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Hickory67 03-12-2012 08:20 AM

Balance
 
I'm a total novice rider and am having trouble with balance. I'm fine at the walk and have good body position. Once the horse breaks into a trot, however, I find myself having to adjust my body position, i guess putting downward pressure on the stirrups and causing her to stop. Now the trainer admits that sometimes it's the horse - she's tired of being a lesson horse and gets lazy; but most of the time I think it's my fault. My trainer tells me to relax and just sit - but when I think I am the horse goes a few paces and halts.

Any tips on how I can practice this?

Hickory67 03-12-2012 08:33 AM

Oops...didn't see the Tips for Balance thread before I posted. Sorry for the.duplication.

MHFoundation Quarters 03-12-2012 08:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hickory67 (Post 1403305)
Oops...didn't see the Tips for Balance thread before I posted. Sorry for the.duplication.

No worries!

I'd suggest doing a lot of stirupless work. It's very easy & common when learning to put a good amount of pressure into the stirrups and essentially brace for balance. It is however, counterproductive and will unseat a rider.

Balance comes from having an independent core & seat. Think of how a belly dancer moves, hips and midsection can flow independently without effecting legs or upper body, stomach can "roll" up and down. We as riders need to have similar independent movement. Think of your core as your "shocks", the concussion of the horse's movement should be absorbed through your middle.

I explain it to my little riders with weeble toys as an example. Silly but it is a good visual. They work because of the ball bearing inside that rolls around as a counterbalance. Think of having that ball bearing in your middle and "roll" your ball with your horse's movement.

See if you can do a lunge line lesson stirupless. Start at a walk and over exaggerate the movement through your mid section. Try to move with and count the footfalls of your horse. Then do the same at a trot/jog. If you start to lose your balance, grab the horn, take a break, try again. It takes a long time to find that true feel & independent movement.

I also have students hula hoop. Sounds silly but it helps loosen up hips and get a feel for the "wiggle" a rider needs in their middle.

Do "airplanes" with arms straight out and make circles in the air, put one hand on top of your head/switch, while stopped take your right hand to left boot top (w/out stirrups) lh to right boot top focusing on keeping your seat in the saddle, doing some of those types of exercises will take a bit of focus from "riding" helping you relax and sort of fall into it.

Hope that helps!

PaintHorseMares 03-12-2012 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters (Post 1403321)
Balance comes from having an independent core & seat. Think of how a belly dancer moves, hips and midsection can flow independently without effecting legs or upper body, stomach can "roll" up and down. We as riders need to have similar independent movement. Think of your core as your "shocks", the concussion of the horse's movement should be absorbed through your middle.

Yes..tension and stiffness is your enemy...a relaxed lower body is your friend. I've also found that folks actually also have this problem when they 'think' too much about their position/legs/etc... it tends to make you stiff instead of just letting your body naturally follow the motion of the horse.

Hickory67 03-12-2012 09:26 AM

Ok thanks! I'll try some of those. My wife would love to see me in a hoola hoop anyway :-b

MHFoundation Quarters 03-12-2012 09:36 AM

Lol! My hubby tried it, but insisted he had to do so in the barn with the doors closed so he could be sure no one would witness it :lol:

Hickory67 03-12-2012 10:38 AM

Lol! I don't care. Everyone knows I'm a coupla bricks shy of a load anyway - they'd just nod and say "Mmm-hm, that's Hickory."

waresbear 03-13-2012 12:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters (Post 1403355)
Lol! My hubby tried it, but insisted he had to do so in the barn with the doors closed so he could be sure no one would witness it :lol:


Don't suppose you have any pirated video of that?:-o


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