How To Stop Slouching When You Ride?

Hey Dressage Superstars! Today’s question is, “How To Stop Slouching When You Ride?”

Did you know that posture is important in horseback riding? This week’s video is all about Tash sharing her thoughts about her incredible posture when she rides the horse.
A good posture while riding uses less energy especially when we have a lot of tension in our body. In this episode, you will learn that the whole point of riding a horse is to influence the horse with your body, that your body connects to the horse’s body and you can control each other and influence each other and both of you needs to be in balance.

Always remember to keep going and balance. Remember this – your ear, shoulder, hip and heel all line up and you should sit up straight.


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I’d love to hear from you how you go and what strategies you use when you are training your horse.

Offer as much details as possible in your reply – your story might just help someone else have a breakthrough in their riding journey!

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To Your Success,

Natasha Althoff

Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

​Hey Dressage Superstars, today I’m going to answer the question. How do you stop slouching when you ride?

All right, assume the position, you’re watching TV, surfing Netflix, can’t find anything. Maybe eating some chips. This is relaxed. This is casual. This is, yeah, just total relaxation. When we’re riding a horse, sometimes even coaches, I can’t keep sitting like that. Coaches even say to us, relax, relax. And that means that we’ve got too much tension in our body, but I don’t ever like saying the word relax because relaxed to me is this. Now I can never do anything on a horse when I’m like this. The whole point of riding a horse is to influence the horse with your body, that your body connects to the horse’s body and you can control each other and influence each other. But both of you need to be in balance. This is not balanced.

If he spooks, takes off, does something, I am going to end up on the floor. I’m just going to shoot off down past his shoulder. So I need to remain in balance. You know the horse shies or the horse bolts and the host bucks and the rod just sits there. They just sit there. That’s being an ultimate balance and that’s creating positive tension in different parts of your body to create that balance and that anchor that no matter what the horse’s body’s doing, it can come back to you, come back to your anchor.

We’ll get back to the training in a second. I just wanted to remind you, if you’re loving this video, make sure to subscribe and leave me a comment on how this video has helped and your biggest learning so far.

And keep going, keep going and balance. So of course we know what we need to do. We need to have a long line. No, what’s the code? Ear, shoulder, hip, heel. But this is specifically about slouching. So the first thing I want you to think about is, you might be going, I’m sitting up straight, I’m sitting up straight, I’m sitting up straight. But you can tell my shoulder’s around it. So people say, pull your shoulders back. So you go, okay, I’m putting my shoulders back. I’m putting my shoulders back. What’s happened to my back? I’ve got to be curve in it. We don’t want to big curve in it. So we want to keep the shoulders back. But we want to flatten out our spine as if we had written who our favorite crush was on a blackboard and that crush has just walked in and we’re going up to the blackboard and rubbing up and down on the blackboard, to get rid of the name. Now if we have a big arch in our back, we won’t be able to rub out the name.

We need to have that nice flat spine and how we do that is by tilting the pelvis and pushing that, if you’ve ever been to a pilates class, your stomach into your spine. So by having been really strong here and keeping that all strong, that keeps your back straight. So then when you pull your shoulders back, you just pull your shoulders back. Now I used to think for years, shoulders back, shoulders back and people say, “Stick your boobs out. Stick your boobs out.” I just went, “Why because you want me to look better?” I literally thought it was just for looks. Here’s the secret. It actually helps you ride so much better. It actually is the whole way you correct a horse. So when I’m going medium canter, my medium canter is a little bit like this. You can see I’ve slightly tilted forward and I’ve slightly gone.

And then when I collect, I pull those shoulders back. You know your two shoulder blades, they’re like two livers, you’re to the scapula, I didn’t go to university and do biology, may need that. But yeah, you’ve got these two scapulas and you want to pinch them together. You want to pull them together. So get someone, your partner or someone in a bathing suit, even if you don’t know them very well, excuse me. And ask them to pull their shoulders back. And you’ll notice when they pull their shoulders back that those two parts of the body, don’t know what they called, come in.

So I always think about, okay, how can I get that part of my body closer, closer together. Two shoulder blades tucked in together and it’s not to stick your boobs out. It’s not to look good. It’s actually like to, ‘whoo’. You can tell what happened when I did that. I made a noise. It should have made him go forward. But because I went, ‘whoo’, that tells him in every part of my body to stop. And obviously if that’s collection we don’t want him to halt. So my legs would be like, no, no, no collection, not stop. But it’s a ‘whoo’. It’s a balancing on the hind legs. Don’t move forward, move up. All right, sorry. How do you stop slouching is, I just want to give the why. Sure, you might want to stop slouching because it doesn’t look that good. But if you want to become a beautiful dressage rider that can ride some cool stuff, you need to be able to get that body position. So it’s all about I just always think, roll my shoulders back and I have to stretch my shoulders all the time.

There’s one thing that’s tied on me. So you know, even do this and go, “Okay, how does that feel? How does that, where are we going? I don’t know, but how does that feel?” Okay, my shoulders are back. But you can tell I lean forward when I do it to make the exercise easier. So it’s like, okay, now I’m going to bring my hands forward again, but how do I keep, and it’s just like pilates or yoga. It’s about how do I keep this part of my body back while I keep my legs and hands forward. Because what people do is they go, okay, I’ve got my shoulders back and now my hands are forward and straight away the shoulders, can we go this way, and the shoulders come forward. So it needs to be ‘whoo’ and then your hands can move forward. But the shoulders and the scapula is, if you don’t even think about your shoulders, you just think about those tube things at the back. Your scapulas pointing in together. That’ll give you the right look. Sometimes that helps. Enjoy!

So trust that helps. Remember if you guys need any help, steps, procedures, strategies, recipes, how do you do A, how do you do B? How do you do C? I’ve got a free training class. It tells you all about creating a dressage system that works for you. Go check it out on the link below.