Dressage Solutions: Use Your Seat to Ask for Swing in Your Horse's Back

Try this tip from Ali Brock.

To use your seat aid to ask for more swing in your horse’s back and lift in his step …

Drop into your horse’s back a little more, rather than getting lighter in your seat. Then remember to follow the swing in the upward-stepping phase of the stride. I compare this to dribbling a basketball. To make it bounce higher, you don’t lift your hand higher—that would weaken the bounce. Instead, you press down into the ball a little more firmly with each bounce. Then, you must follow the momentum upward with an allowing hand before pushing down again. —Ali Brock

(Illustration by Sandy Rabinowitz)

This article first appeared in the winter 2019 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.

Click here to read more articles with Ali Brock.

Ali Brock grew up in Hawaii, where she was very active in Pony Club, jumped, rode dressage, exercised polo ponies and rode Western. After high school, she moved to the mainland to work with several well-known dressage trainers, including Olympian Sue Blinks. When Sue moved to the West Coast in 2004, Ali took over the head trainer position at Fritz and Claudine Kundrun’s DeerMeadow Farm in Keswick, Virginia. She developed the Kundruns’ now-retired Hanoverian stallion Rosevelt from a 6-year-old to a team bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics. While bringing along her next stars, she continues to be an active clinician and official ambassador for Brooke USA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the welfare of working horses, mules and donkeys around the world.