Balance advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-26-2013, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Balance advice

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel completely in tune with your horse, have an excellent ride and feel like you've made progress?

And then the next day, suddenly you feel like you're a sack of potatoes-worth of a rider bouncing around on a quality horse that could do so darn well if you could keep yourself more balanced and speak more from your seat?

Yup. One of those days.

I have started introducing regular stirrupless riding (and as of today some bareback trotting-- not the comfy WP kind, unfortunately which is the only one I can seem to sit bareback!) to improve my balance and seat at the trot. FYI, I am currently riding Western and have an English saddle arriving from eBay on Monday for some cross-training. I ordered the book "101 Dressage Exercises" to give myself something to work with, and will probably start lessons again once my budget recovers from the new English saddle.

I guess my question is-- has anyone found a little cross-training (for me: from Western to English) useful for improving your balance and seat? Do you have any advice? Am I the only one who has these horrible, guilty days on my angel of a horse? It's so much easier when he's the one with problems that I'm correcting... haha!

Thanks all.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-26-2013, 11:01 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Texas
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Yoga helps you establish your balance witch does help with balance on a horse. Also exercise ball stuff helps too. Stand in the stirrups at the trot, hold jumping position at the canter and trotting over trot poles, are good balance things too.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-27-2013, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Thanks for that!

Silly question about two point (since it's been about 7 years since I had to use it...)... I am using my thighs to hold my position on the saddle and sinking my weight into my heels... is this correct?
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-27-2013, 01:57 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Texas
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Yes that's right. Use your core for balance.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-27-2013, 03:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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Cross training benefits yourself and your horse.

Yoga is good, regular exercise is good.. cooling down your horse backback is good...stirrupless riding is good.. more riding is good.

If you don't mind, can you post a still shot of you riding? Perhaps it's not lack of balance but maybe you're a bit off somewhere (pinching knees, sitting too far forward, etc.) that is affecting your seat and therefore your balance.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-28-2013, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tucson, AZ
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I will have to take a shot or two and post them this weekend and/or when my new saddle arrives next week. I'm always intimidated by that sort of thing! But I will. :)

Yesterday I rode bareback with a sidepull and did lots of straight-line trotting... and a few circles at the end. I didn't fall off, so that's good. Man were my thighs dying by the end of it!

I think I am going to start working out again/doing a little yoga as you guy have suggested. I'm starting to realize that it might be my out-of-shape muscles causing a little bit of the problem.
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