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Top 9 Tips to Keep You Secure in the Saddle

Top 9 Tips to Keep You Secure in the Saddle

Without a doubt, one of the hardest skills to master is horse riding. Managing a quality horseback riding session takes skill, poise and a lot of timing. You might have to go through a few rough moments before you can finally get your verve back on the saddle!

Don’t fret, though; it is by no means an impossible challenge. If you feel like you are struggling to master horse trail riding etiquette[1] and can’t stay in the saddle, the tips below should help you become a more comfortable rider quickly.

1. Listen to the Instructor

If you can afford it, hire an instructor to teach you how to ride a horse, as they have a slew of knowledge and information they can share with you. Especially if you don’t know someone who’s an expert in horse riding, this is an advisable option.

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2. Immerse yourself in the experience

Another important if indirect part of staying on the saddle is allowing yourself to be immersed into the culture of horse riding. It becomes a whole lot easier to stay in the seat as you ride because you have the right mindset. Because of your willingness to immerse yourself in this experience, you’re more open to learning new things—from learning about grooming and untacking to managing the rugging up process.

3. Go Slow

The best piece of advice that you can keep in mind is pace. Don’t try and speed up until you master moving at a certain pace. This will also make sure that your horse has an easier time too. Then, after a while, try and pick up the pace a little; take little steps. A horse tends to feel far more secure if you can get used to the idea of moving slowly and mastering the pace one step at a time than diving right into it.

4. Ensure it Fits

A saddle that does not quite fit is a saddle that is a waste of money. The way to ensure your saddle fits on the horse is largely determined by how it feels when you are riding. To learn the specific details and techniques in saddling up a horse, go here.

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5. Watch the Horse

A tip that could be very useful for making sure you stay in the saddle is making sure the horse and the saddle are compatible. If the horse has lost weight or gained weight, then the saddle might not fit the same as it once did. This can hamper the quality of life of the horse and your riding experience, so make sure that you take the time to understand the horses’ overall body shape and function before you decide to do anything else.

6. Use a Back Cinch

Back cinches are a good way to make sure that the horse keeps you in place if the trails are too step. It will keep you more secure and stabilized in the saddle. This leads you to feeling more secure as a rider and being more confident during the riding process. Make sure that your horse is going to be comfortable, though, as rubbing can soon make your horse annoyed and unlikely to settle down.

7. Get a Crupper

Cruppers run from the saddle to under the tail of the horse and helps to stop the saddle sliding around as you ride – especially when you have to go down a hill. Doing this makes it much more likely that your horse is going to withstand the challenge of the journey and also, crucially, it stops you from falling out of the saddle when riding!

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8. Power Posting

A good way to take control of the riding experience is to use what is known as a ‘power post’. When trotting along, bring up your pelvis in time with the horse’s trotting. It should be a 2-beat rhythm. Start doing this as you ride and before long the horse can begin to get used to the rhythm. It’s a little exhausting at first and will take time to master.

9. Stay Erect

Keep your back as straight as possible as if someone was using a ruler to measure how straight your back is. This makes you sit deeply into the saddle, and adds to the grip and stability that you will likely have when riding. Doing this early in your education makes your muscles remember that improved posture.

These simple tips should help you with your horse riding experience and help you to stay on the saddle. 

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Featured photo credit: Jeremy Cai via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Online Equine Supplies: Responsible Trail Riding and Etiquette

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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