Tuesday, August 4, 2020

How To Improve Balance as a Horseback Rider

Good balance is important for horseback riding. You’ll need balance skills to keep your seat when your mount changes gaits or spooks at scary objects so improving your balance skills is a good way to make you a better equestrian. Here are three simple exercises you can do to improve your balance on horseback.

Ride Around Obstacles

If you are already confident keeping your balance when your horse transitions between gaits, try creating an obstacle course to ride through so you are forced to balance while your mount maneuvers around different objects. Learning how to shift your weight when your horse turns or moves over uneven ground can help your balance. It may also help to set up jump poles so you can learn to shift your weight appropriately as your horse lifts off the ground to jump.

Try Riding Without Stirrups

As a beginner rider, you are taught to use the stirrups for balance and always keep your heels down form proper riding form. If you are an experienced rider and want to improve your balance, you can forego that initial teaching and practice riding without stirrups. This forces your core to engage with your balance and strengthens muscles that don’t get a workout when you use stirrups. However, it is important to remember that this practice can be dangerous if you aren’t prepared for it so make sure you start slow. Practice walking until you are completely comfortable riding without stirrups before moving on to faster paces.

Practice Yoga

Not every exercise to improve riding balance has to be done on horseback. Yoga is a popular form of exercise that has been proven to improve balance and flexibility. This type of workout pushes you to balance while posing in different ways. You’ll also have to balance while transitioning between poses. Each pose is intended to work and strengthen various muscles so focusing on poses that benefit your legs and core can help you improve your riding balance.

There is always room for improvement when it comes to balance as a horseback rider. If you want to become a better equestrian, make sure you have exceptional balance so you can communicate with your mount more clearly and keep your seat even when your horse spooks unexpectedly. These three exercises are great ways to enhance your balance. You can easily incorporate them into your daily lifestyle so you can become an exceptional horseback rider regardless of your chosen discipline.

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