Need to Stop Arching My Back! - The Horse Forum
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  • 1 Post By MyBoyPuck
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-10-2013, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Cool Need to Stop Arching My Back!

For the past year or so, I rode a green horse that required excess attention. He had been trained very well in dressage but then his owner let him sit for a few years without anyone riding him so he lost a lot of his basic training. Another riding also let him get away once with bolting and he developed bad bolting and bucking problems from the experience. I myself was a green rider when I started on this horse and so we learned together how to ride. It wasn't long before I could ride him well without him bolting across the arena, however I could never let my mind wander while riding him. I now ride a very well, very behaved horse, and have discovered a few things over the past few months. That would be that my trainer was working to hard to get me help this horses pleasure that we overlooked my equitation! I have good hands and elbows, however I arch my back terribly. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to straighten my back without slouching? It gets a lot worse when I post. Also, My lower legs are pretty bad. I am doing some exercises to help them, but does anyone have suggestions for exercises I can do under saddle?
gunning2win is offline  
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-10-2013, 01:09 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
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All about practice!

My worst habit is curling my shoulders! As if that will save me from any issues! It doesn't... Still fall off ha!

The best way I found is to have someone keep an eye on me. I was VERY lucky when I had my youngster that my trainer was on site and taught most evenings. She is such a lovely lady that she would give snippets of when I needed to do something, and over time this has gone.

Think muscle memory too. The more you practice a correct back position, and stop thinking about arching and bracing yourself against the horse, your muscles will develop to sit straight and after time you won't have to think about it.

Do you have mirrors in the school? Always good to keep an eye on yourself!

I would have thought, too,manat if you arch your back you must come through your hips fairly stiff... Feel for that as a sign as you will then find it a lot harder to sit and be in a connection with the horse.

Lower legs will come with time. Riding has so many different aspects that when you get your back, legs will follow and in a few months you will wonder why you asked. Just keep up with your trainer.

Also,mas a thought,mperhaps look at a chirp to give your back the once over to check for knots and stiffness and get warm up exercises for prior to riding?
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-10-2013, 06:25 PM
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Roll your shoulders back and try to get your shoulder blades to touch, that will straighten up your upper back, and lift from your sternum! My trainer tells me to "Stack my vertebra." and it gives me a really good anatomical visual for what I should be shooting for. Take a few minutes before the ride to stretch out and get your position correct and RELAXED, you have a nice well behaved horse, you can relax a little now. Let your lower back relax and rock your hips back so you are properly sitting on your seat bones.
I have never arched my back in the extreme but I tend to bend to much at my hips and end up leaning forward, reminding myself to sit back like I'm driving helps a lot too :)
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-10-2013, 06:34 PM
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I used to arch my back terribly as well and my trainer always told me to suck my stomach in which in turn rounded out my back. Maybe try that?

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post #5 of 10 Old 07-10-2013, 06:39 PM
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Some say to visualize a cable running thro your body and out your head, pulling you upward and you trying to go with it.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-11-2013, 08:14 PM
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Think of pushing your seat bones towards the front of the saddle, not out the back.

I think of tucking my 'tail' between my legs, or kind of opening my legs and sitting back in a beach-chair.. that sort of "relaxed" mindset.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-13-2013, 12:02 AM
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The correct "neutral" position for dressage is when you feel your weight coming down and balancing straight down on your two seat bones. Do not rock your pelvis forward onto your pubic bone area, not back onto your tail bone. If you feel for this straight downward balance onto your two seat bones only, your lower back will be straight, not arched or rounded. Once I understood that, I was quickly able to learn a good back position for dressage.
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-13-2013, 12:04 AM
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To strengthen your core lay on the floor at home and practice pushing your lower back to touch the ground. Harder than it seems!
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-16-2013, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Lx3 View Post
To strengthen your core lay on the floor at home and practice pushing your lower back to touch the ground. Harder than it seems!
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This...get a pilates dvd that specializes in core exercises. You will blown away by how much you have to do to get your lower back flat on the floor. It's all core strength.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-17-2013, 05:46 AM
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Before you do anything such as change direction or pace or start a circle or serpentine


this is the easiest way to improve your riding and the way your horse goes.
Tnavas is offline  

arching back , dressage , lower leg

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