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  • Kate - Aspire Clinic WA

Fix Your Slouching - Ride Reinless

When it comes to improving our balance and posture in our riding, one of THE most common habits getting in our way is slouching.

Having good posture is essential to build that body and mind connection with our horse. Good posture while riding uses less energy and helps minimise tension in our body. Our whole aim when riding should be to influence our horse with our body, and for the horses’ body to influence ours. To do this we need balance. Reaching a point of balance while in movement with our horse requires good posture. Slouching while riding works against everything we are trying to achieve.

Now we know good posture plays a key role to balance with our horse, what can we do to help reverse slouching?

Ride Reinless!

Sound radical? Scary even?

It can be, but done safely, it can be one of the most effective things to help your balance and posture. Which in turn, helps prevent slouching.

Why can slouching become such a problem?

First, think about how you sit in your every day life.

You probably fall into 1 of 4 category’s, possibly all 4!

  • Spend a lot of time driving.

  • Have a job where you’re at a desk or sitting for long periods of time.

  • Have less than ideal body mechanics’ while doing everyday activities.

  • Have had an injury and developed compensation patterns that have developed bad posture.

All of these encourage poor posture. Making it too easy for slouching to become our natural posture without realising, and transferring into the saddle. The last thing we need is to be leaning forward and slouched with arms braced out in front.

Reinless can help.

* When riding reinless, where will your hands naturally be? Probably by your side instead of reaching forward. This alone instantly and effortlessly brings your shoulders back in line with your ear, hip and ankles.

* When your body is inline, your centre of balance stabilises, reducing tension and allowing your body to move with your horse in harmony and rhythm.

* Without the distraction of anything in our hands, we become more aware of what the rest of our body is doing, and able to relax and feel our center of gravity.

No pushing your chest out. No jamming your shoulders back. No trying to sit up straight in an unnatural position.

How can you ramp up results of riding reinless?

This single insider tip is gold and has transformed many of my clients posture both in and out of the saddle.

While in the saddle, with your arms hanging naturally by your side. Instead of your palms facing in towards your body or behind you, turn your palms to face forward. That’s it!

Test it by standing in front of a mirror side on to see the difference. Stand naturally with your palms facing behind you and look at your shoulders. Now turn your wrists so your palms are facing forwards.

How amazing is the difference in your shoulders?!

That difference in posture directly translates to the saddle when reinless.

If you are in the “sounds too scary” team, I agree! In fact, until I had reached a point of training with my horse it would have been dangerous. I also have a fantastic coach/trainer which is essential in assessing both your own and horses’ abilities.

Some pointers to do it safely:

· Let your coach know it’s something you would like to aim for. Together you can safely get to a place to incorporate some reinless riding.

· You may want to find a reputable horsemanship coach who can help both you and your horse learn the principles needed to make it successful.

· If you are confident in your partnership to try it without a coach. Start in the round yard with a knowledgeable friend holding a lunge line.

· If you are super confident in your own and horses’ abilities, Great! Have a trusted friend close by when doing it for the first time. Safety should be second nature when with horses.

Already incorporate reinless in your riding? Fantastic! What changes have you noticed in your partnership with your horse? I’m a massive fan (can you tell?) The positive effects it can have on our posture is just one of many reasons, but I’ll save that for another time.

If you feel like you are constantly fighting your own riding position, or hearing phrases like “sit up straight” “put your shoulders back” and “relax and poke out your chest” riding reinless could be the exercise you’ve been looking for.

Happy Horsing!

- Kate

If you would like to find our more about how you can improve your posture while riding, you can get in touch at our website or in our facebook group

Advice is general in nature and provided as informational in good faith. Consult your vet or medical professions.

All rights reserved. Copyright by Kate Retallack Aspire clinic WA 2020.


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