The Horse Riding Posture is a Unique Posture and a difficult one to achieve with ease.
There is a lot of information about what the horse riding posture should be but very little on HOW TO Train it! The muscles and movement patterns involved are more complicated than many think.
If horse riding is your absolute passion and learning to ride to your best, is your aim, then read my blog. Horses and teaching riders is my passion and I love to see riders become their best.
We all know when sitting in the saddle the body should be tall and upright and the line from the bit to the elbow should be straight. We all know the lower leg should be just behind the girth and the heel hip and shoulder should be in line vertically. This is the ideal horse riding posture.
This ideal posture is also a static posture (sorry appears static but is really in motion with the horse) and here lies the problem, the horse is a moving animal and this posture is very difficult to maintain in motion.
Horse riding instructors are now recommending that all horse riders get out of the saddle and strengthen their core. It has taken along time for the riding world to realize the core is the key to great riding.
But strengthening the core is not enough. Riders need to learn how to use their core.
To be able to use the seat, legs and hands independently needs to be trained out of the saddle.To achieve a skilled effective and good looking horse riding posture is actually quite complicated. It is essential to train the parts individually using movement patterns for horse riding. This is best taught by a Physiotherapist, an expert in movement, and muscles and pain and injury.
The horse riding posture is commonly adjusted by riding instructors. Many instructors tell their pupils to sit up, look up, stay still, use more seat, and be soft. These are common commands and riders have huge difficulty in achieving these results all at once. They may be able to sit up, but not sit still. They may be able to be still but not effective. It is very difficult to achieve the final result all at once.To achieve an ideal horse riding posture can’t be done without training the individual body parts.
This is where many riders don’t achieve the best results.
As a Physiotherapist I retrain people to walk, and move correctly. I do this is in segments. To teach a patient to walk again we start with weight bearing, weight transfer and then movement patterns and progress through to the final outcome, walking with a great posture.
The Horse Rider must learn HOW TO move each body part ……independent of each part.
The horse rider has to be able to apply leg but not move the seat. The horse rider must be able to sit still but still be able to move the pelvis, the horse rider must be able to apply different aids with different body parts on different sides and get it right every time. This takes skill and posture training.
The best horse riding exercise program to teach all of these skills is Applied Posture Riding.
No other sport requires the same skill, strength and endurance from the athlete as horse riding does. Very few sports require absolute symmetry from both the left and the right side of the body. No other sport requires the athlete to control a moving animal with its own mind and personality. There are very few sports that have men and women competing side by side equally either.
The Horse Rider is a Unique Athlete.
The horse and rider are a team.
70% of horses are left sided and 90% of horse riders are right sided. Here lies the conflict. Every equestrian discipline tests their skill to both sides. The horse rider must be equally skilled at applying aids with both the left and the right side of their body.
The horse rider must be equally flexible and stable with both the left and right side of the body.
The Horse Riding Posture must be trained with horse riding exercises.
If you are one side-ed out of the saddle you will be one sided in the saddle.
If you want to train your horse riding posture Applied Posture Riding is one of the best on DVD.
So What Skills Does The Horse Rider Need.?
Horse riding requires a very static low range of movement from most of the trunk and limb muscles. It is unlike running or athletics or a ball sport, all of which require the limbs to move through large ranges of motion.
All sports require good core stability but horse riding in particular demands a strong core for the stability required to apply effective balanced aids to the horse.The core is the key to skillful horse riding. Training the Core is know as Pilates. Training the core in horse riders is now called Equestrian Pilates.
What is Equestrian Pilates?
Pilates is the term used to exercise the posture and the mostly the deep core abdominal muscles. It has been marketed as the new wave exercise program for a flat stomach and toned body. This is exactly what it can do if taught properly. Unfortunately many people are attending Pilates classes and basically just doing aerobics with a tighter tummy instruction.
Pilates is the specific training of the transverse abdominal muscle (TVA). It must be taught by a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist. Not all Pilates classes are going to help you as a horse rider.
Equestrian Pilates is even more complex. Horse riding exercises need to be detailed specific to the horse rider. It is important to learn how to contract, then test and train the TVA muscle. But anyone can learn this and not use it in the saddle.
Equestrian Pilates or Pilates specific for horse riders is the most valuable program any rider can follow to improve their riding and improve their posture. Horse riders with a strong core ride with so much more skill and stability. Applied Posture Riding Program will teach riders how to ride a horse.
Equestrian Pilates is how the horse rider uses deep core stability to be a great rider. Those riders that have a good functioning core are great riders those that don’t need to learn to improve their riding and their posture.
Just doing Pilates exercises is not enough. A horse rider must learn how to use the core muscles for stability of the lower back and the trunk. This muscles is involved in all paces of the horse. The sit trot especially requires a functioning core muscle. The canter requires a flexible pelvis and lower back. This movement control is improved with core stability.
Who Teaches Equestrian Pilates?
Applied Posture Riding is equestrian Pilates. This program has become one of the most popular, effective quality programs on the net. Applied Posture Riding is Pilates For Horse Rider. It is important in so many sports to learn about the use of the muscles and how how they function within your sport. This program is specific for horse riders. Applied Posture Riding looks at the anatomy and function of all the horse riding muscles. The Pilates specific exercises go into detail about the deep core muscles and the main postural muscles used by the rider.
The rider has the information to test, train and learn movement patterns specific to the horse riding muscles.
The training of the deep core TVA muscles is focused on the horse rider. The exercises train the core for riding specifically. The upper body is strengthened as well and the mobility of the hips, shoulders and spine are all addressed in this equestrian Pilates program.
Who is Best Qualified to Teach Equestrian Pilates
I have seen and treated many people who do Pilates. I have instructed many horse riders who do Pilates. Very few actually knew how to function using Pilates.
I am a Physiotherapist and and horse rider. I am a Pilates educator. I teach equestrian Pilates or Pilates specific for horse Riders.
Applying Pilates in the saddle requires a rider to teach you. I recommend all rider buy and follow this program. Applied Posture Riding is the most effective program to do this.
The difference between a strong core and a weak core is the difference between a good rider and a poor rider.
Good luck with your riding
Remember to look at yourself before your blame your horse.