How to Practice getting the Correct Riding Seat for Polo

answering your polo questions riding Nov 19, 2021

What is the correct seat for Polo & how do you practice it?

Here are some tips on getting it right & practicing getting your legs strong for the correct polo seat.

How to Practice getting the Correct Riding Seat for Polo


This was actually the question I wanted to ask. Cause I thought it would be quite useful to quite a lot of people. But if someone wants to go out and practice getting this seat right Gav, how do they go about doing that? You know, what would your suggestions be?

I think Rob, number one, you have to be aware of where you are sitting on the horse. You have to get a video of yourself because the biggest problem that I see, is people riding with the leg from the knee down in a vertical line. Okay. 

Where from the knee to your ankle should be slightly backwards. In other words, you lower leg is behind the girth, not on the girth.

Because remember that on the girth is the narrowest part of the horse. So, if you're trying to find the horse there, its very hard to get your legs to the right place.

Where if you're, if you move your legs back 4 inches, 3 or 4 inches, you suddenly find that the horse gets really big, quite quickly behind the girth.

And now your lower leg, it's simple for it to be there. And if you then turn your ankles away, as I've shown you in that video, it's like, it makes you base wide. Okay?

And put your leg onto the saddle, your knees onto the saddle. So, that's what you need to be practicing, but you need to see where you are first and then watch the video.

And once you've done that, when you're cantering along, pick your foot up very slightly, so that it's not on the stirrup, and slide your feet out the stirrup and put them next to the stirrups, okay, to stop the stirrups flying around.

And ride like that for a bit and feel how strong your lower leg suddenly feels on the horse when you're not relying on the stirrups.

Okay? And the more you can ride like that, the stronger it's gonna make your legs. Now, when you put your feet back in the stirrups, try and emulate that same feeling of how strong your lower leg is.

And it's got to be pointing slightly backwards. And the weight is down the back of your leg, through your heel.

It's not pushing down onto the toe. You need to be pushing your weight through the heel. Now everybody's ankles are more or less flexible. So, this myth of get your heels down is great if your ankles are flexible.

But so many people are pushing the legs down and that, I mean the ankles heels down and that pushes the leg forward. I don't want that. I'd rather your foot was flat.

As long as the weight is going down the back of your leg, into the heel. Because the minute you stand on your toe, that pushes you out the saddle.

When you push your weight in behind, through the heel, that pulls you down into the saddle and it makes you far more secure on the horse.

Okay? So, you've got to just look and see where you are. And pay such attention to the fact that those legs have got to be back.

If you really watch all the really top riders, you will see that they've got that boxing stance that I call about that. I always talk about. Where your heels or under your hips and your shoulders are over your knees.

That stance, you're not sitting in an armchair, because the minute you sit in an armchair, you slopping along with no legs on the horse.

So, that's what I would do is just get those feet out of the stirrups, and ride, don't let your legs hang when you've done that. 

They must be in the position that you would be if you had your feet at the same height, as you feet in the stirrup. So, you, just really get that feeling of that lower leg being strong.

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