I must give props to all you English riders lol.. I am a western rider and I have recently started jumping lessons and I honestly don't no how you guys do it first of all I can't even get my foot in the stirrup because there really short lol but I was wondering what kind of exercises you can do that Would be benificial especially for your thighs and abs because I don't have alot of muscle.. Any tips to improve my balance and posture in the saddle?
Everything everyone has mentioned is right on: working in a 2 point, stirrupless, etc. i'd also like to add that i've noticed that western riders who switch to english often have a tendancy to start off wanting to sit in a chair seat. So make sure that your leg is always correct so you are using and building up the correct muscles. There should be a vertical line from your hip down to your heel with your stirrup on the balls of your feet (outside branch should be slightly angled out so it's perpendicular to the horse). Your heel should be stretched down with more weight on the inside (big toe side) if your foot so your ankle also flexes slightly out.
It is a little different than western huh...lol...works totally different muscles when you jump! I have found NO exercises that help the EXACT muscles you use when riding. Sorry!! =) You can certainly do all of the above mentioned exercises that will make you a stronger person and help with your endurance, but the best way to work the muscles that you need to use while riding is to ride! Good luck! I hope you have fun!