Unlimited access >

Why do I feel like I’m flying out of the saddle? When I’m not?

So I’ve posted about how I’ve restarted riding lessons 6 years after a bad fall, I can feel some of my confidence coming back after I have switched to a different lesson horse that has a slower trot and doing half on the lunge

However when I’m on the horse, from my perspective I feel like I’m flying way up out of the saddle, so I had someone video the trot for my yesterday and I actually barely coming out of the saddle at all (until I panic from the feeling of I’m gonna fall at any minute and tip forward)
Anyone know why it looks so much different then it feels?

1 Like

I have no idea why our physical sense of what’s happening is so often not at all what is actually happening. Having myself videoed and comparing that to what my body’s telling me is one of the best ways I’ve found for my brain to learn what my physical senses are actually feeling.

Congratulations on being back in the saddle!

3 Likes

Because your Lizard Brain is telling you you’re in potential Danger.
Based on that last fall.
Can you have someone longe you?
That way, someone else is controlling the horse’s pace.
Taking away reins & even stirrups, making you dependent solely on your seat & core might help you feel more secure.

12 Likes

We did start that trot on the lunge (and had me let go of the reins) , once I had more confidence she had me trot down the long side of the arena to end by myself

2 Likes

Our brain trying to trick us into being overly cautious. Self preservation is a thing and extremely powerful.

When I feel nervous I loop my pinky in my neck strap like a security blanket and think about what sensations I’m having to come back to reality.

Natalie Hummel has a great podcast on it called Equestrian Mastermind.

2 Likes

Do you do any visualization?
Look for a copy of That Winning Feeling
Jane Savoie had great info in it about recreating a positive experience in your mind to practice, which your brain doesn’t differentiate from reality.

1 Like

I can’t really tell from the video, but is that saddle too small for you? There should be a flat surface for you to sit on and you should not be sitting on the curved part of the pommel and the cantle at all. The pommel and cantle can be close enough so that they hug your seat a little bit and make you feel that you are sitting “in” the horse, and not on it. It would help to rotate your pelvis just a bit and sit up straight and tall so that you are stable and not bouncing on your bum.

You can do this. Keep experimenting!

3 Likes

Try posting? If you feel you can control the ‘flying out of the saddle’ it may make you more comfortable.

4 Likes

It felt normal, I can’t 100% answer because I wasn’t paying attention to that, but I felt comfortable in the saddle. Thanks

1 Like

She wanted me to master sitting trot first

I feel this. I hate riding in a saddle that doesn’t give me a place to sit. This applies to many dressage saddles that are basically all curve and no flat. The minute I sat in a saddle that had the right configuration, it was life changing.

So battling tack doesn’t help. I also find that with western saddles they’re so wide that I can’t sit and let my leg drape as well as I can in a dressage saddle. I have to sit quite differently. Sometimes I feel like too wide of a saddle leads to me getting caught in the thigh, if that makes any sense, and getting weight to sink further down is more difficult then.

It takes strength and balance to properly sit the trot. So it really is going to be a matter of time, to some extent. You can do balance and core work off of the horse that will help.

Once your core is strong enough, then you’re able to relax your legs and open your hips more and you don’t get the “clothespin” effect that can happen I’d your tight or clenching with your knees, calves, and/or thighs.

4 Likes

Definitely doing exercises to strengthen your core will make a difference. The feeling of your body being slightly out of control (even when it doesn’t look that way in the video) is your body’s own sense of using muscles it’s not used to using and so you don’t have a “feel” for how it should feel!

Also, sitting trot before posting trot? Why? Sitting the trot takes more core muscle strength to keep your body stable and moving in sync with the horse.

10 Likes

The horse looks to have a fairly bouncy trot to begin with. You aren’t moving much at the start but the saddle is coming off her back some . I wonder if the saddle fits the horse or if the horse is a bit rough.

3 Likes

I’m guessing because I’ve never done posting before? Even way back in 2013 when I tried English it was sitting trot

This horse feels less bouncing me, I was on a pony before and that was jar your teeth bounce. I’m not sure about the saddle, first time on this horse

It can take some time to adjust to the way a new -to -you horse moves. You look pretty tense and stiff in your upper body and that will affect how you ride. Give yourself some time.

6 Likes

This. When I’m nervous, I get tense, and then I bounce. Don’t worry too much about your form right now. Just concentrate on being up there on the horse and racking up safe rides so your mind will figure out that everything’s going to be ok and will let you relax. The rest will come when it’s time. :slightly_smiling_face:

3 Likes

A few things I see:

The saddle does not look like it fits you at all. You’re in a chair seat, which means you can’t use your legs for support. Even in a Western saddle, your legs should fall under you. That gives you a base of support, which you’re lacking here.

You’re very tense, and it shows. You’re riding defensively, in fact - hunched over at the shoulder. You need to sit up straight, put your shoulders back and your elbows at your sides. Hips and seatbones under you.

You need to relax into the saddle. Find the center. Get your seatbones squarely in it. You look like you’re riding on the cantle, as others have said - this could be because you’re fighting your leg position. I think you need a bigger saddle, to be honest.

Drop your stirrups altogether, let your legs relax under you, and then have someone video you riding at a walk to see how your leg position changes. See if it makes a difference to how you feel in the saddle. I’ll be you feel more secure in the seat, and start to feel your core engage more.

And I agree with the others - I’d rather see you posting the trot (once you get your saddle situation straightened out; until then, you’re going to be fighting to do it right). Have you been with this instructor long?

5 Likes

Thanks for the tips

This was my 3rd lesson with this instructor, so no

Don’t underestimate how much a badly fitting saddle (not fitting you or not fitting the horse) can affect your balance. It goes overlooked way too often.

For most of my riding career I have not been comfortable being even a little out of balance. I hate galloping an unbalanced horse around a small space or posting an unbalanced trot on an inverted horse. It makes the danger part of my brain light up. So I don’t. I think the horses prefer this too. My young horses do enough gymnastic exercises and work on the longe that they are very rarely just running around the arena. Maybe it takes a little longer to develop them but we stay confident as a pair which I feel is extremely important.

2 Likes