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?
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!
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.
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.
Thanks, all. That makes a lot of sense.
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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.
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. ;)
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.
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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