A featured entry in the "Deep Seat" series

Collapsing Hip

Usually, a rider is not aware that she is collapsing on one side, but this is a very common problem. Take time to evaluate whether you have even contact with both seat bones. If not, you are in danger of being unseated and of making your horse crooked.


If you pull your shoulder down and the hip up on the same side, you are collapsing your hip. When this occurs, the connection between the seat bone on that side and the horse is not adequate. This posture causes you to be off balance (Illus. 36).

Illus. 36


Dowels — Imagine that there are dowels (very straight sticks) that are attached to your seat bones, and stretch straight up to the top of your shoulders. Think about stretching both sides equally (Illus. 39).

Ruler — Imagine that a ruler is stretching up into the armpit and down into the hip. The hip and armpit will stretch apart (Illus. 40).

Illus. 40

Balance the bowls
— For this exercise we want you to imagine that your head is a bowl; another bowl resides in your chest and a third bowl in your pelvis. These bowls are filled with water. If the bowls tip to the side, forward, or backward at all, the water will slosh out. Therefore, you must keep the bowels balanced (Illus. 41).

Illus. 41

Debbie Kay Sams

Debbie Kay Sams has written for Practical Horseman, Equine Journal, and Instructor magazines. For many years she has organized and led drill-team riding for all… See Bio

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