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Classical Seat

From: Amanda Doucet

Dear Jessica, After reading your definition of Holistic Horsemanship, which sounds like an essential and wonderful approach to horsemanship, I realized that I'm not sure that I know what a classical seat is. Could you please explain exactly what it is and how to make sure it has been obtained? Thank you for horse-sense and for all the help you give. It has become invaluable to me and my fellas. (Shine and Linx)

Thanks again, Amanda Doucet


Hi Amanda! Classical riding means good riding -- riding that allows the rider to communicate gently, kindly and clearly with the horse, while helping the horse to develop into the best possible athlete it can become. Classical riding means a way of moving with your horse and becoming part of your horse -- but it isn't mysterious or complicated or mystical, and it doesn't require terrific natural talent or exceptional athletic ability. It requires interest, attention, work, and practice -- and thus is truly accessible to ANY RIDER who cares to make the effort. Classical riding is based, first and foremost, on the acquisition of a classical seat. And a classical seat is a CORRECT seat: deep, balanced, and sensitive, allowing the rider maximum communication with (and thus safe control of) the horse. Classical riders ride from the seat, the legs, and finally the hands; it's the focus on the seat FIRST that enables them to develop the light, tactful, quiet hands that should be every rider's ideal.

There are many books out that explain the ins and outs of classical riding, but two books are absolutely brilliant and stand out above the rest: these would be the ones you would want with you on that hypothetical desert island.... ;-)

Probably the single most useful item you can acquire right now is a copy of THE CLASSICAL SEAT by Sylvia Loch. This small paperback book is packed with good information, and it's clear, correct, logical, effective, and easy to understand -- much like the classical seat itself. ;-)

If you find yourself fascinated, as I expect you will, look for Sylvia's new book THE CLASSICAL RIDER. This one is a large hardback, and it, too, will be a book that you keep next to your bed and dip into whenever you have a spare moment.

Get these books and study them, discuss them with your instructor, put the principles into practice, and believe that you can acquire a classical seat -- YOU CAN, and you and your horse will both be the better for it. ;-)

Jessica

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