Sitting Tall in the Saddle

Tips on how to keep your upper body tall in the saddle without hollowing your back, from US Olympic bronze medallist, Christine Traurig. From Practical Horseman magazine
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Tips on how to keep your upper body tall in the saddle without hollowing your back, from US Olympic bronze medallist, Christine Traurig. From Practical Horseman magazine

I have a naturally hollow lower back. When I was a child, learning to ride in Germany, and I heard, "Sit up!," I would just hollow it more. And I see the same problem in lots of the equitation riders I teach: Trying to sit straight, they hollow their backs and "perch," with their buttocks pushed out behind them. When I ride now, I think about stretching up rather than sitting up. And I think about tucking my tailbone under me as I'm stretching, so I don't hollow my back and push my derriere out.

Sitting straight is not to be confused with stiffness, though-I don't stiffen my back even when I'm using my lower back a lot in conjunction with my stomach muscles. There's still an elasticity; I think of allowing my back to swing with the movement of the horse's back.


This article originally appeared in the October, 1999 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.