Hi. I’m a new rider and new to this forum and have a pretty basic question, but am quite confused by it. I have 2 trainers and am being taught classical ear/shoulder/hip/heel alignment by trainer #1, and chair seat by trainer #2.
Trainer #1, a former eventer, is my dressage coach and is teaching me centered riding and I can feel the difference. My horse moves more freely under me, and is more responsive to my leg and seat. I feel more secure and his mini-spooks don’t phase me as much because my upper body doesn’t collapse forward. My lower back also seems to hurt less. When I post, I stay in rhythm without thinking about it. I have just recently started riding with this trainer. She maintains that the alignment should never change, regardless of whether you’re doing dressage or jumping (of course, going down steep inclines and drop-offs is another story). Of course, to me, this alignment doesn’t feel natural. I am used to sitting at a computer at my job.
Trainer #2, a former hunter/jumper, is my hunter/jumper instructor, and has had me riding in a chair seat for quite a while. I am definitely in a chair with my heels down, but my leg very forward, and that’s where she wants it to be. The difficulty, of course, is that this seems to go against classical riding position. I have MUCH less communication with my horse because my leg isn’t touching him in the right spot. He moves less freely and is less responsive. I seem to lose correct rhythm when posting and am more apt to double bounce in the saddle. Also, I think this hurts my back more. When my horse has spooked, I’m always thrown forward. My body forms a “V” and my upper body weight is thrown forward and I feel more likely to come off.
Question: Is a chair seat ever advised for jumping? Based on what I’ve read, the chair is to be avoided. So, why am I learning this?
Here’s what confuses me more. I have been watching Bernie Traurig videos and, unless I am mistaken, he teaches the chair seat. Look at what he says starting at :18 in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssFCklAH8co
He shows the correct position as having the leg very forward.
This is along the lines of what he shows in the videos that you can watch if you are a paying subscriber. So, if Bernie, a GM disciple says to ride this way, then is this correct?
Is there a divide in the riding world about chair vs no chair?
I am confused!