Reduce Your Impact in the Saddle
Our horses’ backs must support our weight and help balance us as we ride. Whether you’re jumping a course or heading out on a trail ride, the simple act of being in the saddle means that you have a significant impact on your horse’s back. Luckily there are a number of ways that you can lessen your impact in the saddle.
Use Cavallo Saddle Pads
Cavallo saddle pads are specially designed to help absorb the shock
and impact that a rider can have on a horse’s back (they also absorb the shock generated by the horse’s movement, so your back feels more comfortable, too). These pads help to equalize your weight while allowing your horse to fully use his back and scapula, which can make being ridden a more comfortable activity for your horse.
Do Balance Exercises
Both in and out of the saddle, take some time to do some balance exercises. Working with a balance ball or standing in your stirrups as your horse walks can be great ways to improve your balance. The better your balance, the more you can be an effective rider with minimal impact on your horse’s back.
Additionally, have a friend or riding instructor periodically watch you from behind as you ride. They can tell you whether you’re sitting centered in your saddle, or whether you may be unbalanced on your horse’s back.
Perform Leg-Strengthening Exercises
In addition to your balance exercises, work on strengthening your legs, too. Exercises such as jogging, bicycle riding, and more can help to build up your leg strength. With stronger legs, you can control your posting and your position more accurately, which will help to minimize any jolting to your horse’s back when you ride.
Keep Your Fitness In Mind
Don’t forget to also keep your own fitness in mind. The more physically fit you are, the more control you’ll have of your own body in the saddle. Make an effort to stay fit by taking part in other physical activities like swimming or running.
It’s not too difficult to reduce your impact when you’re in the saddle. You’ll feel better and your horse’s back is sure to thank you!