What is your riding posture like?
Anyone who has ridden for a long time will probably say their posture is pretty good, especially if you training at a more advanced level.
But over time our posture can become a little lazy - and this is especially true if we have become riders as adults or taken a long break before returning. This happens for a number of reasons, such as being less focused on it, protecting pain, or just returning to a learned memory.
A good riding posture can sometimes be hard to feel. We are told to keep the line from shoulders/ hip/ ankle straight - which makes you stiff. We are told we need loose hips, which can disengage our core. We need to have soft hands, which makes our shoulders move forward.
A good riding posture is complex but once achieved, has an amazing benefit to our riding - and our horse!
I have been having a lot of trouble sitting back in the saddle - a combination of bad back, habit and desire to keep my hands soft. My elbows were stiff, my shoulders stiff, and although my hips were nice and loose (or so I thought), I still sat too forward. Katie recently prefaced an idea to me that made total sense and made a huge difference to my posture.
Imagine your collar bones as an oval around your shoulders. Now, position that oval over the top of your hips.
Instant change. My shoulders loosened and could move independently of the other, my elbows released, and I was sitting more upright and deeper into the saddle. Custard loved it too - he instantly began responding to softer, less exaggerated reign movements because the slightest change to my body was already cluing him to my next desired action - instead of the thousand mixed messages he was probably receiving up until then, the poor blighter!
So try it yourself- see if it makes a difference to your riding and your horse!
Or check out our e-course, where Katie goes more in-depth about the correct exercises to improve your seat and core!