Think of keeping your legs long, you seem to be squeezing with your legs (which is probably a result of a tight hip). Sit tall but relax. Keep your heels down and let your hips move with your horse's movement. I do pilates classes when I can and it helps stretching the area. What kind of pain are you having? A working pain? Or an injury pain? A working pain is something you get when you, say, lift weights or work your muscles, if you have that pain then it is fine. If it is an injury pain, like a sharp pain or tearing feeling, then stop. If it is an injury pain you may want to ask a physical therapist about it.
I want to take a yoga or pilates class, but we're not a member anywhere that has them.
It's a working pain, i think. I've gotten some stretches to try and loosen up, but i haven't had a chance to try them yet.
if you have netflix, there are some "yoga for riding" dvd's you can rent out. I have this same problem, it helps if I ride without stirrups for a while when I first get on. Also, it looks like your stirrups are a little short, but I'm pretty new to all this so I might be wrong.
I do have netflix! if i can get my mom to let me get a DVD instead of her always getting her shows, then I'll try to get one!
I actually tried getting on and just letting my legs hang, but Joey decided to be a snot and freak out at the shed outside the window on the arena so I had to pick up my stirrups and deal with him, lol.
and I think they might be a little short, but they're on the only matching holes right now, so I can't change the length at all, lol. but i'm also working on getting a new pair of leathers (: so i can change the length then (someone on another board said i'd eventually go down two holes)
Yoga might help but PILATES might help more. A Pilates instructor will explain how important regular stretching is. You can buy a book but regular sessions with a trained instructor will help you more.
Pilates is all about the central core - stomach, lower back, pelvis, thighs top & under and stretching the calves, ankles, waist and shoulders. In other words all of the mnuscle groups used in riding.
Some Pilates instructors even specialise in exercises for horse riders.
I've been looking for a pilates class, but can't find one anywhere. :( I will definitely try and at least get a book!