Position, Balance & Biomechanics on the horse (PBB)
“Are you riding or are you guiding?“
The way you use your seat to influence your horse makes the difference between riding your horse or guiding your horse. Instead of steering with your hands and feet, like a car driver, learn to interact with your horse as the leading partner in a dance. The ‘Position, Balance & Biomechanics training’ will help you improve what’s most essential to your riding skills: your own body.
Your seat determines how you influence your horse. Therefore this course is meant for riders who seek to improve their body control by working on their posture, position, seat and balance. The training consists of three intensive lessons, based on the principles of the Akasha School for the Art of Equitation.
The PBB training teaches you what is the best posture, position, balance and influence, how to affect your horse with your seat in a positive way, why they are important and of course: how to achieve this. Therefore PBB training is also valuable for (very) experienced riders and for other instructors, in any horse riding discipline!
Just to indicate that the skill level doesn’t matter for this course: Dutch international top dressage rider Laurens van Lieren was very pleased with his training in 2017. Even for Laurens, it meant a change in his riding style, which felt much smoother for both himself and his horses. The PBB training has made him much more aware of how his seat and position influence his horse. He now feels more harmony between him and his horses. Laurens still comes back regularly for a brush-up lesson to maintain and to further refine his body control. After all, at his level, the details make all the difference…
On Facebook (Gepaard met een lach) you can see several videos that demonstrate the effect of the PBB training, and one video of the overall results after the full PBB course.
This is what I generally teach during the PBB trainings:
Practical lesson 1
First I closely observe the student while he/she is riding and I make notes. After discussing my remarks together, we get to work on the improvements. This is done during ‘normal’ riding (without using a longe line), and also includes simple exercises on the ground or on a large gym ball. The ground exercises are to clarify the instructions and to become aware of posture and movement. This first lesson teaches how to improve your core stability , how to use the right muscles for a correct posture and how to follow the movements of the horse correctly and efficiently. Simply said, this lesson is about the rider’s ‘side view position’.
Practical lesson 2
The main focus of this lesson is to find the right balance between right and left, or in other words, the rider’s ‘rear view position’. The students will ride while using the Impression pad (see ‘instruction tools’) to measure the pressure distribution under the saddle. Meanwhile, we repeat the improvement points from the first lesson. Next, the rider sits on the impression pad placed on a stool, so we can check the imprints of the seat bones – and thus the influence of the rider’s body. The imprints show us any pressure differences between the right and left seat bone as well as rotated positions in the pelvis.
When the rider has learnt how to keep himself in a well-balanced and relaxed position, with a good contact and therefore a good feeling from the rider of the horse’s back (and vice-versa!), I start teaching how to use your seat to influence the horse. For example, you can improve the straightness of a crooked horse by influencing the balance and movements of the horse with your seat.
Practical lesson 3
By now, the riders are aware of the ideal positions, movements and balance. In the meantime, the riders have also done exercises to correct the issues we found in the first two lessons. This third lesson is usually meant to turn the main points of lesson 1 and 2 into practical riding and improving the final details. Most riders already show lots of improvement after these three lessons.
As I often say, your horse can take over my role as instructor at this point, because horses immediately respond to any changes in their riders, purely from a biomechanical logic. Any improvements in the rider’s posture, balance and movement will therefore immediately lead to better movement of the horse. Even ‘serious’ problems are often solved quickly when restrictions for the horse caused by the rider’s effect of the seat are taken away. A better seat by definition means more harmony between horse and rider. Therefore I know that my work is done, when that familiar smile appears on my student’s face…
A few last remarks on the PBB training:
- You will be amazed by the positive effects your improved seat has on your horse. Your position is the main factor in your influence (or effect) on your horse. Hence the name of the course: Position, Balance and Biomechanics.
- Attention during these classes is mostly aimed at the rider and much less at the horse. It is therefore best to work with a horse that (at least) already masters the basics instead of a young (green) horse, to allow the rider to concentrate on himself.
- For competition riders, it is recommended to choose a period without any shows scheduled, so you can truly take some time to go ‘back to basic’ and to focus on yourself.
- Your own instructor is most welcome to come and watch the lessons. This might help him/her to teach you towards a better seat during your regular riding lessons.
- A nice option is to combine these 3 lessons with one or more lessons on the simulator (see ‘instruction tools’ for more information?).
- For riders who are anxious, improving balance is a useful means to (re)gain self-confidence and strengthen the trust between rider and horse!
- The first 2 lessons of the PBB training take about 90 minutes each (including a break for the horse) with some occasional extended time. The third lessons takes about an hour.
- The costs are € 99,- per lesson or € 65,- per person for a duo training. (Ex. transportation fee.) With a two-person course, it’s always nice to watch – and learn from – each other.
- The full training might be quite a big expense for you, but a proper seat is much better for your saddle, for your own body and of course for your horse. A lot of injuries to riders ánd horses are caused by overpressure due to improper seat, position or movement. You can thus see it as an investment that saves more expenses in the long run.
- After the last lesson of this course, taking more (PBB) lessons or a ‘brush-up lesson’ every now and then, is possible and will cost the same as the current fee for regular private lessons.
- Note: this training might be the perfect gift for someone else…
- Any other questions? Feel free to contact me!
In this video Grand Prix rider Malene Nootenboom gets instructions from Roos (Rose) to improve her seat for better influence on her horse.