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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 October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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