If there was a soundtrack for having a defensive seat while riding, ‘Jaws’ music would be it! It would sufficiently set the tone for what is going on in your head.
Anyone who has been caught off guard by their horse while in the saddle, knows what I mean about this. It usually begins when your horse does something ‘unexpected’. You lose your balance a little. And this all coincides with you beginning to experience that awful feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach.
You know, the one reserved for when your horse gets his back up a little. And, you just know, that in the next few seconds will begin to show you exactly how athletic and agile he can be!
Having a horse buck underneath you is not a good thing! Being able to stay on and ride your horse through this challenge is essential for many riders. Especially if the horse in question learns to take advantage of the situation!
A Defensive Seat While Riding
‘Staying power’ is a term that describes what many riders wish for in moments like these! The ability to remain in the saddle, moving and working forward with your horse. Leanring how to transition quickly into a more defensive seat while riding will help you achieve this.
So, rather than just accepting your fate. Simply allowing your horse to push the ejector button when he feels like it, here’s a few suggestions to not only keep you in the saddle but also ride your horse through the bucking and back to working with you in the arena.
- Push your heels down (really down!)
- Bring your shoulders slightly behind your hips, stretching out the front of your body
- Distract your horse by riding him through the problem and get him to use this energy elsewhere!
I have written some more comprehensive blog posts surrounding this topic that you may find helpful to read or listen to (there is a short 12-minute podcast episode on each as well).