Four things you can do to become a better rider

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All riding is about balance; when we are in balance, we can control forces, rotations, and reactions in the horse.

Being balanced as a rider allows you to plan your riding, enhance your timing, and develop the ability to tune in your signals to the horse with the right frequency.

When you are imbalanced, tense, stiff, and have a lack of flexibility, it will dominate the ride. The rider will struggle with tempo, rhythm, and elasticity, and have difficulties with the horse carry itself.

It manifests in common problems such as:

  • The rider gripping and pinching with the knees
  • The rider rising to the toes
  • The rider starts having straight arms and loses the flexibility in the reins
  • The rider leaning forward with one shoulder
  • The rider putting more weight on one foot
  • The rider feeling one seat bone more than the other
  • The rider developing an excessively outward-turned lower leg
  • The rider exhibiting an exaggerated pumping motion
  • The rider having elbows pointing outward
  • The rider having an inconsistent and wavering leg position
  • The rider having an upper body that leans forward or backward from the center.

These are some examples of problems in the rider that stem from balance issues, and in turn, can have a significant impact on the horse:

  • The horse pushes out a shoulder.
  • The horse pushes the hindquarters in or out from the track.
  • The horse leans against the leg.
  • The horse overbends its neck.
  • The horse goes against the rider’s signals.
  • The horse becomes hurried or more inclined to flee.
  • The horse resists the bit.
  • The horse is difficult to turn in one direction.
  • The horse struggles to lengthen and shorten its body as it feels stiff and unresponsive.
  • The horse picks up the wrong canter lead.
  • The horse switches to a cross-canter.
  • The horse stands unevenly in the halt.
  • The horse has difficulty finding the distance and takeoff point.
  • The horse struggles to find impulsion.

Four things the rider can do to find balance:

The human body is designed to stand and get information from our feet. We are not designed to sit. If you can adjust your stirrup so that your foot receives the same information as it would if it were standing on the ground, your body will feel balanced. This, in turn, will be the solution to many problems and the opportunity for you and your horse to reach an entirely new level of riding.

Here’s what you need to do for your foot to signal balance to the rest of your body:

Here’s what you need to do for your foot to signal balance to the rest of your body:

  1. Have a wide footplate to increase stability so that you don’t have to lean forward on the weaker toe joints. It helps you intuitively find the position that gives you the best balance.
  2. Adjust the stirrup’s angle sideways depending on how you angle your feet. This provides your foot with optimal support from the wide baseplate, giving your brain information that you are in balance. This will automatically make you more stable, straighter, and more receptive to signals from the horse.
  3. Fine-tune the stirrup leather holder in multiple steps to adjust the stirrup so that it follows your natural toe direction. It eliminates unnecessary tension in your lower leg and helps you maintain full contact with the footplate.
  4. Adjust the stirrup’s tilt forward or backward. This makes it easy to balance your body centrally over the horse with the stirrup directly under you.

Don’t forget about safety!

Feeling secure in the saddle is extremely important for effective communication with the horse. Modern stirrups should have a safety feature that opens the stirrup and allows you to release in the event of a fall, regardless of the direction your foot moves.

A new standard for stirrups

Ryde Adjustable can be adjusted in three different directions to easily tailor it to your specific needs. By adapting the stirrup to your body instead of the other way around, you can ride in balance, increasing safety and dramatically facilitating communication between rider and horse. This also means you don’t have to tense up to stay secure in the saddle, giving you better control over how your body responds to the horse’s movements.

When riding with an adjustable stirrup, you have a tool that opens up new possibilities for your riding experience.


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