Mounting Exercises To Help Improve Getting On The Horse
Flexibility is crucial to making mounting your horse much easier. With poor flexibility, you’re likely to struggle to get on your horse without pulling at the saddle and disrupting your horse’s balance. Not to mention, making for visual comedy as you twist and haul yourself up!
If you rely on a mounting block to get on and off your horse, these four exercises I’m going to share with you will prove invaluable and make each mount a little smoother. These will also help for those times you may be out hacking and you find yourself trying to look for that log or bank to help you get back in the saddle after opening a gate.
These four exercises that will help improve your flexibility and get you onto your horse with ease more ease.
Of course, I would like to mention here, that there will always be a situation where yes someone who may not be as tall as someone else is riding a very tall horse, so no amount of stretching will give you longer legs, or shrink your horse down. However, there is always ways we can improve ourselves and this is where I am coming from. So hopefully each time you do mount you can do so comfortably and set yourself up lightly onto your horse back.
Lie down on your back with your legs straight. Draw one knee up to your chest, clasping your hands around your knee. Focus on pushing your back down against the ground, engaging your core and pulling your knee towards you. Flex your foot, so it’s nice and strong as you stretch.You’ll feel this in your bottom and through the back of our leg.
In a sitting position, tuck one leg into your groin and straighten out the other. Targeting the hamstring muscle, reach down towards the toes of your straight leg.
If you wish to intensify this exercise, hold your toes and with the opposite arm, reach up and over your head. Turn your head to look under your armpit as you hold the stretch.
Remain in the seated position and stretch out both your legs. Slide your seat bones right back and fold forward towards the floor. If you can reach your toes, that’s great. If not, it’s something to work towards.
This exercise is again targeting your hamstrings and encouraging them to lengthen. If you have short, tight hamstrings, you’re going to be struggling to lift your leg up and over your horse.
Coming into a pigeon pose, tuck your front leg in close to your hip and length your opposite leg behind you. Once in position, fold your body forward, resting your forearms on the ground. Again, if you can’t get all the way down, this is something you can continue to work towards.
Try to hold each of these exercises for at least 30 seconds in the beginning and then lengthen to a good minute as you get more comfortable. As you practice, you’ll notice greater flexibility and mobility which will help you get on your horse with ease. The more you challenge yourself and your fitness off the horse, the better you’ll perform when riding.
Improving your rider fitness, strength and balance will not only enhance your riding, it will also keep you riding for longer.
Get yourself started with our free guide here.