Having a good balance when riding horses is essential for many reasons. For instance, your balance affects the horse's balance which in turn affects how well the horse can perform. As a rider, practicing and improving your balance is something you have to actively do every time you get on your horse.
Today, we will look at how you can improve your balance and what kind of things affect it. Read more to find out how you can become a better rider by improving your balance and allowing your horse to perform at its best.
Your balance affects your horse's balance
When a rider is being put on top of the horse, this throws the horse's natural balance off. You can easily see it in young horses who have only recently found their own balance: when a rider sits in the saddle, the horse needs to find their own balance all over again, and especially young horses will have a hard time carrying themselves as they are balancing themselves and their rider.
If the rider is wobbly, doesn't have a good balance and they lean every which way, the horse will have a hard time moving straight, stepping underneath themselves, and relaxing their neck and back.
However, when the rider is perfectly balanced and follows the horse's movements, they both cooperate in harmony and the collaboration is beautiful to watch.
Practicing your balance - practical tips
The more you ride horses, the better your balance will become. Having an excellent balance can even help you to become so in tune with your horse that you can affect their movement simply by shifting your weight a bit forward, backward, or to the side.
Below, we have listed some practical tips that can help you to improve your balance when riding horses.
Riding in a lunge line is your best workout
If you want to improve your balance, one of the best things you can do is to have your trainer lunge your horse while you simply focus on your seat. Not having to worry about steering will allow you to focus on your leg positioning, seat bones, posture, and relaxing your shoulders and back.
As you ride in a lunge line, relax your arms by your side or lift them to your side like airplane wings. Press your heels down in your stirrups, lean slightly backwards and look forward with your chin up. Focus on moving with your horse and keeping your weight evenly on both of your seat bones.
Take off your stirrups
You can do this on a lunge line or when having a regular riding lesson. Nothing helps you to sit deep like riding without stirrups! As you remove your stirrups, you will not have the extra support and help, but you will have to completely rely on your own balance, core, and posture to keep you in the right position.
Riding without stirrups will allow your legs to relax all the way from the hip, you will sit deeper in the saddle, and it will be easier for you to not squeeze your knees or thighs.
Do core exercises
Your balance will improve tremendously when you do core exercises at home. For instance, many riders love taking Pilates classes to strengthen their core and to improve their balance in the saddle. When your core is strong, it is easier for you to move with your horse and to balance in all gaits.
Stretch at home or in the saddle
Did you know that simply having a good alignment in your body will help you with your balance? If you are crooked or your left hip flexor is tighter than the right one (for instance), you will be automatically off balance. So, go home, do some leg, back, and shoulder stretches and see how it affects your riding experience.
Get a pair of magnetic safety stirrups
Many of our customers have reported improved balance after buying our magnetic safety stirrups. As the magnetic connection pulls the rider's foot into the correct spot and keeps it there, the rider will immediately feel more secure and confident. This will allow the rider to also find their balance and improve their posture.
Our magnetic safety stirrups, Ophena S and Ophena S Pro, have received over 1,500 five-star reviews. See for yourself and read or stirrup reviews.
Practical exercises off the saddle
You can improve your balance on the saddle by practicing your balance off the saddle. For instance by doing simple balance exercises, stretching, and doing strength training, you can quickly notice improved balance.
In the video below, you can see easy balancing exercises you can do in your own living room.
Also, Pilates for equestrians has proven to be an excellent way to build your strength while improving your balance.
In the video below, you can see some simple and practical Pilates exercises for equestrians.
Get your own pair of magnetic safety stirrups
Ophena S and Ophena S Pro are loved all over the world by amateurs and professionals alike. Our innovative magnetic safety stirrups have helped riders to feel more confident and safe, improve their balance and posture, improve their leg and foot position, and more.
Both of our magnetic safety stirrup models include the following features:
- They have an open design that allows the rider's foot to release easier in case of an accident
- They are made with stainless steel
- They include excellent treading for better grip
- They have a Smart Attach™-system that makes it easy to attach and detach your stirrups to and from the stirrup leathers
Ophena safety stirrups are only available at Ophena.com. Here's how you can buy your own safety stirrups.
- Choose the stirrup model
- Choose the color (onyx black or silver)
- Choose the size of your magnetic insoles
- Fill in your details
All of our safety stirrups come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
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