Correct Position For Western Riding

Western riding’s basic principles will encourage your horse to move to its full potential. Every movement of your seat, hands, and legs affects communication with your horse. The correct Position For Western Riding will influence your horse’s way of going.

lower Body

Your legs should hang long with a bend in your knees. Your calves should be in contact with your horse. Aligning your shoulder, hips, and back of heels puts you in the correct western horse riding position. The balls of your feet should sit in the stirrups, with your heels softly pulled down. Forcing your heel down can push your legs ahead and shift you out of balance. Keep your toes pointed straight forward, not outward. Keep your legs relaxed with soft contact.

Upper Body

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Correct horse riding position

Stand on the ground with your feet apart. Bend your knees several times as if you were posting the trot. Try to lean forward or backward. You can shift out of alignment in the saddle, but it causes an unbalanced load for your horse and causes tension and sore muscles in your back and neck.

Press your shoulder blades together without arching your back. Look ahead where you want to go, not down, and keep your head and neck stacked over your spine.

Adjustable Ground Seat

The saddle seat shape and width are critical to a comfortable, balanced ride. With our adjustable ground seat insert, you can create a seat shape to fit you. Everybody is a bit different in seat bone width, booty size and shape, hip width, etc. Women tend to prefer a narrower seat, males a bit larger; it is very subtle. What works for one is not suitable for the next. A very slight change can make an incredible difference in comfort.

Our seat shims allow you to place the saddle pocket where you need it and adjust your pelvis to find a neutral position, neither tilted forward nor back. Move the insert ahead for more pocket in the back; move the shim back, and it will roll the pelvis forward. Too much rise/shim in the front of the saddle will cause soft tissue irritation. Increasing the thickness of the seat bones will make the saddle feel narrower. If your saddle constantly shifts to one side, shim under one seat bone to level you out.

Stirrup Leathers

Once the stirrup length is adjusted correctly, the ability to move the stirrups under your hip for a balanced ride is game-changing. As you become accustomed to the feeling of alignment, you start to move ahead in the seat, further adjustment is required, and you need a smaller saddle seat.
The ability to adjust stirrups forward or back allows you to get your feet underneath you for a balanced position. If your saddle constantly shifts to one side, try moving the stirrup strap over to the high side to help balance you on the horse.


The stirrups are pre-twisted, allowing your foot to rest comfortably without pressure from the stirrup trying to turn it inward. Optional offset or crooked stirrups can also help place your foot at the optimum angle.

Everyone has a unique body shape, so it is tough for us to generalize where to place your stirrups and shims. It would be best if you tried different configurations. Have someone look at you from the side and behind to help you determine how you are sitting in the saddle. Try moving the stirrups and shims into different positions a little at a time. Ride a short distance and then make another change. How does it feel when you make changes? If you have been riding out of alignment, getting used to the feel may take time.


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What is the correct horse-riding position?