Basic Side Saddle Equitation


By Patty Montall

1. Rider's spine must be over the horse's spine at all times.


2. Hips and shoulders should be square to the front and level.


3. The right thigh crosses the horse's backbone just behind the withers. The lower right leg hands perpendicular to the ground or slightly angled back. The right foot should be parallel to the ground.


4. The left leg should lay against the horse's side the same as riding astride—usually the knee is bent at a 45 degree angle, ball of foot on stirrup with heel lower than toe.


5. The rider's weight is carried all along the right thigh from hip to knee. Your weight is more on your knee when in jumping or galloping position.

6. Hands are usually held very low for showing— on either side of the right knee making a straight line from the elbow, hands, and mouth of the horse. Practically, for everyday riding and schooling, the hands can be carried just at or above the right knee.

7. The rider should have a workmanlike appearance, seat and hands light and supple, conveying the impression of complete control should any emergency arise.

8. At the walk and trot, the body should be vertical; posting trot, inclined forward; canter, half way between the posting trot and the walk; jumping, same inclination as the posting trot. At the hand gallop a rider may be either vertical or inclined forward.

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