Former USET Coach, Jack Le Goff, wasn`t a man you could bluff. He would say, in essence, “Don`t tell me how good you are, get on that horse and show me.” Jack was a “basics” coach, like most of the great ones. He believed in the building blocks principle, that if a basic component of a rider`s technique was faulty, then nothing “above” that could be correct.
And Jack`s most basic “basic” was the acquisition of an independent seat. To Jack, it was as if the world of riding was broken down into two groups, those who were perfectly comfortable and elastic on the back of a moving horse, with or without stirrups, with or without a saddle, and the huge majority of riders who were not. It was as if, to totally simplify Jack`s mantra, you could simply say: “Good riders don`t bounce.”
So there`s the simplest litmus test there is. Get on a horse, walk, trot and canter over terrain, and see if you are part of the motion, or if you bounce. If you do bounce, according to Le Goff`s fundamental belief, you will not be considered a good rider until such time as you can ride and not bounce.
How simple is that?