“Open your hips!”
“Open your hips!”
“Open your hips!”
“Open…” Um, I think you get the idea.

I can’t possibly tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase and every time my response was the same. I opened my legs.

I bet you did too. C’mon tell the truth now.

Well, I think that I’ve finally – after all these years – figured out what they couldn’t articulate. I was supposed to lean back and by doing so I’d open my hip angle.

That’s right. Angle. Hip angle.
The distance between your chest and the saddle.

Besides how do you open your hips? They’re not hinged.

Lesson learned the hard way

Twice within a six month period the scary cat horse managed to dump me. Why? Because I was riding with a closed hip angle. Uh, that means I was tipped forward. I ate dirt because I couldn’t recover my balance. So when he slammed on the brakes and scooted to the side off I went over his left shoulder. Twice.

The only time a closed hip angle has worked to my advantage is on a bolting horse. When her head and shoulders popped up I didn’t fall off toward her back end.

I guess not falling off is an advantage.