Posted on Monday, April 22, 2013 by Heather Dodd
Over the years we have seen many common problems with riders' position. Sometimes this is due to lack of experience or skill but irregularities in posture, muscle weakness, old injuries, lack of fitness or flexibility can all affect the way you ride and subsequently, your competitive performance.
No rider is perfect, but we can all assess our problems and work towards correcting them.
Here are some examples of common problems.
- Collapsed hips or shoulders
- Being more dominant through one side of your body
- More weight through one stirrup
- Not sitting centrally in the saddle
The posture and muscles we use to ride are unlike those used in other sports. The rider requires equal use and skill from both left and right hand sides of their body. They require core stability as this is responsible for good posture. A straight and upright but flexible posture is needed. Don’t forget your horse is a mirror of you.
- Position – imagine a line from your ear, through your shoulder, hip and heels.
- A good exercise for strengthing your core and balance is to take away your stirrups and do sitting trot (But, don’t forget to breathe – and give yourself and your horse regular breaks!)
- Get someone to video you, take photos of your position or ride in front of mirrors. This will really show up any weaknesses
- Lunge lessons. You can really work on your balance, straightness and core stability without having to worry about what your horse is doing . Also having a pair of eyes on the ground will make you aware of any problems.
When you are off your horse, use a Gym Ball. Even just sitting on one in front of the tv you are improving your balance and core stability. Your body automatically balances to stabilise the ball. You will be building strength in important core muscles without even knowing it.
Rebecca & Keri Bates