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Author: Subject: The light seat and centre of gravity

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[*] posted on 2-12-2015 at 01:50 PM
The light seat and centre of gravity

I've been thinking about Helen's post from the course she attended, specifically the idea of the horse's centre of gravity. I found this picture in Sally Swift's "Centred Riding 2 ". I think it might go some way to explain why a light seat puts the rider more over the horse's centre of gravity. (sorry if picture is orientated incorrectly. I corrected it in photobucket but it sometimes takes a while to sort out, if at all!)

In the text Sally explains that the rider's centre of gravity needs to be kept as close as possible to the horse's centre of gravity...and tends to rise if we are anxious. The idea of imagining that you have a ball revolving backwards inside your pelvis I think is intended to keep our centre of gravity low (as well as correcting any forward tilt).

She also explains that when a horse is startled or actively engaged the centre of gravity tends to move backwards and more towards the centre of effort/energy.

I havn't found it easy to get Jack working nicely. I guess I'm spoilt because Rannoch has had such a lot of work put it to him by me but also by a professional. I can really feel Rannoch lifting my bottom as he walks and have got used to that feeling of energy. Not the case with Jack yet.

I was thinking about the centre of gravity and light seat ideas as I rode Jack this morning. Rannoch came along too as a tow. I kept my pelvis well into the saddle and not tilting forward at all but leant forward with my upper body slightly and also double checked that I wasn't gripping with my knees and tried to open up my hips more to allow him to move. I also rode him on a very relaxed rein and he had Rannoch up his chuff which may have driven him a little. The net result was that I could feel his backside working properly, his neck dropped and best bit , he straightened up A LOT. He actually became a comfortable ride. Result!!

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Rachel W
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[*] posted on 2-12-2015 at 03:33 PM

Hmm - I'll have to have a think about that. As I'm not riding at the moment I'm finding that the more I read and think about riding the more confused I'm becoming. I think being able to read something and then play with the idea in 'real life' makes the books come to life more :)
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