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how flexible do you have to be to ride?

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  • #21
    I dont think flexibility plays as large of a factor as a natural sense of balance and coordination. If you are naturally well-balanced and coordinated, you will intuitively follow the horse's motion much more easily than a person who isn't as well balanced or coordinated. Generally, these are the riders who have good "feel", at least in my experience.
    Proud Member of the "Tidy Rabbit Tinfoil Hat Wearers" clique and the "I'm in my 30's and Hope to be a Good Rider Someday" clique

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    • #22
      Not as flexible as you need to be to fall off...

      or rather to avoid falling off.

      It isn't really about flexibility, it's about being able to independently either contract or relax muscles or muscle groups and having enough balance, core strenth and stamina.

      Even for an old broad, I'm still pretty "bendy", but now it's about strength and endurance more than anything else.


      If you are in a position where you need to be really flexible, you are either

      a: a vaulter

      or

      b: on your way to the ground.

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      • #23
        Not much, or I wouldn't have routinely done as well in equitation classes as I have...I am NOT flexible, never have been (major props to my new dance pro since I moved who is the first to, instead of saying how you can become flexible really totally, ask "Were you flexible as a child?" He understands I think because while HE is actually pretty flexible, his wife/pro partner is not.)

        I suppose I should say I am not flexible in the back or in, say, the ability to do the splits. I AM open-hipped, ie I can turn out my toes really far, which might be helpful with riding except for keeping my toes forward.
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        • #24
          Add me to not being flexible! It's gotten worse as I've aged. I'm about a foot away from touching my toes and don't even get me started on the splits! Lol

          After reading these posts, I wonder if riding has something to do with not being flexible? I'm not a fitness guru or doctor, but maybe since we're constantly contracting our leg muscles instead of stretching we've "shortened" them or inhibited flexibility?

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          • #25
            Originally posted by SherwoodAcres View Post
            Add me to not being flexible! It's gotten worse as I've aged. I'm about a foot away from touching my toes and don't even get me started on the splits! Lol

            After reading these posts, I wonder if riding has something to do with not being flexible? I'm not a fitness guru or doctor, but maybe since we're constantly contracting our leg muscles instead of stretching we've "shortened" them or inhibited flexibility?
            I think you're right actually. When I was a teenager my ballet teacher REALLY wanted me to stop riding because it was making my legs the opposite of how they were supposed to be.

            So of course I then quit ballet!

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Aren't there any physical therapists/riders out there in COTH land? We need expert opinion! I did gymnastics as a kid and I also was chastised for riding which my gymnastics coaches said they thought made it worse. I think I am not naturally flexible to begin with so I've always wondered how much that may interfere with riding. Not to knock adult riders but watching the adults around they do seem more tense and herky jerky in their seats which is especially noticeable at the canter (sitting) and I think whomever mentioned tight hip flexors is probably on to something...

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              • #27
                Originally posted by supershorty628 View Post
                I'm not flexible at all. I've met brick walls that were more flexible than I am, but that has not stopped me from reaching most of my goals. Actually, I would say that my inflexibility has not stopped me from reaching any of them, but my occasional tendency to ride like a coked-up lemur has
                I'm really strong, though, and was always taught to be a soft rider from the moment I was riding without being in front of my mom.

                My crappy joints, on the other hand, have proved to be an issue as they keep sidelining me!
                That is the best picture ever, supershorty!
                Mon Ogon (Mo) and Those Wer the Days (Derby)

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