How Do Have A Secure And Great Canter Seat?
Dressage Mastery TV Ep236
Hi Dressage Superstars! Today I’m going to answer the question: how do you plug in and have a really good canter seat?
Step 1: If I tense everything to try and stay still and secure – it will make you move more. See how when I tense everything I kind of move more – because I have tensed everything and I’m not soft and fluid.
Step 2: Don’t relax everything because you’ll look floppy in the saddle. I love writing this. If I relax everything, this is not good either because I’m too relaxed. Nothing’s tense enough and I’m not looking very pretty in the saddle. You need to find a combination between tension and relaxation. If you can kind of play with the body and go, okay, where’s the happy medium? What can I stretch down with my legs? Stretch up to the sky, keep a nice bend in the elbows and look really pretty, but still go with the horse. And remember, you don’t want to have a stable seat just to look pretty – if I open up my seat, see how the horse will go more forward, and if I collect my seat, see how he stops.
Remember my seat’s just not there to make it look pretty. It actually has to influence the horses legs and say, I want you to do big legs or I want you to do little legs. And when you’ve got a horse that’s trained it then becomes very easy.
So all I’m wanting you guys to focus on is playing with, okay, this is relaxed and clearly not going to be any use. This is too tight and too tense and my horse doesn’t even know what I want, so that’s no use. Just keep playing with what should I relax and what should I tense? So try gripping with your knees, try letting your knees go, try tightening your elbows, tried letting your elbows go. Try tightening your stomach, try releasing your stomach, try clamping your legs on his sides, try letting your legs loose. Try to stamp down with the heels and remember riding – yes there’s a framework, there’s an entire system! Yeah. There’s so much knowledge that you can do, but if you don’t get out on the horse, if you don’t practice your body.
Phil reads a lot of my programs. He’s read a lot of horse books and every single lesson I have, I come home and I tell him about it and teach him about it. So he has all the knowledge in his head of how to ride Grand Prix. Now, can he ride Grand Prix? Absolutely not. Why? Because he hasn’t come out and done the hours, he hasn’t come out and sat on the horse and discovered what does it mean when I say tighten your stomach? What does it mean when I meant to think like that? So go out and practice. Go out and have fun. Remember, there’s no right or wrong winning or losing. There’s just a progress journey and we’re all on it. So have a great week!
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