5 Exercises for a Better Seat with Bec Braitling

ABetterSeatwithBec 2.jpg

Meet Bec Braitling, CCI5* event rider, Area VI Young Rider coach, and ICP Level 4 instructor. If you've had the privilege of riding with Bec, then you know how greatly she emphasizes having a strong, balanced position at all levels of the sport. Below, Bec shares 5 of her favorite exercises you can use to improve your position, and especially your seat, on the flat and over fences.

------------------------------------
1) Getting On: Stretch Your Hip-Flexors


How this Helps Your Seat & Position: It's important to start your ride out right! This exercise targets your core and thigh muscles right from the get go, and encourages you to stretch and strengthen your hip-flexors.

Do's and Do Not's
  • DO stay square in your shoulders and hips
  • DO focus on stretching your hip-flexors as you slowly bring your legs down and around the horse's side
  • DO NOT let your seat lower too abruptly into the saddle
2) At the Trot: One-Sided No Stirrup Work


How this Helps Your Seat & Position: This exercise is great for working on your balance and relaxation in the saddle, and for identifying your strengths and weaknesses.

Do's and Do Not's:
  • DO make sure the horse's balance, shape, and relaxation doesn't change
  • DO remind yourself to stay relaxed
  • DO focus on quality, not quantity
  • DO NOT let one leg contract more than the other
  • DO NOT let your body lean to one side
3) At the Canter: Half Seat to Full Seat


How this Helps Your Seat & Position: This exercise allows you to focus on your position while making sure that the horse's balance and relaxation doesn't change as you alternate between your jumping position and your full seat position.

Do's and Do Not's:
  • DO keep your feet beneath you and your ankles in line with your hips
  • DO use your core and lower leg so that you don't lower yourself into the saddle too quickly
  • DO focus on quality over quantity
  • DO NOT let your upper body get ahead of the horse
  • DO NOT let your lower leg slip too far forward or back
4) Over Cavalettis: Circle of Truth


Setup:
1.png

How this Helps Your Seat & Position: The circle of truth allows you to improve your consistency over fences and hone in on how your position influences the horse, while at the same time allowing you to focus on the balance of the canter between the cavaletti.

Do's and Do Not's:
  • DO tailor the height and number of cavalettis to your needs
  • DO use your outside aids, your leg, and your seat to turn
  • DO keep your goals reasonable when you try this with one rein
  • DO NOT over use the inside rein to turn
  • DO NOT over school this exercise
5) Over Fences: Gymnastics on a Curve


Setup:
2.png

How this Helps Your Seat & Position: This exercise highlights the effectiveness of your seat, leg, and upper body in maintaining your horse's balance and straightness through a turn.

Do's and Do Not's:
  • DO focus on keeping your helmet still
  • DO feel like you can touch your shoulder blades behind your back
  • DO NOT over use the inside rein
  • DO NOT let your upper body get ahead of the horse
  • DO NOT over school this exercise

Huge thanks to Bec Braitling for sharing her knowledge and giving us some tools to help us improve our riding and our communication with our horses! Did you try any of these exercises? Let us know in the comments below!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Comments

Top