Better Riding Archive

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

Comparing Horse and Rider Anatomy

As humans, we look different than our horses. Obviously. We walk on two feet, they stand on four hooves. They have long necks and big heads, we have short necks, and well, still rather big heads. But if you look at our most basic anatomy, our skeletons, we are surprisingly similar to our horses. Besides

Inspiration & Advice from Riders Just Like You

If you are feeling stuck, there is often nothing as inspiring as hearing from someone else who also experienced challenges, but was able to work through them. It is inspiring to learn from others who have experienced challenges, made progress, and can share what worked, and what didn’t… Because there are certainly unique challenges in

How to Choose a Great Riding Instructor

You put a lot of faith in your riding instructor. Especially when you are just starting out, you trust their knowledge and judgement to choose a safe horse for you, and to find the balance between pushing you to improve and yet not asking you to do something outside of your skill level. You are

How Trying Harder Can Keep You Stuck

What do you do when you come up against a problem in your riding? Do you try harder, do you do more, do you do less, do you back off and look for a different approach? Many riders have highly “driven” personalities. We want to succeed, to do well, to progress quickly. However, the drive

Does Changing Disciplines Change Your Riding?

Will you ride differently in English or Western tack? Is one preferable over the other? If you’re a western rider, can you still apply the advice given to (or by) a rider sitting in a jumping saddle? I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy riding in a variety of disciplines. My first formal lessons as a

Why Do I Lose My Stirrups?

When your feet feel stable and “connected” to the stirrups, the rest of your riding can also improve. The stirrups help us stabilize in the saddle, allowing us to better use our legs and, when needed, redistribute our weight. But if you find one or both stirrups constantly wiggling on your foot, sliding towards your

Why Does My Horse Carry His Head So High?

Does your horse go around with his head up? You know he is supposed to carry it lower when you ride to better support your weight and so he can move more freely, but why does he have his head up in the first place? Good movement of a ridden horse involves much more than