Louise Lees Chartered Physiotherapist and Equestrian Pilates instructor tells us why flexibility is so important as a rider.
Flexibility is the ability of a joint or a group of joints and muscles to effectively move through an unrestricted and pain-free range of motion.
In terms of riding, we need to have a flexible spine , pelvis and hip joints to achieve a good position in the saddle , maintain good alignment and be able to move with the horse i.e absorb the movement of the horse.
Flexibility leads to better blood flow, less frequent injuries, and a greater ability to increase muscle tone.
Flexibility is something that we havewith youth – the majority of children are naturally pliable.
As we age, we fall less, and as we brace more our core strength improves control of our body parts is refined.
With age, however , we become less agile and supple.
Maintaining and enhancing one’s flexibility is a life-long process.
Why is Flexibility is important as a rider ?
- To achieve a deep seat and relaxed longer leg
- To move with the horse and not block the horse’s movement which could have an impact on the horse’s welfare
- To achieve a balanced seat
- To improve the effectiveness of our aids
- To have a more comfortable ride
- To work more in harmony with the horse
- To be able to perform better school movements such as circles & advanced dressage moves
- To prevent discomfort
- Together with strength, it prevents imbalance and weakness
Watch Louise on you tube to discover some exercises to improve your flexibility as a rider.