Page:Equitation.djvu/37

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CHAPTER III
THE SEAT

The seat of the rider on the horse has been determined in its details by anatomy, by veterinary science, and by equestrian art. Anatomists have maintained, with reason, that the more nearly perfect the physical conformation of the man, the more easily will he seat himself correctly upon his mount, when the two are proportioned to one another. Veterinarians have approved the position, finding in it no cause for unsoundness, loss of health, or interference with movements, weight carrying, and regularity of gaits. Masters of equitation have fixed the details of the position and taught the theory of it in the light of its efficiency for controlling the horse by hands, legs, and weight, both standing still and in motion, at different gaits, and for neutralizing the shocks from the moving animal. Theory gives the idea of the position; but only practice brings the adhesion, contact, stability, suppleness, and confidence which constitute the state called seat.

Seat is the basis of equitation. By the seat the rider is in contact with his mount, communicates to the animal the confidence he has in it, and, on the other hand, is notified at once of the horse's