Horse Rider Exercises

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Published: 13th August 2010
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We can all improve our riding and these horse riding exercises

increase our horse's ability to stay supple and evenly balanced when we ride. The best way to help a horse be supple and balanced is for us, as riders, to be supple and balanced!







An easy way for horse riders to become supple and balanced is through practicing a few yoga poses each day before going horseriding to stretch and balance ourselves. I have chosen five of my favourite poses that have given me most value to improve my horse's suppleness and balance.



I am not a yoga teacher though I have been using yoga to improve my riding over the last 5 years with great success. Invest 10 minutes of your day to do these exercises for the horse riders

so you can really enjoy your ride.







Horse Rider Exercise #1. Stand and stretch mountain pose

In this pose, you feel a stretch all the way through your body from your feet firm on the ground to your hands pressing skywards.



1. Stand very straight with your hands by your sides, with your legs together. Feel that you are centred and connected to the ground through your feet.



2. Interlock your hands together in front of you looking at the back of your hands.



3. Inhale and stretch your arms up above your head. Exhale. Imagine you are pushing the sky a little higher.



4. Count up to 5 in this position, then inhale and unlock your hands, exhale and lower them back to the start position.



5. Repeat the exercise with the hands intertwined with the other thumb on top!



Horse Rider Exercise #2. Head to Knee Posture

In this pose, you feel a stretch through your legs and back. Because one leg is forward, it eases the back and allows more stretch of the spine. Feel if you are even through the stretch by comparing how you feel with one foot forward compared to the other.



1. Stand straight with your legs together and your hands by your side. Put one leg forward about 2-3 feet.



2. Inhale and lift your arms above your head. Keep the palms of your hands together.



3. Exhale and stretch your arms and hands forward so that your hands reach down onto your legs.



4. Aim for your head to rest on your thighs!



5. Inhale and as you exhale, stretch and reach your hands further down your legs without straining. Count up to 5 in this position.



6. Inhale and return to your start position.



7. Repeat the exercise with the other leg forward.



Horse Rider Exercise #3 The Tree Pose

This pose will start you thinking about how balanced you as rider really are! Are you able to do this pose on both sides evenly? If not, perhaps this is why your horse feels one-sided when you ride - because you are one-sided!



1. Stand tall and straight with both feet on the ground.



2. Inhale and lift one foot up and place on your opposite thigh (or knee or calf). Exhale and hold that position.



3. Inhale and lift your arms up into the air with your palms together.



4. Hold for a count of 5 in that position.



5. Exhale, lower your arms and place both feet back on the floor.



6. Repeat with the other foot.



Horse Rider Exercise # 4 Rishis Pose

This is another pose that flexes the spine with some twist through your trunk and the lower back. Thus it combines the stretch as well as a check of how even you are. Is one side easier than the other to do this stretch? If so, do an extra stretch on this side. Never strain though.



1. Stand straight with your feet about 3 feet apart.



2. Inhale and stretch up with your arms in the air.



3. Exhale, lean forward, keeping your legs straight, and reach for your left foot with your right hand.



4. Inhale and lift your left hand up and reach for the sky.



5. Exhale and return your arms toward your body'.



6. Inhale and lift your arms back up to the sky.



7. Repeat the exercise on the other side of your body.



Horse Rider Exercise #5 Leg and toe balance

This pose is great to check and strengthen your balance. You can progress through bent knee, hand supporting knee to holding on to your toe with a fully extended leg. Certainly a challenge!



1. Stand straight with your legs together.



2. Inhale and lift one leg with a bent knee with hands on hip or supported by your hands underneath the leg.



3. Exhale and bring the leg closer to your body.



4. Inhale and as you exhale, move the leg around to 90 degrees from out in front of the body to the side of the body.



5. Inhale and bring the leg back to the front.



6. Exhale and return the leg to the ground.



7. Repeat the sequence with your other leg.





These 5 horse riding exercises are an easy sequence to commit to memory. Feel the rhythm of your breathing and how it helps you in the poses. As you improve, you can increase either the time or number of repetitions to develop so you are more supple and balanced. There are many more yoga poses that you could add as you progress.



In traditional yoga, the session is completed by deep relaxation. This can be achieved in this short session by standing or sitting quietly with your eyes closed and fingers touching in a circle on each hand, and listening to your breathing in and out for 10-20 breaths.



Enjoy and have a great ride!

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