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This is a discussion on Balance within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    10-21-2008, 11:11 AM
Green Broke

I've been riding now for a few months, and aside from being timid, I feel like I am doing well.

One thing my instructor has said that I need to work on my balance. WHAT?! I don't feel lopsided while up in the saddle, and I don't feel unbalanced, but apparently I am? I don't know?

So, how can I first determine whether or not I am lopsided in the saddle (I thought I knew), how can I correct myself right away, and how can I work on balance out of the saddle.

I do have a balance board that I should use more.. :roll: lol Maybe that would help?
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    10-21-2008, 01:12 PM
Well.. I'm not that good but... Do you bounce in saddle at all when you ride trot or/and canter? If you do than you have a balance problem. I know trotting without irons really help to build the balance, but I'd recommend that if you feel VERY comfortable to ride (as it may not be safe).

Frankly, I remember the video you posted (I'm pretty sure it was your video) and you didn't look out of balance (but you were riding slow too).
    10-21-2008, 01:45 PM
Green Broke
I'll have my husband take some video of me riding today, and see what everyone thinks. Thanks Val!
    10-21-2008, 01:51 PM
One sure way to tell if you are balanced and have your "seat" is to take you feet out of the stirrups.
I do it occasionally on rides when I start to feel lopesided. It will get you squared up pretty quick.
I think everyone should do some bareback lessons for this reason. Its a great way to learn balance.
    10-21-2008, 02:18 PM
Originally Posted by Vidaloco    
One sure way to tell if you are balanced and have your "seat" is to take you feet out of the stirrups.
I was always taught this as well. I find it best to have your horse on a lunge line (if they know how to lunge), cross your stirrups up over the pommel and start with trotting. If you can balance yourself well with no stirrups you are quite balanced. Its good practice! Also for balancing exercises, once you feel comfortable of course, let go of the reins and put your arms straight out. My instructor had me take my feet out of the stirrups and hold my arms out and do circles or hold them over my head.

Just some ideas C=
    10-21-2008, 04:44 PM
Originally Posted by xkatex    
cross your stirrups up over the pommel and start with trotting.
Everyone beat me to it!! Xkatex, I'm pretty sure Moxie rides Western so it would be difficult to cross her stirrups over the pommel (LOL).
    10-21-2008, 05:28 PM
Green Broke
Yep, Imma western kinda gal. Lol

I do ride a lot at the end of my lessons without stirrups, by the time my lesson is over, my right ankle is killing me, and it just feels better to have it out of the stirrup.

I have always felt that I have pretty good balance. Like I said earlier, I'll have my husband take some vid's of me tonight for everyone to see.
    10-21-2008, 07:03 PM
Our instructor has us ride bareback before getting into a saddle. Then he has us do "airplane arms." Basically you sit bareback and hold your arms out at the side. It's much more difficult to balance this way. Starting this way has really helped us to have good balance. My daughter has mild CP and we have some trunk weakness and are still able to maintain good balance.
    10-21-2008, 07:04 PM
Yep--even a little bareback at a walk will help.
    10-21-2008, 07:08 PM
This is something I've seen instructors doing with little kids, but it helps them get the hang of their body and balance. They have to ride in rising trot without holding onto the reins - it helps stop them from leaning on the reins, but it's also really good for their balance. Once they get the hang of that (the horse is led, obviously), they play Simon Says: touch your nose, put your hands out like an aeroplane, wave your left hand. All in rising trot.

It'd probably be a bit undignified for us grown-ups to do 'around the world', though xD For those who have never encountered it, it's when you have to turn around on your saddle and end up facing back where you started - so yes, you've got to swing your legs over the horse's neck and bum!

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