How to keep balance on a horse?

The balance and posture of the rider during the practice of horseback riding is a factor that greatly determines the safety, well-being and health of the mount and rider. A bad position can cause damage to the horse’s back and will make it more easily unbalanced, while for the rider the chances of ending up on the ground are greater.

When you start riding there are many things to learn to do simultaneously. You must pay attention to the correct position of the body, legs, arms and hands and It is natural that it is difficult to be aware of everything at the same time.

On many occasions, due to tension and insecurity, we end up arching our backs and throwing our bodies forward, so that during the first classes the main thing is to learn to relaxto read the signals of the horse and to have a basic management of the equipment and of the animal.

However, it is important not to neglect the posture that the rider adopts before continuing to advance in level. How we place our weight and our body makes the horse move in one way or another.

The position of the back also facilitates or hinders movements for riders, so having good postural health is a basic issue if we want to enjoy riding while minimizing the risks for both the animal and ourselves.

How does balance affect the rider?

Horse riding is one of the most complete sports that exist, since almost all muscle groups are worked, from the torso and arms to the abdomen, back and legs.

For this reason It is a demanding activity that needs to be practiced correctly so as not to strain the muscles.. In addition, a proper position gives us balance and security, allowing us to stay in the seat in the face of any unforeseen event.

Secondly, adopting a correct back posture is one of the most important details and more difficult to achieve, since depending on how we place it we will have a better position of the legs and we will be able to work more efficiently to give the orders to the horse.

in beginners one of the most frequent mistakes is to throw the body forward. This causes the legs to go backwards, making the grip less and that we are not able to place the aids well, so the horse will not understand our instructions.

in this position we won’t be sitting safely on the saddle, so we will bounce and move more during the trot and canter. In addition, by having much of our weight forward if our horse brakes or stumbles there is more risk that we end up on the ground.

What are the risks of unbalanced riding for the horse?

Although as riders we are able to easily see the risks of riding with poor balance for ourselves, it is not so easy to know how the fact that we are badly placed affects the animalwith the back twisted or the body lying very far forward.

Of natural form horses are not prepared to carry weight and people have been able to modify the equine movement to ensure that that extra weight does not cause them problems. For this reason, when a rider rides unbalanced, several things happen.

rider balance on a horse

In the first place, the correct way in which a horse should move is by carrying more weight on the rear third, leaving the hands free. This makes the withers higher than the croup. On the contrary, If our body moves forward, this balance changes by carrying more weight on the hands. and preventing the horse from tucking its feet under its body.

This position causes your back sags and your vertebrae are under excessive stress. The muscles of the back and neck become tense and the joints of the front legs must bear more weight.

All this generates discomfort or chronic pain, predisposes to hand falls and increases the risk of injury. The same thing happens if our back is crooked, since one side of the horse’s body must support more weight than the other.

riding working on the rider’s posture is vital to achieve a good technique and make it easier for our horse to move freely and comfortably. To do this, we must work on the animal with specific exercises and on the ground with bodybuilding, stretching and muscle relaxation training.

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