As equestrians, we are striving to make our equitation better all the time. Whether it’s over fences or just on the flat, we are almost always conatus with improving our riding position. Lessons assist us in this, but every time you ride your horse, you’re probably not in a lesson. Here are a few ways you can continue improving your equitation, even without an instructor close by.
One thing equestrians seem to dread the most is riding without stirrups. It’s completely understandable though. It makes your legs ache for days even when you only ride without your stirrups for 15 minutes. But, this ancient technique created to help riders with their equitation has proven to be a vital tool in improving on your own time. Even if you’re only riding for 10 to 20 minutes without your stirrups every time you ride, your legs will gain strength that will help with your endurance. Riding without stirrups not only helps build muscle but it also helps your leg naturally move into the correct position.
Riding on the Lunge
If you have an extra person that can take some time out of their day to help you, ask for their cooperation on this one. A particular way that is valuable to maintain and improve your riding is to ride on a lunge line. This gives you the opportunity to throw away your reins for a bit and really work on being able to stay balanced. Sometimes we start relying on our reins when we are riding with them all the time. Taking them away really forces you to ride independently, using your seat and core strength. It also helps in the fact that you’re not to worry about your horses direction, speed, etc. Sharpening your skills on the lunge line can really guide you in developing and bettering your riding.
Work on What Needs to be Worked on, but Don’t Drill it
Be honest with yourself and work on what you and your horse need to improve. Look up exercises to figure out how you work on these things and what you can do to hopefully make it easier. Don’t expect everything you try to work though! If there is an exercise or movement that is giving you and your horse trouble, give it a try in small doses. Don’t focus your whole ride on that one thing otherwise your horse is going to have an extremely negativity attitude towards whatever your asking him to learn or execute.
There are many other ways to help improve your riding, but these are the main ways that are relativity easy to experiment with. These things have been used for decades to help equestrians gain balance, strength, etc. Try them out in short amounts of time first, they really work your muscles!