Having the muscles to maintain a secure seat and feeling confident in the saddle are key to being an effective rider. Your mindset is also important – if you think you’re going to end up on the floor, you probably will! Whatever your discipline it’s imperative to have a secure seat and in particular if you’re jumping.
It’s s not just in the saddle that you need to develop a secure seat – the work can start before even setting eyes on your horse. Security is all about having a stable core and, to help develop this, try the following yoga exercises.
The benefits of yoga
Useful yoga exercises include poses such as the cow, dog, cat, sphinx, roll ups and the one you’ve probably heard of, the plank. Not only do they help you develop your core strength, they also help you develop mindfulness techniques as you practise. Yoga is famous for its calming benefits and incorporates meditation to clear your mind. With practice these techniques can be used while in the saddle to help when you’re losing confidence. Being mindful helps you be more aware of what you’re doing and will focus your mind on the job in hand. This in turn gives you a more trainable attitude when riding your horse, so the overall effect will snowball to a more positive mindset.
Practise your position
Riding a horse simulator is a great way of building confidence in the saddle without having to think about what a real horse is doing (or might do) beneath you. It allows you to focus primarily on your position and, if you have regular sessions, you can develop the right muscles to give you the perfect position next time you get on board.
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