Horse Rider Balance

Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at
from Cherry Hill

Making, Not Breaking
Becoming An Effective Rider
101 Arena Exercises
How To Think Like A Horse
Making Not Breaking by Cherry Hill
Your Horse Barn DVD
101 Longeing and Long Lining Exeercises
How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill

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Rider Balance

    2006 Cherry Hill

Dear Cherry:  

     I am a complete beginner at horse riding and started to take English riding lessons. Last week we did the canter and trot for the first time, my problem is that the moment I lean forward onto my feet my right foot is leaning heavily towards the right side of the foot and being in this position ensures it to start cramping seriously after just a few paces. The trainer checked my stirrups and the length seems to be fine. What can I do to ensure proper seating?


Hi R:  

     Many riders sit crooked on a horse which weights one side of the body and one foot more and might lead to what you are talking about. Have you ever seen someone driving a car and talking on their cell phone and leaning way over to the center console of the front seat? Their whole body is crunched to the right side. That same type of crookedness occurs in riders. What happens is the entire side of the rider collapses starting with the head, shoulder and hip which then can cause an imbalance of the weight of the foot in the stirrup.

     Since riding well requires balance, be sure that you are sitting absolutely square with equal weight on both seat bones and your shoulders directly over your hip bones. Look straight ahead and try to "lift up" your sternum so your shoulders rotate back rather than rounding forward. Especially try to remember this as you post or take a forward position for cantering. Usually in the beginning stages of learning to ride, you will discover things about your body position that need work. Your instructor should be able to identify if you are indeed sitting balanced and if not, what needs to be done to correct it. It is good you are taking lessons so that you will have the best chance of developing good habits from the beginning.

Keep your mind in the middle and a leg on each side.

  2004 Cherry Hill





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