Tips for balance - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 16 Old 03-09-2012, 09:56 PM
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If you are afraid to go bareback, can you borrow a saddle? I ride a 15.5 in saddle with a rough leather seat (omg forgot what it's called). My trainer sat me in his slick 17 in saddle and lowered the stirrups too low. It was essentially the same thing. I slid all over that seat but if I had to I had stuff to grab.

Also have someone lead the horse and you go no handed. A walk is good. You will be able to focus on balance while someone else has control.

Last edited by AQHSam; 03-09-2012 at 10:01 PM.
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-09-2012, 09:57 PM
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Your horse is beautiful! I love gaited horses! What is helping me with balance is being on a lunge line and trotting no hands & with hands on my head or out to the side. Maybe someday no stirrups....not there yet.
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-09-2012, 10:42 PM
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it's hard to sit out a spin (having been set on the ground 5 times by a spin in the last 3 years) but , what usually causes the most porblems is if you are braced in your stirrups, with them sticking out in front of you, you have a hard place from which the rest of your body gets "launched " off of. The locked knee and boot braced into the stirrup makes your whole upper body react to a spin by actaully pivoting off that rigid spot and swinging, like the "crack the whip" effect. Really builds up centrifugal forces and your upper body just falls forward and off the horse.

If you are balancing right over the center of your body, with you legs down below you , you will not be flung out onto the circle of the swing so badly, less centrifugal force and you'll tend to pivot WITH your horse, right around the very center of his body.

So, one thing to work on is NOT bracind your knee, NOT pushing hard into the stirrup, and sitting upstraight, never slouching.
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-10-2012, 11:02 PM
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The combo spin/bolt is very hard to sit. That's my most common reason for hitting the dirt!

I would try exercises that relax your pelvis and lower back muscles to get you deeper and more secure in the saddle. These are usually done in a longe lesson, but you can do them on a quiet horse by yourself too.

When nobody's around, drop your stirrups and try these:

1. Bicycle - With alternating legs, draw circles with your knees on the knee roll of the saddle. Not a huge movement, just enough to lift the whole leg up and down a few inches each time. Just picture pedaling a bicycle

2. Raise both thighs straight up so you're sitting on just your seat bones. This one makes sure your pelvis is sitting straight and not tipped forward or back.

3. At the walk, take one leg off the saddle and then the other in time with the horse's steps. This one helps you get in sync with your horse's stride and helps balance and suppleness of your lower back at the same time.

After doing these, take your stirrups back and notice they feel shorter. This is because you have successfully relaxed your back and tension in your legs. You should feel more deeper into the saddle and have a wonderful "aha" moment.

Good luck!

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-12-2012, 09:34 AM
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When a horse suddenly spins even the best riders come out of the saddle. It's not just you.
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-12-2012, 10:32 AM
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While all these sound great, and are I am sure. The real problem is going to continue to be your weight. And all the balance in the world won't overcome that either.

And speaking from experience here so I do know what I am talking about.

The weight on thighs, calves and rear makes a huge difference in our riding ability and our balance. Not to mention of course what it does to horse.

What are you doing to get weight down? I would work hard on that too, as all the balancing exercises in the world will not help half as much as that will.

Come to think of it? This would be a good thread for the riders who are battling weight issues.

Hang on, let me see where it could go. Be right back.

Horses make me a better person.
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