Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: I live in the United States
I have suffered the same fate myself, and find myself in that position once again as my horse has been off for 7 months due to illness and we both are now getting back into shape.
I do not have any core muscles (tummy muscles) whatsoever, I don't even know if I could do 10 sit-ups, so I know I struggle due to this. So I must recommend that you improve whatever muscles you have in your stomach. This is absolutely crucial to anything horseback, and doing so successfully.
Second off, those leg muscles. They are wonderful tools to have as well, but lucky you! Those will develop as you ride more and more so do plenty of trotting and two-point position holding over flats and poles. This will be a total pain for weeks, and then suddenly enough will become less and less any pain and will become natural again.
Heels down is ideal, but if not possible, at least level is necessary for any balance whatsoever. The further your heels go down, naturally your balance will improve. So work on stretches involving getting your heels to further go down, like stretching them over a step.
When riding don't let your knees squeeze your horse, or you'll never improve, instead gently enough wrap your lower legs around your horse's barrel. This will be difficult I know!
Don't worry about how you look at first, just do whatever you can to burn fat and build those muscles you so desperately need to ride successfully (as I need to do too)
Once you find that your body is starting to tone add a trainer to the mix so he/she can begin the process of rebuilding your equitation. Once you have muscles and lowered heels, balance and equitation will follow naturally.
I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse.
- John Galsworthy