Cowgirl - Posture

A rider must do much more than just look good on a horse. The correct riding position can encourage your horse to move to the best of his ability. Every shift of your seat, hands, and legs can be an influence. Learning the correct posture for your body can greatly improve your time in the saddle.

Lower Body

Your legs and feet should hang long in western riding with a slight bend in your knees. Each leg should rest right near the girth. Be careful to avoid letting your legs slip forward into a chair position. The ball of each foot should sit in the stirrups with your heels pressed gently down. Keep your toes pointed straight forward, rather than outward. Eliminate tension by keeping your legs relaxed.

Upper Body

You should maintain a poised position by sitting up straight. Press your shoulder blades together, but be careful not to arch your back. You’ll want to tuck your tailbone down and sit on your back jean pockets. Keeping your chin up and head straight forward in the direction you’re going can have a big impact, as well. Your elbows should be kept by your sides with a slight bend. Both hands should be soft with thumbs on top. Avoid putting your hands up too high.

Overall Position

All riders should align their ears, shoulders, hips, and heels in a straight line. A relaxed body can help your horse stay comfortable. Remember to breathe and recheck your position every few minutes or so.

It can be hard to train your body to follow the correct position, but in time you’ll develop the right muscles.