Don't forget flatseat!
Once you get the hang of it, you will really appreciate it! Especially, posting without stirrups is FUN and really gives you a sense of accomplishment! It will give you confidence that even if you lose a stirrup, you don't really need them anyways, and may not even notice for a moment if you do lose one.
What helped me (and, I admit, this is easier in flatseat than in a hunter saddle because you can sit "deeper") is to remember how much work and flexing your back has to do to keep your rump in and attached to the seat. This is going to sound a little silly, but what helped me was remembering to grip with my knees and thighs and "scoop" my rump forward at the waist in rhythm with the horse- it's easier to get at a canter, because of the rocking motion.(like standing straight up, and then tucking your rump forward and underneath you while simutaniously bending your knees? Try it, you'll see
- those are the muscles). And remembering to try to grip with the front of the insides of my knees,like I'm trying to grip with my kneecaps
, to help me keep my heels and calves rolled out and away from the horses sides.
And they're right- it means your instructor thinks you are progressing well, and if you're the only one without stirrups, ahead of your class!
(Take it from a one time state equitation high point champion!- my one claim to fame!
I forgot how much I enjoyed this- it's been a while. Have fun- it's hard work, but it is a good feeling of acomplishment when you know you've tried and done your best!