How does weight affect your balance in the saddle? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 9 Old 03-13-2014, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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How does weight affect your balance in the saddle?

Hello, forum! I'm curious about how your weight affects riding in terms of balance. I'm a plus-size rider, and my balance seems to be fairly good, but when I ride my guy bareback (only once in a while and only walking) my balance is awful.

I'm wondering if this is something that's just going to be a reality until I lose the weight, or is it something I can vastly improve now? Do any of you heavier riders have issues with bareback balance?

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post #2 of 9 Old 03-13-2014, 08:35 PM
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So I'm not exactly plus sized. I am 5' 5" tall and weigh 150 lbs but I can tell you that when I weighed 135 my balance was sooooo much better! I am still fit or I guess 'strong' is a better word but that extra 15 lbs is really making me struggle. Mostly I notice it getting left behind if my horse accelerates a smidge more quickly than I expected but really overall.

I think that practice makes perfect and you'll gain better balance and muscle as you ride bareback more but I also think that losing weight does help a lot.
I'm working on losing those 15 lbs because I've noticed that my riding abilities have been affected by it. Man is it hard! Good luck to you!
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-13-2014, 09:16 PM
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Like any sport, the fitter you are, the better you can perform. Doesn't mean you stop doing the sport until you are fit however, put nothing on hold.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-13-2014, 11:46 PM
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More mass will mean more acceleration, like when your horse stops really suddenly , and you don't. Especially true if a high percentage of your mass is higher up, like large breasts. Ask me how I know.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-14-2014, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, all. That makes a lot of sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
More mass will mean more acceleration, like when your horse stops really suddenly , and you don't. Especially true if a high percentage of your mass is higher up, like large breasts. Ask me how I know.
Oh, I know aaaall about that :P
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-22-2014, 07:44 PM
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My balance has improved a bit by really focusing on my leg / core muscles. I definitely feel it would be easier if I had less moving against me. I have never ridden while smaller though so I am not really sure the difference. I think that as I do lose weight I will need to relearn my balance or adjust because it will change.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-22-2014, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
More mass will mean more acceleration, like when your horse stops really suddenly , and you don't.
x2. I've put on 20# over the winter (a cruise, and a lot of hibernation because of the brutal weather) and I can tell you that it's affected my balance a lot, and not for the better..

I've also noticed that it's effecting other things - rode last Monday and tried to hold the 2 point for a 3-4 laps around the arena and my back started to disagree with that after 2. ;)
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-24-2014, 11:21 PM
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I have always been "plus size," but I used to have crazy strong muscles from being super active. I had some health issues that had me mostly sedentary for a long time, and when I got back into riding even though I was roughly the same weight my muscle strength was so far gone that I could barely take my feet out of the stirrups without losing balance - as opposed to the past where I could jump bareback no problem.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-27-2014, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapph View Post
I have always been "plus size," but I used to have crazy strong muscles from being super active. I had some health issues that had me mostly sedentary for a long time, and when I got back into riding even though I was roughly the same weight my muscle strength was so far gone that I could barely take my feet out of the stirrups without losing balance - as opposed to the past where I could jump bareback no problem.
Bareback jumping! Sheesh. I can barely ride corners bareback at a walk ;)

My balance tends to be pretty good normally, and I've gotten fairly strong over the last few months (I started paying a trainer to kick my butt), but as soon as I get on bareback, I'm toast.

It might just be that I'm not going to be any good at it as long as I'm putting my wide me on a narrowish horse ;)

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