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How to Improve Your Balance and Position in the Saddle

As a rider, having good balance and position in the saddle is essential for both your safety and the horse’s comfort. Proper balance allows you to stay centered and stable, while correct position ensures that you can communicate effectively with your horse. In this article, we will explore some tips and exercises to help you improve your balance and position in the saddle.


Good balance starts with a strong core. Engage your abdominal muscles and lower back to stabilize your torso and maintain a neutral spine. Keep your weight centered over your horse’s center of gravity, which is just behind their withers.

In order to maintain your balance, you need to be able to move with your horse’s motion. This means allowing your hips to follow the horse’s movement while keeping your upper body stable. Practice sitting trot and canter without stirrups to improve your balance and feel for the horse’s movement.

Another great way to improve your balance is to practice yoga. Yoga poses such as the tree pose, warrior pose, and eagle pose can help you build strength and improve your balance.


Your position in the saddle is important because it affects your ability to communicate effectively with your horse. To achieve the correct position, start by aligning your ear, shoulder, hip, and heel in a straight line. Your feet should be level and your toes pointed straight ahead.

Next, make sure your legs are properly positioned. Your knees should be in contact with the saddle, and your thighs should be relaxed and close to the horse’s sides. Avoid gripping with your knees, which can cause your legs to swing back and your heels to come up.

Your upper body should be upright and your shoulders back and relaxed. Keep your elbows at your sides and your hands steady, with a soft and supple contact on the reins.


There are several exercises you can do to improve your balance and position in the saddle. Here are a few:

  1. Two-point position: This exercise involves standing in the stirrups with your knees bent and your seat out of the saddle. Hold this position for a few strides, then sit back down in the saddle. Repeat this exercise several times, gradually increasing the length of time you can hold the two-point position.
  2. Lunge line lessons: Working on a lunge line with a qualified instructor can help you improve your balance and position. Your instructor can adjust the pace and gait of the horse, allowing you to focus on your position without worrying about controlling the horse.
  3. No-stirrup work: Riding without stirrups can help you develop a deeper seat and improve your balance. Start by riding at a walk, then progress to trotting and cantering.

In conclusion, improving your balance and position in the saddle takes time and practice, but the results are worth it. With a strong core, proper alignment, and regular exercise, you can become a more effective and confident rider.

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