If you said your trainer has never told you to pull your shoulders back or sit up straight, you'd probably be lying. Finding that perfect posture and maintaining it requires a lot of practice, and even the best dressage riders in the world have had to practice hours upon hours before perfecting it.
Having good posture is not only for the looks, as your posture also affects your seat and as a result, your horse. Today, we have shared some practical and easy tricks to help you to improve your posture when riding horses.
Why is good posture essential?
When a rider sits on a horse, it always puts the horse's natural balance off. In other words, the horse has to adjust its own movements and balance accordingly when a rider is sitting in the saddle.
The affect a rider has on the horse's balance is very easy to see in young horses who are being broken in: they have a hard time going straight and their movement is uneven as they're trying to figure out their own balance as well as the extra weight on top of them. As they get used to the rider, they learn to move better and in balance underneath the rider.
However, even when you ride older and experienced horses, the horse always needs to find its own balance underneath the rider. The more balanced the rider is, the easier it is for the horse.
This is where good posture comes in.
When a rider sits up straight with his or her shoulders pulled back, weight evenly on the seat bones, and their chin up, the rider is balanced.
But for instance, if the rider's weight is more on the right side, his or her left shoulder will be pulled down and the right heel will be up to compensate the uneven balance.
Or if the rider's shoulders are hunched over, the rider's hand becomes hard on the horse's mouth as the rider is unable to move his or her hands with the horse.
Effective tips to help improve the posture
As you can see, the rider's posture can affect the whole riding experience in many ways. The better your posture is, the easier it is for you to stay in balance and to effectively give signals to your horse.
Below, we will look at some tricks that can help you to improve your posture.
Ride on a lunge line
Whenever you need to improve your seat or posture, riding on a lunge line as your trainer lunges the horse is one of the most effective ways to find your posture. You will not need to worry about controlling the horse as your trainer is doing it for you, and you can simply focus on your posture.
If you are brave enough, you can tie the reins on the horse's neck and let go of them. This allows your shoulders and arms to move freely, so you can easily practice pulling your shoulders back.
Ride without stirrups
Another effective way to correct your posture is to ride without stirrups. Riders always rely on their stirrups to an extent so when the stirrups and the support are removed, the rider is forced to find balance, good posture, and correct seat. Riding without stirrups can be done on a lunge line or during a regular riding lesson: simply cross your stirrups over the horse's neck and relax your leg.
Try magnetic safety stirrups
Using Ophena S or Ophena S Pro magnetic safety stirrups can have a huge impact on your riding experience. The magnetic pull between your stirrups and your insoles places your foot in the correct spot and keeps it there throughout your ride. This in turn helps you to find a correct position for your foot, allows your to relax your entire leg, and thus makes it easier to find a better balance and posture.
In fact, many of our customers have reported improved posture and balance when using our stirrups. You can take a look at our stirrup reviews to see for yourself.
Get your own magnetic safety stirrups
If you'd like to see why our magnetic safety stirrups have received over 1,500 five-star reviews, go ahead and order your own stirrups at Ophena.com. They are sold exclusively at Ophena, so head over to our shop and take a look at our highly rated stirrups.
You can buy yours in a few simple steps:
- Choose the stirrup model you want (Ophena S or Ophena S Pro)
- Choose the color (silver or black)
- Choose the size of your magnetic insoles
- Fill in your details
You will have a 60-day money-back guarantee - that's how much we believe in our stirrups!