Great posture is one of the keys for a balanced horse that’s connected with their rider. That’s because spine health is vital for the dressage rider to be able to absorb the horse’s movement effectively.
As a dressage rider, you’re creating this illusion of stillness, however your body is actually working overtime. When your posture is rounded or stiff you create movement in your back that’s out of sync with your horse’s motion. In this case, the motion of your horse travels up your spine and becomes blocked, immediately travelling back down. This results in a disrupted and unbalanced seat. It also puts you at great risk of injuries.
Exercises to mobilise and improve our upper back posture.
Mobilising and improving your upper back will help you become supple through your thoracic spine, resulting in an improved posture. In this video, I demonstrate two exercises which will help you loosen up your thoracic spine and upper back.
1. Side to side twist
Starting with your feet hip width apart, spread your arms out to the side as wide as you can. Turn one thumb up to the sky and the other down to the ground, and shift your gaze to the thumb pointing up.
Slowly, turn your thumbs in the opposite direction moving your gaze with it so you’re looking towards the other side.
Focus on turning the shoulder joint as you turn and shift your gaze. This will help loosen up the upper back.
Try for 1 minute at the rate of your breath.
2. Front to back twist
Stretch out your arms wide with one in front of you and the other behind. Shift your gaze behind you, keeping your body still from the belly button down. As you switch to the other side, focus on reaching out and rotating your upper back.
These two exercises will help you gain the mobility and alignment through your body to create balance and freedom as you ride. That way, when you turn up on your horse, you’re not going to affect their movement. Instead, you can focus on improving how your horse performances knowing you’re not holding them back.
For more exercises, stretches and workouts to take your riding to the next level check out our dressage rider training online program. You’ll discover all the tools to help you improve your fitness and strength for riding. These specific dressage exercises are designed to help you take your dressage to a new level.