Tips for balance

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Tips for balance

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    03-09-2012, 08:22 PM
Tips for balance

I am an over weight rider. I am working on that part of it but I'm sure this is the reason for my balance problem. I'm not horrible at it but do you have some tips on staying in the saddle.

I went riding the other day and my horse got spooked at a tarp they had out for an ACTHA ride coming up and I about made a nasty fall. I had a hard time getting my self up right from the sudden turn and run that I wasn't expecting. If I had fallen I would have fell down a 50 ft hill and into a lake.

I went right back to the barn and told the trainer to start him in his program. He starts today and I am not riding for 3 weeks and then I have to go out on rides with the trainer on his horse while he is on mister

Now I know he will help me a lot and like I said I'm sure weight is an issue but is there anything you guys can suggest. I had a friend say to get some chinks. She said those help a lot.( I hate the way they look). But I will do or buy what ever. My horse is being fixed now I need fixing. I'm not confident in my riding at all
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    03-09-2012, 08:54 PM
If it is a balance issue your having, the best way to find out your center of balance, and others may laugh at this, but it has greatly helped me, and I am no light weight either, is to ride bareback. It works your thigh and calf muscles, you have to sit straight up, because you can "feel" the horse move under you, you can also feel where you need to be or where he may turn.

Good for you for addressing the issue and going to "boot camp" along with your horse, I commend you!
    03-09-2012, 09:15 PM
Green Broke
I agree bareback helped me immensely with my balance, stirrupless work also helps. So now when I ride in a saddle whilst using stirrups its pretty easy to sit a spook and anything too sudden. I didn't realise until I tried just how much harder it is to stay on bareback and how much more effort it takes especially if your horse has a bouncy trot. One of mine had a fast swinging stride so it took me awhile to just stay on without thinking when he was walking.
    03-09-2012, 09:25 PM
OK, here is my best advice for balance - the good thing is you can start on the ground.

Pick a nice spot of lawn where no one is going to be watching. Close your eyes and keep them closed. Hold both arms straight out at shoulder height and make six inch circles. Now start walking in about a ten foot circle. Keep your eyes closed. You will be amazed at how hard this it is to do.

Once you can do this on the ground, take it to horseback. Have someone lunge a horse who has a steady beat and start at the walk. Eyes closed, arms out, and six inch circles. Move up to a trot when you can. Only move to a canter if the horse you are being lunged on will lunge nicely at a canter.

This will do wonders for your balance. Everytime I deal with a rider who is having balance issues, I put them through this. It has worked every time.

Oh - and gettign to the point you can do it bareback is perfect!!
    03-09-2012, 09:33 PM
Balance comes from core muscle strength, and it is a very common problem for over weight riders. It's going to take some hard work, but try pilates excercies..they are great for working the core muscles. You'll be rewarded by seeing how easy it becomes to flow with your horse's movements like you are one.
    03-09-2012, 10:27 PM
Well lucky for me I have a very nicely gaited twh. No canter or lope or anything more then a running walk. He is a very good horse
I was picky when looking for a horse but I know there is no 100% no spook horse. I have been on horses that go on trail rides three times a day everyday and have spooked at the new plastic bag hanging in a tree that wasn't there a few hours before so I know there is only so much training will do for him. He was breed for show but his lazy temperament made him no good for the walking horse world ( lucky for him. Maybe he needs to pass that info on to the other walkers). So he hasn't been trail trained so to speak so that's why I went ahead and put him in training. The place I board him I picked because if the trails Nd events they have I know I can learn a lot he with them. They had buck brannaman last week end and buster McClurey is coming this year as well. I just really don't want to look like I don't belong on a horse around some of these big names. I am just spectating this year with all the clinics and next year I plan on attending. Next week end Leslie Desmond is coming and the is a man coming from georga to attend that might be riding my horse in this clinic. ( free training IMO). But the point is I hate that I am not more confident and hate the fear I have of falling. I spent hours last night googling the subject and got as far as there is a hypnosis cd about this. Just trying to find any and every tip I can because I really want to be ready to get involved and get my money's worth out of this place. I was thinking about palaties any way. You have now given me a reason. Lol
    03-09-2012, 10:41 PM
Raise your stirrups as high as they can go and ride that way for a while (in an arena). It's called frog position (picture how jockeys ride). Walk, then trot, then transition up/down, then throw in some cantering, transition down to walk and back up again, change direction, do circles, patterns, etc. Your legs will look great, you will get a hell of a workout, and your balance will improve a LOT.
yadlim likes this.
    03-09-2012, 10:44 PM
I will try that
    03-09-2012, 10:51 PM
Originally Posted by DancingArabian    
Raise your stirrups as high as they can go and ride that way for a while (in an arena). It's called frog position (picture how jockeys ride). Walk, then trot, then transition up/down, then throw in some cantering, transition down to walk and back up again, change direction, do circles, patterns, etc. Your legs will look great, you will get a hell of a workout, and your balance will improve a LOT.

LOL OMG that sounds painful!!! I think my legs woudl last about two mintues before they died!! Sigh, but I think I will try this too. I want the legs it is sure to achieve!!!
    03-09-2012, 10:52 PM
Lunge line lessons, you can ride without hands and/or stirrups and work solely on your position :)
Allison Finch likes this.

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