As owners of a company looking for training aids that improve your own riding we were intrigued by the Unisit and decided it was worth a try.
In my 30 plus years of riding, I have had thousands of riding lessons, many without stirrups and on the lunge line, read many books, watched countless videos and I still have plenty of moments of instability in my position. Not surprisingly, 90% of the lessons I have had in my life have focused on improving my horse. Few have focused on taking a deep dive into the complicated and difficult topic of truly improving my seat. Why? Because it is HARD. It’s hard to teach a feel and hard to explain how to make all the joints, muscles, nerves, and brain work together to create a harmonious, balanced, and effective seat: the most important part of the rider's basic balanced position.
I took my young but pretty reliable horse up to the arena and started with a nice warm up of walk, trot, and canter as outlined in the Unisit instructions. Once we were warmed up I had Beth, my partner, help me set up the Unisit. It is fairly simple to put on after you watch the video but you definitely need someone to help you. Snaps go to D-Rings, pad around the back of the rider and straps around in front of the rider’s thighs and under the horse. Release strap around my wrist and a quick check to make sure it releases in case of an emergency and we were off.
The Unisit helps you realize that it is POSSIBLE.
My sometimes floppy leg was still, toes were forward, thighs relaxed, calves waiting in exactly the right place to give my aids. My hands were quieter. I felt strong because I was able to be quiet, effective, and at one with my horse. My pelvis was in neutral supported by the back support of the Unisit. My aids did not need to be as strong because my horse could hear me whisper without as much noise elsewhere. And my horse? He was happy and powerful! Happier to go forward, straight and balanced. Relaxed in his back. Swinging, loose, and supple. I tried to take it all in and visualize all the things that were happening with my body so my muscles would remember.
I felt like a grand prix rider and the best thing was that my muscles remembered! I rode in it for 10 rides about 10 minutes per ride. All the lessons, books, and videos could not replace what the Unisit was able to give me. Now when I ride without it my horse goes the same way and I feel the same way. I do still use it for a refresher if I find myself going backwards.
The Unisit arrives in a canvas bag with detailed instructions and do’s and don’ts for use. Read those here. We felt that the guidelines were very reasonable to make sure both horse and rider are safe when trying a system that can dramatically change your feel and position. Riding an appropriate horse with a good instructor in optimal conditions are important all the time but definitely when you are using this product.
If you are stuck trying to improve your seat, and you are ready to try something new, the Unisit is an amazing product to help get you out of a riding rut and is well worth the investment when you consider how much you spend on your riding.