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How to Correctly Sit on a Horse

Updated on May 18, 2011

How to Sit on a Horse - The Correct Riding Position

Learning the correct riding position and how to sit on a horse properly doesn't just come naturally to horseback riders. Sitting on a horse for the first time can be a scary thing that can seem quite awkward at times. Getting used to the proper riding position isn't as difficult as one might think. Yes it does take some time and determination to figure out how to ride a horse, but with a little practice under your belt, you'll have the correct riding position down in no time.

So before you can have fun horseback riding, you'll need to understand and practice the proper riding position.

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horseback riding position
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sitting on a horse
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how to sit on a horse

The Classical Riding Position - An Easy Step by Step Guide

While you're on the horse's back here's what you should look like.

Step 1

The ideal way of sitting on a horse is similar to that of a person standing with the knees gently and subtly bent. Remember you're not trying to look like you're lounging back in an armchair.

Step 2

There needs to be an imaginary straight line going through your heels, hips, shoulders, and ears, while maintaining elegant horse riding posture.

Step 3

Make sure that you're not sitting back on your hind, while at the same time not leaning forward. Your weight should be evenly distributed throughout each section of your body.

Step 4

Relax your body a bit. Don't relax so much that you no longer have a firm control over your body or the horse. Remember that it's just as bad to carry yourself overly stiff while riding a horse as it is to be too relaxed.

Step 5

Hold your head straight up and look forward at practically all times. This is a vital step in order to execute the proper riding position . This is due to the fact that the head is a considerably heavy part of the body. If you lean your head forward, back, down, or to the side this will offset the balance of your horse.

Step 6

Lastly, place your foot into the horse's stirrup. After that, you've learned the basics for sitting on a horse!

Horseback Riding Tip- For some horseback riders, imagining themselves as riding the horse bareback helps them to stay in the correct saddle position and horse riding posture.

Horseback Riding Tip - Practice the classical riding position while standing on the ground. You can even try this at home or before you ever even begin to ride a horse. Practicing how to sit on a horse is one of the best strategies you can perform in order to learn how to ride a horse as quickly as possible.



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    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 6 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Very useful hub indeed. I need to forward this information to my children. They usually accompany me to horseback riding.

    • albertacowpoke profile image

      albertacowpoke 6 years ago from Redwater, Alberta

      Great article and good advice. I am a horse owner (Arabian and Quarter Horses). The advice you give here is also applicable to Western riding, although the seat is slightly different. Basic riding techniques are applicable to all styles of riding. I have had some experience with Standarbred Trotters and did some English riding with Thoroughbreds.

      By the way I like the picture of the dog, Siberian Huskey?

      I used to own an Alaskan Malamute.

    • Miss Lil' Atlanta profile image

      Miss Lil' Atlanta 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Sinea Pies,

      Yeah, I agree; I love dressage. And that's a great way to put it too. I've never thought of comparing Dressage to ballet. Good comparison. :)

      ~ Miss Lil' Atlanta

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 6 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Dressage is such a beautiful sport to watch. More like a ballet!