Right Balance and Position While Riding Your Horse.
Proper exercises to help you with balance while riding.
A lot of people that want to ride the trail horse, think… they can just hop on their horse and ride like a professional. Not True. Or they are apprehensive and down-right scared of the animal. Sad. This can be over come with balance and practice.
You can’t just ride away and blaze across the trail on your horse. What we see in the movies takes a lot of practice. The most important horse riding skill to master is balance, without it you will not last to enjoy the ride.
There are some exercises that you can do to improve your balance while horse riding. These are very helpful especially if you are a beginning rider.
What to Do for Better Balance
A lot of beginning riders are used to horse riding with the saddle but have you ever tried riding bare back? A lot of trainers find this as the best method to improve a rider’s balance. It can appear as a daunting task at first but it is fun and safe when done under proper supervision. Trainers believe that riders should begin horse riding without a saddle.
Saddles often allow riders to be too sloppy because they don’t entail a lot of effort. The rider becomes dependent on the stirrups, the cantle, and the saddle horn for balance. On the contrary the rider must be conscious of proper body position and appropriate muscle control.
When you ride bareback, it is just you and the horse and you have to learn how to control your body when the horse starts moving. Lack of attention or focus will certainly result in a fall.
A Step By Step Guide to Improving Balance
Riding on bareback, a trainer will start the drill by guiding the horse on a smooth gait so you get the feel of it. The pace will be maintained on slow walk until you are comfortable to go a bit faster.
While on the back of the horse you should try to sit up straight, keep your heels down, and eyes looking forward. As a rider, you should be conscious of how your muscle should work to maintain balance. Use your muscles but you should not be stiff, just relax.
You have to feel how the horse moves as it walks. Just try to go with the rhythm so your body will not tense up. It may be a little difficult at first but after a few sessions of practice, you will get the knack of it.
Another good exercise while on top of the horse is to stretch your arms out like wings. This makes you more conscious of how you should control your hips to balance yourself. It will also prevent you from slouching, leaning forward towards the horse’s neck, or grabbing the mane. When you’re comfortable doing this, you can try to move your arms by drawing small circles or by swinging your arms from side to side.
If you feel like it or if your trainer sees it fit, proceed into a trot and do the same exercise with your arms. As you gain more confidence go into a canter and proceed with the same exercise. The speed of the different gaits will be the measure of the level of difficulty.
Another fun exercise to do is called “around the world”. This should always be done while the horse is at a stand still and handled by a trainer. From the forward riding position, you will move to a sideways position, then to backward position, to sideways, and back to the forward riding position. As the skill is mastered, it can also be done during walking, jogging, and even during canter.
These exercises may appear to look funny at first but are effective means of improving your position and balance while horse riding. So the right balance and position while riding your horse. Yes, try these exercises to help you with balance while riding.
Thanks you Benedict Yossarian and Redsky for the info article.