A featured entry in the "Deep Seat" series

Plugged in at Canter, Plugged in at Lope

Seat Connection

Problem: Leaning forward or backward

Leaning forward or backward works against the horse and unplugs the seat bones. Leaning forward causes you to bounce. Leaning backward will cause you to be left behind and off balance. If you are in two-point position, this deep-seat discussion is not relevant.


Tuck seat: The most important aspect to consider when striving for a deep seat is that the seat tucks as the outside hind pushes off (Illus. 45).

Thinking about sucking the abdomen in or pulling the navel to the spine can be very helpful (Illus. 11 and 12). The upper body should remain tall.

Imagining that you are a Barbie doll who is hinged at the waist can be useful when riding the canter (Illus. 15 and 16).

Once the seat is plugged in, the hands must learn to follow the horse’s head. Your hands will move forward as your seat tucks (Illus. 45).

Final words
The true deep seat is the foundation of all riding. Establishing this deep foundation is essential no matter what type of riding you do. It teaches you to move in sync with the horse rather than against the horse.

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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