Creating the Ideal Connection with your horse
No matter which style of horseback riding we do, our foundation is the seat—the rider’s lower-body position that permits communication and control with the horse.
A good seat, to which every rider aspires, is the result of coordinating one’s body with the horse at rest or in motion.
And although the process is the first thing a rider learns, perfecting a good seat often takes many years of study and effort. Although many instruction manuals delve into the subject, until now there has not been a book entirely devoted to developing a seat that is applicable to all styles of riding.
In The Seamless Seat, veteran instructor Kathleen Schmitt begins with a discussion of how we learn in terms of creating an environment in which we can understand and then build a good seat. She goes on to show how human and equine anatomy interact, creating the “platform” that is fundamental to a secure seat.
Elements of such approaches as Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the Alexander Technique are also discussed.
How the horse moves at the walk, trot, canter, and gallop, as well as its position at the halt and rein-back and its movement during transitions between gaits—all have a bearing on the rider’s form and control.
Those elements lead to the various types of seats: the passive, active, resisting, and unilateral, and when each one is appropriate.
They in turn lead to the rider’s leg and arm positions and the rein and auxiliary aids, all of which become optimally effective when the secure “seamless” seat has been achieved.
Whether your discipline is English or Western riding for pleasure or for competition,The Seamless Seat will make you a more educated and capable horseman.
Chapters include:Introduction: what it is like to be a good rider, riders have three main jobs, how we learn about anything, where we are at the moment and where we want to end up, the ideal rideChapter 1 Finding your own personal ideal seat: the platform and contact area, finding your seat at the halt, how the platform and the contact area work with each other, finding your easiest lineup, heel release, knee and hip release, what does this tell us?
Chapter 2 How people move: Alexander technique, Human motion, human posture, search images, effective personal riding styles, form, experience, and scope of attention, the tricky part about learning to ride
Chapter 3 Opportunities in Equine motion: The horse’s motion as a response, you may move now, what do we know now that we didn’t know before?, Going up, Let’s think about this for a moment, using the lift for security and comunication, going down, using the drop for security and communication, going right or left, using the left/right swing, riding without stirrups, what about the other gaits?
Chapter 4 How Horses move: the walk, the trot, the canter, the gallop, the reinback, why do we need to learn all this?
Chapter 5 Summing up and drawing conclusions so far: gymnastic development as a priority
Chapter 6 Learning about anything, including riding: What we see versus what is really going on, NLP-isms, Stages of learning, aspirations, motivations and assumptions
Chapter 7 There are only so many ways to sit: The passive seat, the active seat, the limiting seat, the unilateral seat
Chapter 8 Leg aids that work with your seat: The passive leg, the active leg, the limiting leg, the unilateral leg
Chapter 9 Rein aids that work with your set: Length of rein and contact, accepting the bit, passive rein, active rein, limiting rein, unilateral rein aids
Chapter 10 Two more aids, and how to tell if your aids are working: the voice, auxiliary aids, using objective measurements
Chapter 11 Using what we know now: Phases and the transition between the gaits, lateral flexion, “this could take years”, summaryDetails: Hardcover, 217 pages, photographically illustrated