Stretching before Riding a Horse - dummies

Stretching before Riding a Horse

By Audrey Pavia, Shannon Sand

Part of Horseback Riding For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Taking a few minutes to stretch before you go horseback riding will help you move more freely with the horse, lessen the possibility of injury and lower the odds of being sore afterwards. Leave yourself 5 to 10 minutes to perform the following exercises before you mount:

  • Quad stretch: Stand up straight. Keeping your back straight, bend a leg up behind you and take hold of your ankle; slowly pull it so your knee points down and out behind you. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds and then switch to the other leg. Stretch each leg twice.

  • Hamstring stretch: Stand up in front of a fence and use your hand to brace yourself forward as you reach your leg up onto the fence, as high as you can go. Bend forward at the waist and hold this position for 10 seconds. Stretch each leg twice.

  • *Inner thigh stretch: Sit on the ground with your knees bent out to the sides and the soles of your feet touching each other. Relax your hips and then push down gently on both knees with your hands. Hold 10 seconds. Repeat.

  • Lower back stretch: Lie on your back with your knees to your chest. Wrap your arms around your legs just below your knees and pull your knees toward you. Hold this position for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

  • Neck stretch: Tilt your head slowly first to the right (your ear toward your shoulder) and then to the left. Tuck your chin forward into your chest and then back up toward the sky. Then turn your head as far to the right as you can while keeping your shoulders straight. Do the same to the left. Follow this routine several times, holding each position for at least 5 seconds.