This article was on a study which aimed to investigate whether horse behavior was affected by the rider’s seat.  – I didn’t need it to read the article to know the answer. Of course, it is affected!! It is like making a study of “do I need to move my legs to run”.  

The base for a good performance in horseback riding is that the rider uses a correct seat and position. You have to feel, follow and giving signs to the horse with your seat.

“An effective seat is upright, balanced, elastic, solid, interactive – it follows the horse movements. A vertical line between the rider’s shoulder-hip-heel and straight line between the elbow-forearm reins and horse’s mouth are essential for a correct seat.”  (Blokhuis & Aronsson, 192)

I strongly agree with this statement. That is why it is so difficult to have the perfect seat on the horse because it has to be elastic and solid at the same time plus you have to follow the horse’ movements with your seat.  You give signs to the horse with your body movies. This is how you communicate with the horse.  

In horse riding every body part has the right position and right place. The whole body has to be under control from your tip of your toes to your chin. Body parts that have to be elastic:  fingers, elbows, hips, pelvis other parts such as back, shoulders, head, knees, heels, calf have to be solid. 

“The correct seat of the rider is difficult to learn and also difficult to teach and to improve.”  (Blokhuis & Aronsson, 192)

“… it is hard for the riders to understand and follow instructors’ directions.” ( Blokhuis & Aronsson, 192)

“However, the riders in the experimental group described the dismounted exercises as very useful to improve their positions… Because these were especially aimed to improve the flexibility and the position of the rider’s pelvis, there is a possibility that these exercises could have influenced the seat.”  (Blokhuis & Aronsson, 201)

Riding on the horse without a saddle improves your ability of flexibility and balance. This is a very good way to improve your seat, but not very comfortable. If the horse is bony, it can hurt your bottom. Or if you don’t have the right balance, you can slip from the horse. But it a great exercise to learn how to follow the horse’s moves with your hips!