Pilates for the Equestrian

Create a deeper seat and an ideal riding partnership with your horse.

  • Frustrated that your horse won’t respond properly to your commands?
  • Having trouble keeping a stable seat?
  • Feeling unusually sore and tired after a ride?

Imbalances develop over time, based on physiology, posture, and lifestyle. How you move when not riding – other types of exercise, the amount (and quality) of sitting you do at work, etc. – directly affects how you function on a horse. Resulting asymmetries greatly affect movement and alignment, resulting in impediments like:

  • Rounded shoulders
  • Tightness and curving in the lower back
  • Tight hamstrings

Why Pilates?

Pilates exercises increase your body awareness and improve flexibility, balance, and strength in order to facilitate an optimal riding experience. Pilates helps equestrians:

  • Lengthen the spine and strengthen the core, which stabilizes the body in movement
  • Sculpt a stronger body with increased flexibility, strength, and balance
  • Create a deeper seat and enhance the suppleness of the lower back
  • Strengthen the abdominals
  • Increase hip independence
  • Increase leg and body length

Performance Benefits

With a strong core and increased flexibility, riders can:

  • Freely and gently move arms and legs around a stable base
  • Help clarify aids and hold jumping form
  • Avoid collapsing and bouncing in the saddle
  • Better absorb a horse’s movement
  • Improve posture to help you deepen your seat
  • Increase comfort during and after your ride
  • Maintain neutral pelvis so you can easily follow your horse’s movements
  • Develop a trusting riding relationship, where your horse responds to your commands and is confident in your ability

Adapted from Balance Body