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Rider Health

Exercises for Tiny Riders and Big Strong Horses

Horses, like riders, come in all shapes and sizes. These exercises focus on strengthening the smaller riders who are matched with big mounts.

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By: Jamie Camp Baxter |

Horses, like riders, come in all shapes and sizes. This month’s tips centre on strengthening the smaller riders who are matched with big mounts. Piloting our beasts around a ring can be daunting with the difference in strength ratio when they decide to exercise their independence. Where our strength and stability comes from in this case is our posterior chain, which includes our spinal erectors, latissimus dorsi (lats), hamstrings, and gluteus maximus (glutes). These muscles help to keep us standing upright against gravity and extended at the hip. They also help us to resist being pulled forward when seated on a horse and able to maintain that elegant yet strong upright seated position. The glute is connected to the opposite lat through the thoraco-lumbar fascia, and this also helps us maintain stability in a twisting motion, for example, maintaining your hips square to your horse while turning your upper body.…

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