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Better Riding Archive

One Simple Warm Up Exercise to Improve Quality Time with Your Horse

There is one thing we could all use more of – time! Especially when it comes to what we really enjoy, being with our horse and riding, it can seem as if we never have enough time to spend. You may long to ride five days a week, but right now, all you can fit

The Best Way to Dismount a Horse

It’s the end of your ride, time to hop off and head back to the barn… But what if it’s not quite that simple? The skill of dismounting is one that is often overlooked in teaching. It happens at the end of the ride, when practice time is essentially over. Plus it seems so simple,

No Stirrups November – will it help your riding?

No stirrups November. The month of the year that riders everywhere vow to drop their stirrups and brave the bouncing and sore legs to better their riding… But does dropping your stirrups really help you be a better rider? Or could it actually create bad habits? The answer depends on what you do when you

Why Fear is Meant to Help You, But How to Tell if it’s Holding You Back

You’re out on a trail ride, walking through the grass along the fence line when your horse spots it – a big piece of plastic caught on the fence and flapping in the wind. She stiffens and snorts, then starts dancing sideways. You know you have to get past this plastic to get back to

“Stop overthinking and just ride!” – Tips to Get Out of Your Head

You’re about to go into the canter. Your instructor has asked you to trot to the far side of the arena and then ask for canter in the corner. Your mind races with thoughts: What if my horse spooks at that bush… Sometimes he really jumps into canter, I hope he doesn’t do that this

How to Get a Stable Lower Leg

A stable lower leg position is what all riders strive for. We know that having a “good” lower leg will make us more effective and clear in our cues to the horse and help us to feel secure in the saddle. “Keep your leg still” is certainly common advice in riding lessons, but how do

Finding “Flow” In Your Riding – Creating Peak Performance

Think of a time when you were completely immersed in what you were doing. You lost track of time and you had no awareness of other thoughts or sensations, just the activity you were immersed in. For many equestrians, this feeling is of one of the greatest thrills of riding – getting lost in the

Holding and Switching Your Whip While Riding

When holding a whip while riding, where should you hold it? Right at the top, in the middle of the handle, or even further down? What’s the best way to switch your whip from one hand to the other? If you’ve ever felt a bit awkward riding with a whip, you’ll appreciate the two simple

What Does it Mean to “Open Your Hip”?

Have you ever received the riding instruction of “open your hip” and not sure what it meant? Or have you been accused of leaning forward, but when you try to sit more upright, you feel as though you are constantly losing your balance toward the rear of the horse? In this video, I am going

Better Use of Your Back Riding (with the exercise ball)

A stable, supple back position when riding means increased freedom in your hips to go with the movement of the horse, the ability to give precise cues with your legs, and a soft upper body so your contact can be steady and your rein aids clear. But what is the difference between the terms that