Stabilizing my lower body. And an epiphany!

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Stabilizing my lower body. And an epiphany!

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    06-11-2010, 10:12 PM
Cool Stabilizing my lower body. And an epiphany!


I learned today that I need to ride with my seat more. Ricci responds so much better when I use my SEAT to control her bend, her rhythm, her tempo, everything. It's so hard to focus on yourself when you ride alone, all I've been thinking is "Ricci this, Ricci that" and I am falling apart and I'm not doing my poor, amazing mare any favors. I noticed that my posting is mindless, my seat is just coming along for the ride for the most part. How pathetic is that?

So today, I quit worrying about her so much. I think today is the day I realized that when you ride RIGHT, your horse will come to you in the way you want. And guess what? She came to me! She's not perfect, she still gets a little strung out, she's still a touch heavy on the forehand [but heaps better and she continues to get lighter and lighter] but man, she was doing what I've been asking her for for months and I didn't have to hold and carry every muscle! Duh, Leigha. Isn't that what you've been reading on this forum for months?

Anywhoot. I need a few exercises or suggestions to help solidify my lower body, both in and out of the saddle. My upper body is pretty stable, my hands are still and quiet, and my lower legs are also pretty good. The problem is my knees to my belly button. Honestly, I think I need to do some jumps and cavelettis, but alas! I have no horse or equipment to do it! Mostly, I think I just need to strengthen those muscles, and if I can do some of it out of the saddle, that would help a lot.

So please, suggest away! =D
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    06-12-2010, 07:46 AM
Ride without stirrups
    06-14-2010, 01:37 AM
Yes. Much easier said than done though, haha.

Anything I can do out of the saddle?
    06-14-2010, 02:45 AM
Originally Posted by riccil0ve    
Yes. Much easier said than done though, haha.

Anything I can do out of the saddle?
This might be kind of weird but stand like on a stair so that your heels are off the end of it and push your heels down (like you would if you were riding) and then take a soccer ball or a basketball and put it between your legs and post, while maintaining your balance on the stair! (:
    06-14-2010, 07:18 AM
Originally Posted by riccil0ve    
Yes. Much easier said than done though, haha.

Anything I can do out of the saddle?
Riding isn't meant to be easy. Out of saddle work will help, but inorder to become a more confident/responsive rider you need to do 99% of your work in the saddle.
    06-14-2010, 10:12 PM
My suggestion would be to engage your core more.
If your not feeling strong from your knees to your belly button I am guessing your riding with to much of your upper body and not engaging the abdominal muscles.
When your rising the trot using the abs it could be described as a your belly button pointing out through your horses ears as you rise upward. At the same time a squeeze/grip as your sitting with your thighs and buttoccks....not overly exagerated.
One thing I have worked on is speeds within the gaits of the horse. Slowing and speeding up the gait with my abs.
Not sure this makes sense because I have a really bad way of explaining things sometimes.
I know what I want to say but I am not an intructor so I seem to loose how to articulate what I want...
You will get there....keep woring on it.
    06-14-2010, 10:17 PM
My advice in the saddle is dropping your stirrups (take them off the saddle if you're too tempted to jump back into them) and ride with correct position without stirrups. You might want someone on the ground to make sure your heel is staying in line and that you aren't collapsing through the upper body. It's hard for the first little while, but eventually you'll go a whole half hour without stirrups and breeze through it - just keep at it. Even if you have to start small, do 5 minutes without stirrups at a walk and light jog, then work your way up. I always found it easier to just take my stirrups off my saddle to resist temptation.
Off the horse, get an ab ball and look up some exercises to stabilize your core (abdominals and muscles in your lower back for sure) there are also some great exercise books dedicated to riders. Do stairs to strengthen your quads and gluts.

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