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RioPony 07-17-2010 04:13 AM

Balance Advice
I need some advice & tips on keeping my balance in the saddle.
I have really bad coordination and balance on my own feet so I have the same problem on my horse. It really hinders me from being a good, confident rider & is probably hard on my horse. I want to eventually jump him but there is absolutely no way I can progress when I have a balance issue. Does anyone have the same problem and/or some advice to give. I'd really appreciate it, especially from people to jump & ride huntseat.

- Brie.

White Foot 07-17-2010 05:55 AM

If you can, ride bareback, it will teach you alot about balance. Don't trot until you are 100% confident at the walk. Have you had your ears checked?

Pinto 07-17-2010 06:15 AM

Agreed. Have some bareback lunge lessons. No stirrups or reins. Obviously, don't try that at a trot or canter until you're sure you won't go falling off haha. If you feel unsteady grab a bit of mane or the front of the saddle. I think it helps to just close your eyes and feel the movement of the horse.
Balance is something that usually comes with practice - like learning to trot. At first you're bouncy and unstable and then you begin to work together with the horse and it gets easier. You'll get there eventually :)

RioPony 07-17-2010 08:33 AM

My ears should be fine I think, I have regular check-ups and they always check my ears. I think I'm just naturally unbalanced to be honest, lol. It's a curse.
Usually if I hold any mane or the saddle I just get more unbalanced for some reason.
I would love to try riding bareback though. I've heard that it does wonders for balance.

Saskia 07-17-2010 10:29 AM

Make your stirrups long. Sink your weight through them, don't balance on your backside, balance with your legs.

Do some work without stirrups. There isn't a shortcut, you'll need to build up muscles to hold you stable. Ride as much as you can, and make sure you don't balance with your hands. Let your weight sink down.

xdrybonesxvalleyx 07-17-2010 10:30 AM

Because of my CMT I'm naturally unbalanced. My mom and her mom end up tripping and falling randomly without a cause. I have no such incidences, but I have no such incidences. However, on the horse it's different, and I'm alright.

Other than riding bareback, you can drop the stirrups and the reins.

xdrybonesxvalleyx 07-17-2010 10:31 AM

Oh! You may also have problems with your core. Do some core workouts. Strengthening your core /really/ makes a difference. You're probably relying too much on reins and stirrups.

Beling 07-17-2010 03:06 PM

I think exercises really help. Have someone hold your horse, or lunge you, while you turn your torso; touch your toes; bring your feet up; do windmills with your arms, both directions of course, singly or in pairs; whatever you can think of. Just move around, even lean back, touch your horse's ears. It's fun, and I guarantee, after 20 minutes you will feel deeper in the saddle and more balanced.:-)

Regan7312 07-17-2010 03:10 PM

working without stirrups really helps me.

MissH 07-19-2010 12:41 PM

No stirrups until you learn to sit. It's a painful process until you learn it...but once you can sit without stirrups and attain natural balance with your horse you will be such an overall better rider for it. This will take some time and I 100% agree with the posters that said that this is a process and not to trot/canter until you are ready. With that being said, you will need to push yourself slightly every time you ride to continue to progress.


Originally Posted by Pinto (Post 693803)
No stirrups or reins. Obviously, don't try that at a trot or canter until you're sure you won't go falling off haha. If you feel unsteady grab a bit of mane or the front of the saddle.

I'm going to have to disagree with this one. As soon as you lean forward you throw yourself and your horse off balance. How do I know this? Previous experience. When I started no stirrup work, every time I got nervous or started to panic, what was my answer? Grab the pommel. And what happens then? You end up grabbing your horse in the mouth, losing balance, throwing them off balance, and so on - which may or may not make your horse rush, and just add to the problems. So my advice is completely opposite to this - sit straight/back, and sit in.

I also agree with the core work suggestion.

Keep us posted! :wink:

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