Your lower abdominals are the most important abdominals for you to recognize. Often the laziest to wake up and the hardest to recruit, however, once you have woken them up they play an incredibly powerful role in the stabilization of your pelvis. The reason they are often dormant is that too often people rely heavily on their rectus abdominis to do all the work (6 pack) and unfortunately, these guys aren’t the most efficient at stabilizing your spine and pelvis.
This is why we focus on your core, front back, middle, inside, outside and side to side. If you chop off your head arms and legs, this is what is left. Your core. The entire centre of your body and getting it to work as an entire functional unit every single muscle.
The base of this core is where it all stems from, if your lower abdominals aren’t switched on correctly this will pull everything out of alignment. Alignment is critical on your horses back, you want to be correctly balanced on your sit bones so that your seat can move effectively with the horse. If it is tilted too far forward you will have an arched weak lower back, and you won’t be able to correctly move your seat with the horses back. Also if your seat bones are too far back you will be leaning forward and tipping the horse on the forehand.
Our balance effects the horse’s balance. So the more even you are balanced through your core the more evenly balanced the horse will be. A strong core is required in order for you to be able to sustain correct posture while you are riding. The best place to develop this core and posture is off the horse. It doesn’t have to take hours of your time, in fact, once you have built up strong core maintenance is easier than you would think, you just have to put in the effort to establish that base. When working on your entire core as a complete unit you build up your strength from the inside out. You develop all the little solar muscles that support your spine and pelvis.
When your lower abdominals are working correctly within the core unit you are also able to create more alignment from hip to heel. This will allow you to have more strength for half halts, collection or to help bring a horse up off their forehand.
When building your core strength you want to be creating strength from the inside out. Developing your lower abdominals as well as your entire core, so that it can work as a functional balanced rider on the horse.