometimes it seems that the harder you try, the more unobtainable those quiet legs, still upper body and good hands become (picture below).
For many riders, development of the seat was not a priority when being taught to ride and consequently they have developed rider problems that do not go away without some special attention. No amount of being simply told to ‘keep your legs still’ will help a rider to actually do this. The root of the problem must be found, and then worked through, before a rider can improve.
It is important to clarify what a rider is (or should be) aiming for. The term ‘independent seat’ is difficult to describe exactly in words. The term is often used to indicate how a skilled rider actually rides a horse. Watching a skilful rider should give the illusion that they are not moving at all, when in fact they will be moving, but it will be with, rather than against, the movement of their horse. This apparent stillness is because the rider has an independent seat.
At the other end of the scale entirely, think about when you were a complete beginner, or if you cannot remember that think about a beginner rider that you have seen. When they used their legs, their hands would have moved at the same time, in fact sometimes a beginner’s hands actually shoot up in the air when they move their legs! (picture below).
The opposite happens when a beginner rider tries to use their hands to stop their horse, in this case their upper body may tip forwards and their legs may swing backwards (picture below). These extreme movements usually disappear quite quickly (hopefully!) but this example illustrates what the body tends to do, albeit to a much lesser extent, until the rider learns to have full control of their various body parts.
Even though the term independent ‘seat’ sounds as if it is all about keeping your bottom on your horse it actually involves much more than that. Yes it is about how you ‘sit’ on a horse but in actual fact it involves your whole body. You will understand this more fully as you develop as a rider.
Having an ‘independent seat’ means that:
All of this of course means the rider is far easier to carry and has better communication with their horse.
Your position needs to be correct and all of your body parts need to be working in harmony together. This is not something that you can learn overnight. You need to ride and practice, ride and practice. It is important though that you are practicing the correct way of riding, otherwise you are only getting better at riding incorrectly!
Riding a variety of horses, at various speeds, over a variety of terrains, having good instruction and reading and absorbing the right information, all help you to improve your seat.
Horse Rider's Mechanic Workbook 1: Your Position and Horse Rider's Mechanic Workbook 2: Your Balance cover these interrelated subjects in detail. Start reading these books now (for free) by clicking the titles above.
We hope this article has been useful to you. If you think it could be added to or improved please let us know (contact us).
You can read a substantial amount of each of the Horse Rider’s Mechanic Workbooks for free right here on this website…