How To Stop Leaning Forward When You Ride

Hey Superstar, we are about to discuss the tools and techniques you can use to stop yourself leaning forward when you ride!

It’s a really common fault – most people tend to feel safer, especially in the rising trot, to lean forward.

The problem is – when you tip forward you really can’t feel your seatbones.

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I’d love to hear from you how you go and what strategies you use stop yourself from leaning forward when you ride!

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Natasha Althoff

Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

How do you stop yourself leaning forward when you ride?

It’s a really common fault – most people tend to feel safer, especially in the rising trot. I don’t know because they think it feels safe. This tipping forward, leaning forward, but when you think about it, it’s not safe at all. If my horse shies, or if my horse pig roots, I am coming down to the ground. It is much safer to be the pole on the carousel horse. That’s what I always think.
How can I be the pole on a carousel horse that goes up and down on the vertical plane but doesn’t tip forward and doesn’t lean all the way back, so you’ve got to find that really straight point and plug in your seat bones. Most riders don’t know how to plug in their seat bones, so therefore they’re tipping forward.

Now when you tip forward, you really can’t feel your seat bones. They disappear and you can’t connect them to the horses back in the saddle when you leaned back, they also rotate all the way to the front and disappear and you can’t find them.

But when you centre yourself and plug in – I think the Avatar plugging in – you suddenly feel your two boney parts on your bum connect with the back and in the trot they go one, two, one, two, one, two.

And if I want to pedal faster, one, two, one, two, one, two. I can and if I want to pedal slower. One, two, one, two. Good boy I can. And he’s going to follow my seat. And then with the canter again, I then just pedal my inside seat bone.

Now so many people cantor like this (leaning forward) thinking that this is safe. Do you guys know how not safe this is? If he – like he just did – if he bucks and shies and does anything, I’m actually not plugged in. I don’t have a seat belt. I don’t have anything to keep me from tipping and falling off to the side, so I have to plug in again, found my inside seat bone and connect that to the horse. And then if I want him to canter bigger, I just scoop bigger with my seat. If I want him to canter slower, I just stopped scooping.

You can see I can give with the reins and my seat says slow down. My seat can also say trot. And then again I plug in. So if you as a rider are going yep, that’s me. I tip forward, I lean forward and I don’t know why. Firstly get a rider… It doesn’t matter… My husband is my coach because he has eyes. He doesn’t tell me how to fix something, but he can tell me if he sees me do something that doesn’t look good. Oh, you’re leaning forward. Oh, you’re leaning back. Oh, you move when you ask for a flying change.

He knows that I’m not meant to move.

I’m not meant to just do anything except be in a perfect straight line all the time. So you can get anyone you know with eyes, to tell you where you should be. Now, most people, if you lean forward a lot and you’ve been doing it for years, when you come to this point, to the straight point, you’re going to feel like you’re riding like this (leaning right back).

It doesn’t matter.

I don’t care how you feel right like this and go, okay, I’m going to feel like I’m going down a, man from snowy river hill, but lean back, bring your body back and eventually the person with the eyes will go – now you are straight.

Remember – just because it feels a certain way doesn’t mean that it is a certain way, so get eyes on the ground. I never had mirrors and indoors for years and years and yearsI became a Grand Prix rider without any of that, so you can get film, you can get friends, you can get whatever it is you need to do, but commit to getting your feeling to match what it looks like and your riding will accelerate. Have fun!

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