How to improve your balance to help boost your riding skills

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  • This article and video features exercises to improve core stability, flexibility, strength and fitness for riding from Dee Holdsworth of Dynamic Sports Therapy

    A rider’s lack of flexibility, strength and fitness can severely limit their ability to perform, but by following the exercises in our videos, a relatively small investment in time can have far reaching positive effects on your performance as a rider. Here’s some exercises to help improve your horse riding balance.

    You should warm up your muscles by taking a brisk walk, or similar, after riding before performing any of these exercises. If you suffer any ongoing physical issues, we recommend you speak to a health professional before you start.

    Each exercise is shown at different levels of difficulty, so you can choose the version that is most suitable to your current physical condition and then progress through the levels as you improve.

    How to improve horse riding balance

    Being able to maintain your balance and control your centred position in the saddle is key to being an effective rider. These rider fitness exercises and video focus on functional movement to provide a strong yet flexible dynamic form.

    Exercise one: banded chop

    This exercise strengthens the legs and lower back through a dynamic chain exercise to improve rotation through your core and the ability to balance your body across your pelvis.

    Exercise two: lunge on beam

    This functional dynamic exercise will improve your balance and your ability to sense movement within your joints and joint position. This enables us to develop awareness of where our limbs are, which is essential for maintaining the correct position while riding.

    Exercise three: bosu squat

    This exercise combines leg strength, utilising your core and balance. It is a great exercise for riders of all disciplines as it combines all the body elements required to achieve the best possible seat.

    About Dee Holdsworth

    Dee is the founder of Dynamic Sports Therapy. A keen rider, she has competed at national level and was part of the small stables team at the London 2012 Olympics. Dee works with some of the world’s leading horse and rider combinations, including some of those on track for Rio 2016.

    Dee is an equestrian sports science graduate from Hartpury College and went on to complete the International Therapy Examination Council Diploma in equine sports massage, delivered by veterinary chartered physiotherapist Mary Bromiley, and now stands as the ESMA Chairman.

    Dee is a level four sports massage therapist with the Sports Massage Association. She also holds certificates in human and equine kinesiology taping and muscle energy techniques, as well as using deep oscillation therapy.

    This video is brought to you in association with fitnesstroop.co.uk (Katie Brighton-Jones), shadowplay.co.uk (Philip E James) and performbetter.co.uk.

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