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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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