Lungeing for a better riding position

  • Expert advice from HORSE magazine on how to improve your riding position onthe lunge

    According to dressage rider and trainer Eileen O’Connor, having a lesson on the lunge is the best way to improve your riding position.

    Eileen uses lunge lessons to help riders of all levels develop and maintain a deep, effective seat. “One lunge lesson can offer the same benefits as 10 normal lessons,” says Eileen. “Intermediate riders should focus on developing a stronger seat, while advanced riders benefit by concentrating on re-tuning their aids and fine-tuning their feel.”

    By working on the lunge you can:

    • improve feel, co-ordination, suppleness and balance
    • develop a deep, secure, independent seat
    • focus entirely on improving your seat

    Useful exercises

    Developing a good leg position

    Work in rising trot without stirrups. This uses the inner thigh, knee and calf, and is great for developing a good leg position.

    Test your co-ordination

    Co-ordination is as important as suppleness and balance. Hold both arms out to the side then turn at the waist from side to side. The challenge is in being able to turn while maintaining your seat and keeping your position. This exercise can be done in any pace.

    Improving transitions

    Hold your hands out at shoulder height, twisting from side to side and turning through your waist while asking for a transition from trot to canter and back again. You can also try rotating the arms backwards and forwards while asking for the transition.

    For more lunge training exercises, see the September issue of HORSE (on sale now).

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