5 Exercises To Help Improve Riding Skills and Posture

A rider and their horse are a team. A rider’s goal is to communicate with its horse. 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. 

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. Riders have specific exercises for body strength, balance, posture, and riding position. 

These horseback rider exercises are geared to improve strength, riding position, and balance:

Albatross

Albatross is an upper-body exercise that aims to improve posture over the shoulder girdle to the upper back.

1. Lay flat with the tummy on the ground

2. Keep feet on the floor

3. Stretch arms wide

4. Lift chest and arms together while eyes are looking down

5. Allow 5 seconds on the stretched position or as long as can be handled then lower the arms

Bridge Glute Lifts

Bridge Glute Lift is an excellent workout that aims to strengthen the hamstrings, bottom, and lower back.

1. Lay on your back

2. Lift bottom upward, pull heels inwards until it aligns with the knees

3. Lay arms flat on the floor, palms down

4. Push hips upward then lower 

Single-Leg Bridges

Single-Leg Bridges is a strengthening exercise that also improves symmetry.

1. Lay on back

2. Lift bottom up, pull heels inwards until it aligns with the

3. Lay arms flat on the floor, palms down

4. Lift one leg, and press hips upwards, focusing on the squeezing the bottom, then lower again.

5. Redo step 4 with another leg

Horse Stance

Horse Stance is a stretching exercise that aids in improving core strength and stabilize spine muscles. This also improves balance and coordination.

1. Palms and knees on the ground. The hands should align with the shoulders, and the knees should align with the hips.

2. While keeping the back straight, lift right arm simultaneous with left leg and stretch

3. Redo step 2 with opposite arm and leg

Superman

The superman exercise, as it’s called, helps improve back strength and stabilize spine muscles.

1. Lay on stomach, point right toe and stretch as you lift the right leg

2. Lift the left arm while keeping eyes down.

3. Redo step using opposite arm and leg

4. Focus on the control and not on the speed

Improve your horse riding balance

These three elements improve horse riding balance:

1. Proper posture on the saddle

  • Sit on the lowest part of the saddle. Avoid leaning forward or backward. Sit up straight.
  • Align your body. Your heel should be aligned with your hips and spine. 
  • Weight should be distributed evenly. Avoid putting the entire body weight on the seat. 
  • Arms should be flexible all the time. Proper holding the rein is vital because this is a means to communicate with the horse. Hold elbows for it will align with the horse’s mouth. 

2. Train the horse. These routines will make the rider and the horse get used to working with each other. 

  • After mounting, stand on the stirrups. This should resemble a crouching position.
  • Trot around on a 2-point position. Doing this is a good exercise to build leg muscles and improve balance. 
  • Riding without stirrups will teach you how to grip without any help. 
  • Leaning sideways will help improve mobility while maintaining balance on the saddle.

3. Exercise to improve saddle posture

Build the core muscles of the spine and abdomen. A strong core helps stabilize the posture of the upper body.

  • 1-leg extension
  • Full body curl
  • Plank
  • Bicycle crunch

Strengthen legs by doing leg exercises. 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. 

  • Squats
  • Skipping
  • Quad stretch

Do as much yoga as possible. The exercise helps improve balance off and on the horse. It also promotes flexible body posture while horse riding. 

  • Warrior pose
  • Spinal twist

The exercises can be done in 10 counts for 12 – 15 sets. Stretches should focus on control and not on how fast the routine is completed. Do not forget to rest after every set.