The better your position, the more effective you’ll be with your aids and solutions to dressage training problems. Two people can give exactly the same aids, but the one with the better position and more independent seat, will be more effective.
So work on your dressage position every time you ride. If you can’t afford to go to a trainer regularly, you can still work on your position at home.
Everything starts with your seat so here are some simple tips to improve your position.
Ask a friend to get behind your horse and tell you if:
- Your dressage saddle is centered over your horse’s back.
- Your stirrups are even.
- Your seat is in the center of the saddle so that each seat bone is equidistant from the middle of the saddle.
- The distance between your last rib and your belt equal on both sides of your body.
- Your shoulders are the same height.
So, let’s say your seat is off to the right. As a result, you’ve collapsed your left side, your left shoulder is lower, and and your left hand is lower than your right hand. Don’t work on your shoulder and hand first!
- Bring your right seat bone over and place it on top of an imaginary line that runs down the center of the saddle from front to back.
- Stretch your left arm straight so your fingers are pointed straight toward the sky.
- Pretend you have two toothpicks between your last rib and your waistband. If you collapse your waist again, you’ll get jabbed in the ribs by the toothpick on the left side, and the toothpick on the right side will end up on the ground.
Once you’re sitting straight and centered, then you can improve your dressage position by working either up or down from your seat to correct your legs or upper body.
The point is that if you want to be effective with your training solutions, you need to fix your seat before you do anything else.