Exercises to Relax Lower Back - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 11-12-2010, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 6,594
• Horses: 1
Exercises to Relax Lower Back

This has been a huge problem with me and I've mentioned it on other threads but I thought I'd post here to see if I could get some more exercises.

Regardless of how relaxed I feel, I carry a lot of tension through my lower back and tend to push my butt out and have a exaggerated curve in my back.

Here's some old but relevant photos. My other weak point is my shoulders which weakens my elbows (Im a mess, I know) and I have been working on that. I think in the last few lessons I have made a lot of progress with them, but I havent had anyone to take any photos yet.:

I have been riding western at home for the past week and noticed I didn't have the same problem (I have been primarily a western rider up until the past year)

So. I've been riding without stirrups a lot. As well as bareback. I've been trying to do some exercises off the horse with strengthening my upper back (the muscle group between your shoulder blades?) as well as some work on an exercise ball to try and strengthen my core (and thus in theory release the tension in my lower back)

But does anyone have any other suggestions? This and my elbows are my two biggest problem areas. My elbows I can at least get to function for about half a lesson or so but my back seems to be useless...
Spastic_Dove is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 14 Old 11-12-2010, 08:31 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,144
• Horses: 1
Do your hands ever go numb? I have back issues too. Went to the chiro and it did help but became to expensive for me. Lay on your back flat (home, or the neighbors might think your doing some kind of seance), take right or left leg and slowly start crossing it over your other leg. Keep the one leg straight and flat as possible on the floor as you cross the other. Hold position to the count of 10 and work it up from there. I have other excersises but really have to think. With your shoulders make a mental note to relax them. Drop them as much as possible. Bet everytime you go to drop them you have them squished up. Maybe when riding buy a back brace with support. Your best bet is to see if you can find a good chiro and let him/her adjust you a couple times. I hope some of this helps. One other excersise you can try is go to to a door jam and put your hands on each side of the opening. Stand straight and push against the wall. Hold for 20 seconds. ?? Good luck
Posted via Mobile Device
mbender is offline  
post #3 of 14 Old 11-12-2010, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: cumbria UK
Posts: 485
• Horses: 3
Hi there. I was looking at your pics and noticed that you sit very well in the western saddle. I have the same problem in an english saddle and i got told that certain styles of english saddles tip you forward which creates the curve in your back. Have you tried a bigger seat size on your english saddle to see if that helps?
netty83 is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 11-12-2010, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 6,594
• Horses: 1
Thank you bender, I'll try those.
I've never been to a chiro before but my instructor was talking about the one she uses and I may give him a call. I have back spasms every once in awhile (not when riding) and it may be beneficial just all around. My hands never go numb, but sometimes I will get a shooting pain up my spine when riding. I can't really remember what I was doing at the time that it happened, but It's only happened about 3 times.

netty: None of these horses are mine and so I just ride in whichever saddle fits them. The saddle on the chestnut is a Wintec all purpose. I've found it puts me in a very bizzare position. I feel like it tips my pelvis pretty far forward.
The one on the pinto, I'm not sure what it is but my instructor also hates that.

I've ridden in a pretty nice stubben that I feel like puts me in a better position, but I don't have any images of it. I also rode in a very well made dressage saddle (not sure on the size) that I felt put me in an AMAZING position. The dressage saddle I ride in now is a wintec and I absolutly hate it. It makes me feel like I perch.

I believe most the saddles I ride in are about a 17".

Last edited by Spastic_Dove; 11-12-2010 at 04:34 PM.
Spastic_Dove is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 11-13-2010, 01:26 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 40,765
• Horses: 2

What I see when I look at the three photos is that your seat in Western is far superior. You are sitting in really good vertical alingment and you have a comfortable bend in your elbow. In no way are you depending on the reins for balance.
In the English one I see a really locked straight arm and what looks a little like you might be in a small way using the reins for balance. Can you post the trot well without holding the reins? LIke on a lunge line? I think getting a little bit of a bend in your elbow when you ride E and keeping your elbow tucked into your side will help a lot. It will also give your shoulder a little more room so that it can roll backward a little.

In the E saddle you also are twisted. On the pinto you are advancing your right shoulder which feels just the oppositie of what I would expect in a horse cantering on a left lead on a leftward circle. I would want to advance my left shoulder a tiny amount right as the leading leg reaches for the ground. This mirrors the horse's shoulder position.
tinyliny is offline  
post #6 of 14 Old 11-13-2010, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 6,594
• Horses: 1
I can post an without reins in an English saddle quite fine, but it is possible that I am balancing on my reins. I have never felt I have been, but that doesn't mean it's not happening. I have been getting better about putting a bend in my elbow as well as keeping my thumbs up but I still have work to do. With the chestnut I braced a lot as you can probably see in that photo -- Especially when going towards jumps as he would get rushy. Not the right reaction, I know.

I never noticed the twisting before but I kind of see it now. I'm not sure if that's something I always do or not?

Here's a video of me riding. You can REALLY see the tension in it in both the locking of my elbows and the lower back.

Here is a video from about a year and a half ago of me riding western. If you forward to about :15 I'm on the brown horse wearing the red vest. Even though I was trying to be very straight and quiet because it was a class, I still see far less tension here.

Last edited by Spastic_Dove; 11-13-2010 at 01:39 AM.
Spastic_Dove is offline  
post #7 of 14 Old 11-13-2010, 01:42 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 40,765
• Horses: 2
Gosh, I think you ride darn well! You seem to know what you need to do; bend elbows, thumbs up (wear some gloves!).
I noticed in the jumping video as soon as you were talking to your teacher that you become aligned really nicely, bent your elbows and sat so well.
I can't jump worth beans, so I think you are doing rather well.
tinyliny is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 11-13-2010, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 6,594
• Horses: 1
There! Finally got the videos to work.

Well thanks!

I ride much better when I have someone on the ground yelling at me. I seem to feel like my elbows are bent and my back is relaxed until someone tells me to fix it.

Jumping is still really new to me as is English in general so it's hard for me to not tear myself to shreds so your kind words mean a lot! :)
Spastic_Dove is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 11-13-2010, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 6,594
• Horses: 1
Anyone else?
Spastic_Dove is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 11-13-2010, 03:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 5,526
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove View Post
Anyone else?

Your biggest problem is you ride over your hips. Instead of allowing your hips to be mobile and let them interact with the horse you cause them to become locked and unable to flow with the horse.

Not sure if you wanted the horse to go left after you jumped when he went right. If you did you didn't have the mobility in the hip to direct the horse in that direction.

You arms do tend to get straight and that will hamper any effort of having a looser more effective hip/seat.
Spyder is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hunter Jumpers: Arch in the Lower Back? Cupcake English Riding 28 07-09-2010 10:28 AM
Supple Lumbar Spine and Lower Back Muscles dressagexlee Dressage 7 02-07-2010 02:02 AM
Relax my back? paintluver Horse Riding Critique 4 12-29-2009 11:03 AM
Exercises/Ways to Help Relax a Nervous Horse? anrz Horse Training 17 06-30-2009 02:02 PM
Spinal Cord/Lower back Injury.... im4dressage Horse Health 5 04-28-2008 09:40 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome