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How does your torso affect your riding position?

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RS-tor and sponsored rider Micheala Huntington take a look at upper body position and how improving it can increase safety and skill when in the saddle. 




Michaela says


"For any rider working to achieve a consistent rhythm and outline with their flatwork, the torso is key. It can influence all aspects of your riding, in both positive and negative ways.


Carrying the hands' really starts at the shoulders – when you are schooling, try to think about establishing a good rhythm with sufficient self carriage, without 'holding' the horse – the hands can actually be quite light.


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.


Three Top Tips from RS-tor for Improving Riding Position


1.) Ride simple exercises in the arena to develop a consistent rhythm, such as circles and transitions. Practice using your upper body, shoulders and elbows to influence the horse's way of going – notice how your horse slows or speeds up as you subtly adjust your upper body position, and what affect this has on your seat and leg position.


2.) Don't tense up through the shoulders, as this will affect your whole body, travelling down the reins and into the contact. If you 'brace' your shoulder, e.g. because you are subconsciously trying to slow the horse, or stop his own shoulder 'falling out', this can make your seat crooked.

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.






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