Here are four easy steps to help you align your body to ride balanced in a cut back saddle to ensure you are confident and in control of your horses headset.
Stacking Your Bones And Muscles:
Sit yourself in a place on the seat of the saddle that allows you heel to fall in a straight line with your hips and shoulder. You should be able to draw a straight line from your shoulders thru your hip joint to the heel of your foot. This position will ensure your best balance point and allow you to stack your bones and muscles down to your platform, the stirrup. This stacking method will greatly improve the efficiency of how your body moves up and down or in and out of the saddle. If your heel is either in front or behind your shoulder or hip and not in line, this means your saddle is either too large or small.
Sit On Your Seat Bones:
Make sure when you sit in your saddle that you are sitting directly on your seat bones. Your location will be in the sweet spot or centre of the seat of the saddle. Your seat bones are the most comfortable location to sit and ride your horse from. This position is easy to find. Pay attention to see if you are riding to your tail bone (or what we call "late timing") or riding to pelvis (what we call "perched"). Not riding in the correct position will have an effect on your balance and the horse's head set, as you will not be able to comfortably perform and control for even short periods of time.
Look At Your Toe Position:
Make sure your toe is pointing forward and not out. If your toe is forward then your pelvis is closed and your hip is engaged or dropped. That means you are using your outer thigh muscles and your quadrilateral muscles to stack your body and will result in more comfort when you post directly up and down. If your toe is pointing out, you are only using your inner thigh muscles which will force you to post or ride to the cantle of the saddle creating "cantle bang" and pressure into the horses hip area.
Fine Tuning Your Fit By Using The Adjustable Bar:
Once you have aligned your shoulder, hip and heel, use the adjustable bar to work within what we call the "2" defined area. Once you have aligned your shoulder, hip and heel, use the adjustable bar to work within what we call the "2" defined area. This is the area of adjustment where you will fine tune your position. You can do this by either moving the bar forward or backward one position or the stirrup leathers up and down a hole or two. Using this method you will be allow you to incrementally adjust your position and align yourself perfectly with your horse's movement and cadence for your best riding performance results.
Have fun and be safe,