Best Exercises For Horseback Riding

Ava Flores
• Monday, 07 December, 2020
• 7 min read

A rider’s posture and dressage position should be coordinated with the horse’s balance and symmetry. Riders need to stay stable and still, while simultaneously mobile and flexible to move along with the horse.

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To become a highly skilled rider, one must have stability, proper posture, correct riding position, alignment, and stamina. Improving these aspects will help the horse understand the commands and will more likely respond better.

Lift one leg, and press hips upwards, focusing on the squeezing the bottom, then lower again. Horse Stance is a stretching exercise that aids in improving core strength and stabilize spine muscles.

While keeping the back straight, lift right arm simultaneous with left leg and stretch The superman exercise, as it’s called, helps improve back strength and stabilize spine muscles.

Lay on stomach, point right toe and stretch as you lift the right leg Avoid putting the entire body weight on the seat.

Proper holding the rein is vital because this is a means to communicate with the horse. Doing this is a good exercise to build leg muscles and improve balance.

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Leaning sideways will help improve mobility while maintaining balance on the saddle. A strong core helps stabilize the posture of the upper body.

1-leg extension Full body curl Plank Bicycle crunch The legs need to be strong to improve balance, grip, and control of the horse.

The use of a hip circle band will increase results when doing these exercises. It also promotes flexible body posture while horse riding.

Stretches should focus on control and not on how fast the routine is completed. Mastering the fundamentals of horseback riding is an important part of becoming a good rider and skilled horseman.

For more inspiration, check out the books I reference at the bottom of the post including my favorite: 101 Arena Exercises for Horse & Rider (available on Amazon.com). With new beginners, these exercises are best attempted while the rider is on a lunge line or lead rope.

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When your horse is on a lunge line, extend your arms to the sides like an airplane. Twist your upper body ninety degrees so that your chest becomes parallel with your horse.

This can be challenging for beginners, so work your way up from a walk to faster gaits like trot or canter. Start with one foot at a time, so you can maintain proper balance and feel where your leg is supposed to be.

Even with your foot out of the stirrup, your leg should stay in the proper position (knee bent, your ankle in a straight line under your hip, toes up). Note: Tennis shoes, as worn by the rider in this stock image, are not recommended for riding.

The stretches and strengthens your hips, and helps you sit better on your “pockets.” You can also try doing circular movements with your legs away from the saddle. Be careful not to inadvertently kick your horse in the process, but a seasoned school pony would be a perfect partner for these sorts of exercises.

With one or both feet out of the stirrups, lift your toes and roll them in small circles. This will help improve your balance, stretch your ankles, and get you thinking about your toe position.

exercises horse riding horseback stretches stretching english
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If you’re a trainer and you want to add some whimsy to your riding routine in a beginner group lesson, try some games to shake things up. This exercise generally requires a helper to hold, lead, or lunge the horse.

Swing your other leg over your horse’s rear, so now you’re sitting backward in the saddle. This classic children’s game is perfect for practicing gait transitions and listening skills.

Call out directions: “red light” means “stop” (or downward gait transition). This game is great for practicing arm circles, stirrup work, and listening skills.

You can place the paper underneath different points of contact for your riders, depending on their abilities and strengths. Even if you don’t plan on becoming an Olympic show-jumper, riding your horse over a ground pole in a two-point position is a fun way to improve balance and work on your concentration.

This can help you work on steering, and it’s a good way to loosen up your horse and get him paying attention as well. Once you’ve mastered posting, shake up your trotting exercises by practicing some diagonal changes.

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Try adding a wide tongue depressor or popsicle stick to the inside of your wrist, and securing it with tape. As you ride, the wooden sticks will help keep your wrists straight.

If you have trouble remembering how long or short your reins are supposed to be, you can mark them with colored tape. Riding programs with a lot of beginners often invest in multicolored reins to remind their students where their hands should be.

Compare holding a small child who's asleep to when it is awake and sitting up in your arms. Poor posture, muscle imbalances, and general lack of fitness can make riding less enjoyable, and may lead to less time in the saddle.

Remember to start slow when beginning any exercise, including riding, and if you've had any injuries or health issues to talk to your doctor first. Whether you're out on trail, in the show ring or power cleaning the barn you can increase your stamina by strengthening your heart muscle.

Learn What Makes a Workout Cardio, From Marguerite Ogle, guide to Pilates. Carriage/Paul Bradbury/Getty Images We've long thought that stretching before any exercise was a good idea to warm up our muscles and prevent strains.

horse riding exercises stirrups beginner equestrian today
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You can buy exercise balls inexpensively, but you may be happier with one bought through a sports therapist, that is sized for your length of leg.

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