Posted by: rstor | April 9, 2014

How Does Your Torso Affect Your Riding Position? Part 2

body protector for XC schooling (2)


In the blog series ‘How does your torso affect your riding position?’ RS-tor and sponsored rider Michaela Huntington will be taking a look at the upper body position and how improving it can increase safety and skill when in the saddle!

In part 2 of our blog series Michaela says…

Equine self carriage is achieved through a soft, yet consistent rein contact, and targeted flatwork training to get the horse working forwards into the contact. The rider should aim to carry the hands and keep them level, without trying to interfere with the horse’s head carriage too much; it is also important to ensure the rider’s arms don’t straighten, which is an indicator of tense shoulders. Tense shoulders usually lead to a fixed hand, meaning the rein contact isn’t elastic!

For a good rein contact and a correct torso position, drop the elbow comfortably and relax it. This is the key to having a good rein contact; not a fixed hand! Imagine elasticity in your arms and hands.

A common fault for many riders is to collapse their hip – they usually drop their hip to the outside, which imbalances the horse. Remember, your body weight needs to be in the direction of movement, whereas many people drop it in the opposite direction. To correct or avoid a collapsed hip, sit up tall and make sure your back isn’t slumped. Relax your shoulders and check your arms – do they have a bend at the elbow?

Three Top Tips from RS-tor for Improving Riding Position 

1. Carry the hands, and have the confidence to believe that sometimes it is OK to do nothing with your hands – don’t ‘niggle’ at the reins; the elbow belongs to part of your seat, and the hand belongs to the horses mouth.

2. Remember, it is ok to open the rein to the inside to aid turning, especially if you are riding a youngster. Ask your instructor for advice.

3. Don’t forget to school with your RS-tor rider safety aid – it aids stability, boosts confidence, helps prevent a fall and helps ‘anchor’ your hand position.

To find out more about the RS-tor visit the website

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