When you’re riding with constant instruction from a trainer, it’s pretty easy to maintain good posture within a daily or weekly lesson format. Over time, and without instruction, many adult riders (including myself) can get into the habit of slouching. The core of riding (pun intended!) stems from such a classical position that I feel is so important to maintain. Not only that, but when you are sitting tall and balanced in the saddle, your horse stays more balanced as well. And if that isn’t enough, it is so important to keep a check on our posture so that we don’t develop back or neck issues down the road which could cause a lot of discomfort or keep us from getting in the saddle.
I try to correct this bad habit in three ways: physically, with an awesome product, and mentally. Here’s how I do it:
I like to focus on strengthening my back and core to make sure I have the physical strength to keep a strong posture in the saddle. Using bands for rows or lat pulldowns are some of my favorite exercises to engage my shoulder blades and my back. I included a couple video examples to show you want I mean!
I’m also a huge fan of core exercises for overall riding posture and stability in the saddle. Check out my blog post about core exercises that improve your riding for more tips! You can also watch my IGTV video with a full body at-home workout targeting the muscle groups you use for riding!
My favorite product on the market to help with this problem is the EquiFit Shoulders Back . It is the perfect corrective tool for correcting posture and upper body position. It’s a harness-type device that keeps your shoulders back so you can sit up tall. It really helps to remind your body of the correct position.
You just put it on like a backpack and adjust the shoulder straps so that they’re not creating too much pressure. It’s super comfortable to ride in, and it definitely prevents you from slumping by creating slight pressure on the front of your shoulder when that slouch starts!
I got the Shoulders Back in beige in a medium, but it’s also available in white and black. I was told by Equifit that the small fits a child, so I went with medium and it was great because of the adjustable straps. It’s really a great no-pain physical reminder to sit up tall while riding! I am showing it to you over my clothes, but it really isn’t noticeable under your riding top! I also find myself wanting to wear it when I’m at my desk for long periods of time.
Usually, the slump starts with the head and neck moving forward, out of alignment with your spine. An old colleague used to tell me to imagine that you’re pressing the back of your neck into the back of the collar on your shirt. This has always reminded me to straighten my neck and bring my chin in, which helps my posture so much! Try it right now while you’re reading this, or better yet, in the mirror so you can see what I mean!
For me, these things have really helped me to maintain good posture in the saddle and avoid that adult slouch. Try them out and let me know what you think!