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Horsemanship How-to: Master the Two-Point Position

Learn the two-point position to develop a strong, secure leg.

By Cindy Hale | October 3, 2011

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Practicing Two-Point

English riders are introduced to the two-point position during their first few lessons. But western riders can improve their position, too, by practicing in two-point. Here’s how to do it properly.

But first it’s important to know the definition of "two-point.” Hunt seat guru George Morris is credited with popularizing the term in the 1970s. A rider sitting in a three-point position had contact with their horse through their seat and their two legs. Once the rider assumed a more forward jumping position their seat was elevated out of the saddle. They then had only two points of contact: their two legs, placed against their horse’s sides.

Despite what you might think, two-point is more complicated than simply standing up in your stirrups. Instead, begin by stretching your calf muscles so your legs wrap around the sides of your horse. Then sink your weight down into your heels, securing your leg slightly behind the girth. Now rise up from just your knees, so that your pelvis is suspended above your saddle by just a few inches. Finally, close your hip angle, that part of your body where your torso connects to your hip bones. Don’t make the mistake of breaking over at your waist. Instead, tighten your core muscles and bend at your hip.

As your horse walks forward, you’ll feel unsteady at first. To help maintain your balance, push your hands forward onto your horse’s neck, about halfway up the mane. Also allow your body’s angles to incorporate the motion of your horse and act like shock absorbers. Your ability to assume and hold the two-point position depends on the strength and position of your lower leg. If your leg slips too far back, you’ll fall forward onto your horse’s neck. If your leg is shoved in front of the girth, you’ll keep tumbling back into the saddle.

Indeed, the two-point position’s biggest benefit is that it forces you to develop a secure, tight leg. And, since your lower leg is essentially the basis of support for your entire body in the saddle, practicing the two-point position regularly will only enhance your riding, whether you pursue jumping or perfecting your western horsemanship.

See more Horsemanship How-tos >>

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June    Fort Waye, IN

12/3/2015 9:45:04 AM

This is just what is was looking for

Cheyenne    Orleans, IN

11/12/2011 7:12:08 PM

Great tips!

Emma    Winter Park, FL

10/30/2011 7:15:02 AM


Emma    New Carlisle, OH

10/27/2011 12:24:48 PM

Perfect advice!

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