Continuing on with my series of little fixes for the dressage rider, I found this one on the Tamarack Facebook page authored by renowned eventing trainer and rider, Denny Emerson. As an aside, if you don’t follow this page on FB, do. It is a random, stream of consciousness page that covers just about everything important to the intelligent equestrian.
Anyway, I digress. Like many reformed hunter/jumper riders I struggle to sit fully upright in a Dressage seat even after years of effort. I am much better after using various methods like sitting on the back of my (seat) triangle, pretending to have a ‘Buddha’ belly, and the old standard, pulling my shoulders backwards endlessly. This is one of those things that creeps back out in my riding periodically to my utter frustration.
The cure is pretty simple. Sit in riding position in your chair. Now lift your chin an inch. Feel the change in your balance on your seatbones. Feel the difference in the muscles on the front of your torso. Now go through some imaginary work in this posture. Feel how much differently your balance will interface with your horse. Then go try it on your horse. I think, especially because we sit in a chin down position to use electronics, chin down is a pretty pervasive habit, but one that can be consciously fixed when riding. It just takes a little bit of mental work and creating a new habit. You are welcome!