I just found out today at my riding lesson that I have REALLY tight hips. Which have been effecting my riding dramatically. The horse I ride named William is so well trained he does everything you ask him to do. So when I've been riding him I've been really tight through my hips and when I ask him to canter all I do is make him speed up at the trot and eventually he goes at a near gallop because I then tense up more because he is going so fast. My riding instructor has said I should start doing hip stretches because she couldn't even get her hand between the saddle and my thigh. Any stretches anyone knows of that might help?
I <3 yoga, so much so that I should probably start doing it again, haha. Really though - the triangle pose, when done correctly is AMAZING for opening your hips up and stretching! I'd definitely look into some basic yoga!
Edit: I used to do a sequence of only about 6 poses (including the triangle) on a daily basis, and it was really awesome for relaxing me and stretching! It also seems to build muscle, too, but instead of bulky muscle like weight lifting, your muscles develop more of a lean appearance.
Before you get on lift leg from hip up so thigh is parallel to ground, rotate kee to outside (right leg has knee/thigh go right), then back and down to ground again - essentially drawing a circle with your knee.
On horse - sitting in saddle grab front of saddle and lift BOTH thighs completely off the saddle for about 5 seconds. Then replace on saddle. Repeat several times and try not to get a hip cramp.