Pilates for horse riders – will it improve my riding?
If we look at the elite riders they all have excellent ear/hip/ankle alignment, core stability, flexibility and body awareness. For some of these riders it comes naturally – lucky them! – but for the rest of us it takes effort to accomplish them and that is where Pilates for Horse Riders comes in very useful. All Pilates exercises will improve core strength and stability, flexibility and body awareness which in turn will lead to an independent seat and hands and therefore will improve your riding.
When we train our horses we are looking for our horse to be supple, flexible and straight on both reins but how many of us can say we are truly even on both sides? Through Pilates we can even our own body’s out so we are no longer one-sided and your horse will feel the benefit of that too. If you are constantly collapsed on one side or twisted then your horse will mirror this and not be able to perform at his best.
As riders we assess how our horse is going all the time, either by feeling the movement as we ride or watching the horse from the ground. Assessing our own way of going is not quite so easy as our body can deceive us! Pilates will help you become more aware of what your body is doing and you will learn to feel when your body is out of alignment.
Not only will Pilates for horse riders classes help with the physical side of riding but it will also help with the mental side as well. Pilates encourages relaxtion and mindfulness in movement, breathing and focus all of which us horse riders will benefit from.
I promise you your horse will thank you for coming to Pilates!