How to Improve Your Balance in the Saddle

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Balance is a major aspect that every good rider needs, but balancing in the saddle isn’t always easy. Your balance not only affects your security on your horse’s back, it affects your horse’s balance as well. These exercises can help you to improve your balance when riding your horse.

Ride in Jumping Position

Establishing a secure jumping position translates to a more secure seat, so work in your jumping position. Have a friend or trainer watch you to make sure that you’re in the proper position, then get into and hold your jumping position while your horse walks, trots, and canters. Focus on keeping your leg beneath you, your heels down, and your head up. As you get more secure in your position, try to bring your hands up off of your horse’s neck so that you no longer need them for support.

Post Without Stirrups

Taking away your stirrups means that you will be forced to balance well as you ride. Spend fifteen or twenty minutes of every ride working without stirrups – you will see your efforts pay off in better balance and stronger muscles. Remember to run your stirrups up when you’re working without them – never leave them free to dangle and hit your horse’s sides.

Close Your Eyes

Nothing makes you so aware of your horse’s motion as riding with your eyes closed does. Ask a friend to lead your horse as you ride. Start by closing your eyes only at the walk and only for short periods at a time – doing this can make you a little dizzy at first. Gradually work up to feeling the horse’s trot with your eyes closed. Have your friend lead your horse around some turns to further develop your balance.

Work on the Lunge Line

There are countless exercises that you can do when you are able to ride your horse on a lunge line. Have an experienced horseperson help you by lunging your horse at a steady pace. At the walk, trot, and canter, try exercises like riding with your hands on your head, shoulders, and hips. Rotate your body outwards and inwards as you ride. The more that you do these exercises, the better your balance will become.

Balance is an essential element to becoming a good rider, so practice these exercises regularly and often. The more that you work, the better your balance will be when you ride.

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