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Correct Fit Exercises
When I just started learning to ride, I had problems with the position of the body. All my instructors constantly told me that I needed to sit straight, but it…

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Riding without stirrups

Exercises without stirrups are designed to improve the fit, help develop the right balance and make the position of the legs deeper and stronger. The rider should try to sit upright, exactly on both ischial bones, without leaning back. The leg is stretched down, slightly turned outward from the thigh so that the schenkel is pressed to the side of the horse, and the knee does not cling to the saddle.

riding without stirrups
The rider does not sit motionless in the saddle; he constantly moves with the horse. If these movements are synchronous, it creates the feeling that the rider is static. However, this is only an external illusion, so the rider must relax, move with the horse, and not try to freeze and maintain a motionless picture landing. The loin remains soft and elastic, follows the movement of the horse, without interfering with its correct walk (trot \ gallop).

Step exercises
To get started, start doing exercises without stirrups on the move. Pay all attention to maintaining a deep and independent fit. Make sure that your leg does not climb up. Only when even at an added step can you sit easily and naturally, you can go to work at a gallop and trot. Lynx is the most difficult gait for riding without stirrups, so for a start, work with a short trot, preferably on a calm horse with a soft back. Take your time, any sense of riding without stirrups is lost if the rider is tense. Also, do not get carried away by long reprisals of riding without stirrups, especially at the beginning. Once you are tired, it is almost impossible to keep your muscles relaxed. Increase the load gradually to get the right and beneficial effect from exercise.

When to start training
riding without stirrups
Work on this exercise begins in the very first months of riding. Setting the correct landing is impossible without classic lessons on the cord, which necessarily include riding without stirrups. For the initial training, as well as for the correction of the landing, you need the right horse: calm, trained to work on the cord under the rider, not afraid of the scourge, with soft and rhythmic gait. You also need the right equipment: a suitable saddle, a simple bridle with a snaffle, decoupling or gog, cord and scourge. And of course, a safe, fenced place for classes and a competent trainer.

Before starting to ride without stirrups, the rider is taught to ride without a reason. You can hold on to the mane or neck strap, but gradually, performing gymnastic exercises (swings, turns of the body, tilts, etc.), the person acquires the necessary balance and already ceases to see the need to hold hands. Learning is stepwise rather than linear. This means that having learned to ride without a reason in a step, the rider starts riding in a step without stirrups, then learns to ride without a reason to trot, the next stage is to ride without stirrups to trot, etc. The idea is that we do not wait for the rider to master riding without a reason on all three gait, then introducing a ride without stirrups, but we act in steps.

Cord exercises
lynx on the cord
On the cord, the rider performs gymnastic exercises. There are a great many of them. The trainer offers them in a certain sequence, depending on the age, gender, physical fitness of the rider. Their usefulness is not only to help a person acquire the necessary flexibility and strength for riding, but also to learn to keep balance in the saddle and relax the necessary muscles.

With children, they often begin with exercises to maintain balance. For example, arms to the side at shoulder height, arms up, hands behind your back, riding on a balance. Riding on the balance means the legs are removed from the saddle, the rider touches the saddle only with the sciatic bones, and so on. This is due to the fact that children have more flexibility than adults, but worse balance. With adults, they begin with stretching and relaxation exercises. For example, swinging arms / legs, turning the body, tilting down from the toe of the boot and back to the croup of the horse, breathing exercises, etc.

Riding without stirrups for experienced riders
riding without stirrups
Exercises without stirrups are also useful after, for more experienced riders. For example, in the old European school the first three years of study went without stirrups. They were simply unfastened from the saddle. Cavalry during training even rode crosses without stirrups. This does not mean that you should immediately unfasten and throw out stirrups. It is enough to constantly include this type of ride in your regular workouts.

Stages of study
“Include a three-step progressive non-stirrup riding program in your classes. Take your time and act gradually:

– Start by riding without cords in order to strengthen the landing and make it independent;

– Next, begin to perform manege exercises without stirrups (figured riding, lateral exercises, etc.);

– Then you can turn on the jumps. First through small solitary obstacles, and then through the gymnastic rows.

riding without stirrups
I ride without stirrups once a week. Start with 15-20 minutes, then gradually be able to work like that all 45 minutes, ”advises George Morris.

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