Break Out Your Yoga Ball if You Want to be a Stronger Rider

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Doing yoga, running, and planking are all great ways to get in better riding shape. Sometimes, just like when we’re training our horses, we need to add additional aids to help us build up the correct muscles and balance. For riders, a yoga or stability ball is a necessity for your at-home workout. Of course it helps us with our core strength and balance, but the yoga ball has the added benefit of being able to mimic the movement of a horse’s back. Instead of throwing our weight around on our poor horses, through the use of the yoga ball, it is easier to understand how shifting our weight affects a horse’s movement, as well as what it means to be sitting deep on our seat bones.

Jon Pitts of Ride Smart is a firm believer in the use of stability balls for rider fitness. When sitting on a stability ball, we’re able to more easily find which side we’re unbalanced on than we can doing yoga. With this knowledge, we can then start to find balance in both legs, which then translates to being a more balanced rider.

Check out this video where Jon walks two riders through different exercises they can do on a stability ball while explaining what the muscles should be doing and how it translates into being a stronger rider.

Nicole is a writer for Heels Down Media. If she's not writing or editing, she's either running, doing yoga, or at the barn working on becoming a better, stronger dressage rider.

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