Hey guys! Hoping you can help me!

I have a problem with keep my back straight (mainly over fences), and have been working a lot on the flat to try and straighten up. Unfortunately, even when I'm off the saddle I have a habit of slouching....so I'm trying to fix this as well, as I figure once I am used to keeping my back straight, preventing my back from roaching would become easier.

Does anyone have any suggestions of what to do to keep my back straight over fences? Thanks!

Tags: back, equestrian lifestyle, exercises for riders, jumping, keeping, posture, rider fitness, riding, straight

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Hi Heather,

Tim Stockdale's new blog might help you with your position.

I also have another idea that might REALLY help, because it dramatically changed the position of a good friend of mine in a very short time (six weeks!).

You need to get a series of exercises from an expert to help fix the imbalance that has happened over time with your abdominal and back muscles.

If you click on Heather Sansom's fitness blog and ask her advice, I'm sure she can help you with some great exercises. It's called Ride Better 1-2-3 and she helps a different member every week.

Good luck!!
Thanks! I'll go check it out!
I used to have this problem too, my old coach
used to have me do tons and tons of flatwork
over trot poles. Bareback trot and canter work
also really helps you put your weight down and
sit up tall as well.
Thanks for the advice. I have been doing a fair amount of trotting poles which seems to help a little. I think I'm just going to have to focus on not slouching *ever*- at home, work, riding, etc. **sigh**
Hi, Heather! Is this a positional thing or is this a postural thing?
You mention that even when off the saddle you have a habit of slouching. I think there are some kind of bras that have a different configuration at the back that help to keep your shoulders back, do you think that sort of thing might help?

Or, you can work on your posture, keeping your shoulders back and centered over your hips, head up, chin up, be brave and face the world!

Good luck! let us know if you find a good solution!

;)
M
Yes, it seems to be very much a postural thing. I'll definitely look into those bras! Do you know any brands that carry such a line?
Unfortunately, I don't know of a specific brand but if you try a major department store, they should be able to point you in the right direction. I think they may even have sports bras which hold your shoulders back. Its worth a try, right? Good luck and happy shopping!

;)
M
I know this problem well as this is something I've worked on for years! I think the problem for me stems from weak stomach muscles.But I have noticed that riders also tend to roach their backs over fences when they get left behind and they are trying to catch up with their horse. I find that, on the flat, aside from trying to push your shoulder blades together, keep your neck to the back of your collar and trying to make your chest the highest point, if you ride with your arms firmly at your sides with your elbows touching (or as close as you can come to touching) your hip bones, this will make your upper body into a much more solid package, with less room for slouching. Over fences, I always try to pick something to look at in the trees, or well above my head anyway, as I'm approaching the fence. This forces you to keep your head up and if your head is up it's harder to slouch. You can also get someone to stand at the other end of the ring holding there fingers up. You have to count how many fingers they are holding up rather than looking down at the fence. You can also try doing a long crest release. If your hands are half way up the horse's neck then it's harder to slouch. You may also need to strengthen your back muscles using weights which will help pull your shoulders back and also spend a lot of time stretching through your chest.
Thanks for the great tips! I have recently been doing core training exercises which seem to be helping, and I plan on starting weights. But I will definitelt have to try long crest releases as well, see if they help- I always use short.
Thanks for the advice!

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