Stable Makes Able

Final part of this series-working on your stability.

If you did the stability tests from last week you will know which areas need work.


Ok, there are few ways to work on shoulder stability, many of which involve the arms overhead and obviously this is how we tested them. However I want you to work on strengthening their effectiveness in the position most required by you-so we are going to work with arms in a sort of rein holding position and focus on retracting the scapular there. Basically if you can nail this it will form the basis for a stable and supportive rein contact for your horse.

You can do this as a basic version or if you have access to a resistance band you can use that to make it a little more difficult.

Start with arms out in front at shoulder height. Relax your upper shoulders and begin to squeeze between your shoulder blades and draw your elbows back into your riding position. Your upper shoulders should remain relaxed throughout. If you feel them popping up, go slower, and really squeeze your mid back and stick your chest out a little. I know this one is tough if you struggle with tense shoulders but I promise the persistence and results are worth it! Build up to 2 x 10.

Hip Stability. –

We are actually going to perform the test we did for hip stability as the fix. Start lying on your back, feet flat on the floor. Lift your elbows and put your hands on your hip bones to feel what they are doing. Go up into a bridge position and keeping your hips lifted and level lift alternate feet off the floor. If you can’t do this without falling over make the movement smaller and just lift your heel up keeping your toe down. Build up to 2 x 10 each leg.

For ankle stability, again there are many different ways of doing it, however as riders we spend a lot of time with feet balanced on the ball of our foot so that is where we will go with strengthening. Calf raises can be done on the floor, or off a step (better for a heels down approach) and on two legs or one-if you like a challenge! If you are on the floor you just lift your heel to balance on the ball of your foot and slowly go back down again. This can be done on two legs or one. If you are using a step, balance on the ball of your feet/foot and drop the heel down and then raise it up. Do this slowly and without bouncing. Build up to 2 x 10 each side if single leg.


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