How to improve your riding skills

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Correct rider's position

Posture and balancing

The most important point to keep in your mind whilst riding a moving horse is to keep the correct posture and sit on the well-balanced position.

You should avoid bouncing too hard on their back or trying to control them by pulling the reins tight, it will restrict horses to move freely or may physically hurt them as a result.

Horses are very sensitive and clever creatures – they always mirror the rider's orders.

Therefore horses will be confused if the rider wouldn't understand the horse's movements and send inappropriate orders.

By understanding your own movements and posture, you can improve communication between you and your horse.

Below, we are going to explain the ideal posture when you are riding the horses.

Posture and balancing

What the ideal rider's position is like?

  • From the side, the rider is following the horse's speed
  • From the back, the rider's weight spreads equality on both side
  • Equal contact on reins on both side
  • Head works as the brace. Appropriately relaxed neck and back absolve reaction from the horse and lead the horse
  • The rider's thoughts and body movements are harmonized

Image below illustrates the correct rider's position on the standing horse from the side and back.

There are quite a few points to be aware of, yet you need to keep this posture at anytime you are on the horses.

What the ideal rider's position is like?

What the ideal rider's position is like?
  • Head, shoulder, hips and heels are aligned on the straight line
  • Head is located right above the spine
  • Head is up and looking forward
  • Scapula is straightened
  • Shoulders are relaxed, not stiff
  • Chest opened
  • Upper arms should rest vertically to the ground
  • Elbows bent correctly
  • Wrists straightened
  • The rider's elbows, palms, the reins and the horse's mouth are aligned on the straight line
  • The weights sits equally on the seat bones
  • Legs rest naturally downwards
  • Knees relaxed
  • Inside of the lower legs gently touch the horse's body
  • Ankles relaxed
  • Legs are located right under the body
  • Ball of each foot should rest on the stirrup iron
  • Heels pointing down
What the ideal rider's position is like?

There are quite a lot to remember but relax and head's up.

If you are facing down, your back will bent and cannot keep your good posture.

Do not forget to look forwards.

Keep your seat bones straight

Keep your seat bones straight

These illustrations below show the correct and incorrect positions of seat bones.

This is the correct position.

You can see that the rider sits on the deepest central position and has a straight back.

This posture also helps you to relax and move naturally without getting tense muscles.

Below is the incorrect position.

Keep your seat bones straight

The rider bends the body forwards.

His back and neck are not relaxed and he lifts his hips from the saddle.

In this posture, the rider moves forward before the horse.

Keep your seat bones straight

This image below shows another incorrect example.

The rider leans backwards.

In this position, the weight will be on the spine that delays to follow the horse's speed.

Also this posture makes it difficult to place the legs in the right position and it will be difficult to take a balance.

In order to sit in the correct position, the riders need to know the position of their seat bones.

You can check the position of the bones by sitting on your palms faced upwards.

Then move your body back and forwards - you will find the lowest and the centre of the seat bones.

Try positioning yourself with the weight spread equally on the right and left.

That is the right position on the horse.

In theory, you will be perfectly balanced on the horse if you can keep this posture.

However, the posture is usually not perfect when you try it on the back of the horse.

Exercise on the horse will help reducing the gaps and keep the posture as close to the desired posture.

What we recommend most is the exercises with the balance ball.

You can find more details about the balance ball exercises on another page.

Next page,we are going to talk about How to improve your riding skills: The Walk. This is the foundation of the any horse riding skills.