The April 2009 Practical Horseman Magazine had an article “Dressage for Jumpers” based on the recent George Morris Horsemastership Session in which Robert Dover instructed. Instructions had been given to riders to sit on their tailbones. And Robert Dover states, “You’ve got to be comfortable on your rear ends. I don’t know why you think it’s more comfortable on your crotches.”
These directions and several comments about the Balanced Seat pricked my little Balanced Seat loving heart and caused me to post at the EquiSearch Forum. Knowing that Hunter Seat riders frequently ride too much on their crotches and drastic measures could be needed to get the idea of change across, I would not have felt obliged to post had the instructions been given in a private lesson. But the GM Horsemastership Sessions are nationally advertised, the public is invited to audit free of charge, and information is written for the Practical Horseman magazine, plus on the internet, reaching a huge audience of riders, instructors and perspective instructors. I could not let the false impressions the Balanced Seat continue and I couldn’t condone the poor image of sitting on tailbones and rear ends!
It’s interesting to me that Robert Dover, a graduate A Pony Clubber, would state that “Balance means balance – not a particular style of riding. And the Balance Seat is the product of thousands of years of horsemanship and not that of any one person, American or other.” I agree that balance is balance and that balance is not the product of one particular person. Balance is a universal horsemanship desire and goal. My surprise is that a graduate A Pony Clubber does not recognize Balanced Seat as a legitimate type of riding. I guess Robert Dover has never read page 9 of the “United States Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship, Basics for Beginners D Level”. If he had, he would know that it says, ” The Balance Seat. There are different seats or styles of riding for different purposes.The USPC teaches the Balance Seat, which is an all purpose seat. It is riding by balance, not by strength or force. This kind of riding is based on a modified dressage seat and includes riding on the flat (ring riding), jumping and riding in the open (trail riding and cross country jumping). With a good basis in Balance Seat, a rider can adapt to any style of riding.”
Copy the following link into your url to read what Robert Dover has to say
Thanks for reading U.S. Horsemanship
Barbara Ellin Fox