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existentialpony 02-26-2013 10:53 PM

Balance advice
Have you ever had one of those days where you feel completely in tune with your horse, have an excellent ride and feel like you've made progress?

And then the next day, suddenly you feel like you're a sack of potatoes-worth of a rider bouncing around on a quality horse that could do so darn well if you could keep yourself more balanced and speak more from your seat?

Yup. One of those days. :?

I have started introducing regular stirrupless riding (and as of today some bareback trotting-- not the comfy WP kind, unfortunately :cry: which is the only one I can seem to sit bareback!) to improve my balance and seat at the trot. FYI, I am currently riding Western and have an English saddle arriving from eBay on Monday for some cross-training. I ordered the book "101 Dressage Exercises" to give myself something to work with, and will probably start lessons again once my budget recovers from the new English saddle. :wink:

I guess my question is-- has anyone found a little cross-training (for me: from Western to English) useful for improving your balance and seat? Do you have any advice? Am I the only one who has these horrible, guilty days on my angel of a horse? :cry: It's so much easier when he's the one with problems that I'm correcting... haha!

Thanks all.

palogal 02-26-2013 11:01 PM

Yoga helps you establish your balance witch does help with balance on a horse. Also exercise ball stuff helps too. Stand in the stirrups at the trot, hold jumping position at the canter and trotting over trot poles, are good balance things too.

existentialpony 02-27-2013 12:13 AM

Thanks for that!

Silly question about two point (since it's been about 7 years since I had to use it...)... I am using my thighs to hold my position on the saddle and sinking my weight into my heels... is this correct?

palogal 02-27-2013 01:57 PM

Yes that's right. Use your core for balance.
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Skyseternalangel 02-27-2013 03:01 PM

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Cross training benefits yourself and your horse.

Yoga is good, regular exercise is good.. cooling down your horse backback is good...stirrupless riding is good.. more riding is good.

If you don't mind, can you post a still shot of you riding? Perhaps it's not lack of balance but maybe you're a bit off somewhere (pinching knees, sitting too far forward, etc.) that is affecting your seat and therefore your balance.

existentialpony 02-28-2013 12:40 PM

I will have to take a shot or two and post them this weekend and/or when my new saddle arrives next week. I'm always intimidated by that sort of thing! But I will. :)

Yesterday I rode bareback with a sidepull and did lots of straight-line trotting... and a few circles at the end. I didn't fall off, so that's good. :lol: Man were my thighs dying by the end of it!

I think I am going to start working out again/doing a little yoga as you guy have suggested. I'm starting to realize that it might be my out-of-shape muscles causing a little bit of the problem.

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