May 07, 2020

Why Yoga? with Lisa Bauman

Photo courtesy of Lisa Bauman.

I'm broken, like most eventers. Duct tape, bute, and get on with it, right? We, as riders and competitors, treat our horses significantly better than we treat ourselves. A few years back I was gearing up for a fun season with a nice string of younger horses when I got kicked in the side of the knee. Yoga was a large part of my rehab for it and I came back stronger and faster than my orthopedist thought was possible. I also became acutely aware that my collective injuries were causing some minor (or not so) imbalances in the saddle. For example, I struggled with canter half pass right because I was perpetually sitting a bit heavier on the left side. I was out of balance - mentally and physically.

One of the things I love about Yoga is that you can ramp it up and kick the #!(#%! out of yourself, or you can slow it down and it feel like active stretching. Anything you do has a direct impact on your time in the saddle: get fitter, get softer, get kinder, get stronger. This is why I started Om Riding. We combine Yoga geared specifically for equestrians with traditionally formatted clinics (ie. dressage, show jumping, cross-country, gymnastics, etc). As a result, we are able to address the mental and physical side of riding before we even get into the tack as well as get insight into some of the rider imbalances prior to beginning the gymnastics.

Here are three basic Yoga poses you can try at home that will help increase your flexibility and strength, in and out of the saddle.

Plank Hold

  • Strengthens core - improves literally every aspect of riding.
  • Reduces back pain - frees usage of your back in aids, transitions, sitting trot, half halts, etc.
  • Improves posture - improves your position in the saddle, increased effectiveness of your seat.
  • Improves balance - the goal is to stay on and in the middle, front to back and left to right.
  • Strengthen shoulder girdle - increases your ability to ride the horse off your back. Effective use of half halts, plus you will stop getting yelled at to sit up and bring your shoulders back!

    Goddess Pose

    • Tones core and glutes - stabilizes your position in saddle.
    • Stretches hips/groins - gives you a more stable, quiet, active leg without pinching.
    • Strengthens muscles of legs - increases effectiveness of your aids.
    • Lengthen spine/improves posture - improved posture/pelvic tilt to increase correct seat.

    Crescent Lunge

    • Strengthen/tones thighs, hips, butt - effective use of your aids, specifically lateral movements and the two point position.
    • Balance - develops flexible stability, increases your ability to follow the horse's movement, independent aid application.
    • Backbend/heart opener - helps front of body expand, increase energy, use of breath, improved posture/seat in the saddle, reduces fatigue.

    Here is a quick 10-minute flow video for people to do before they hop on their horses. It's short, sweet, and to the point. It focuses on loosening the hips, back, and shoulders. It's light impact and you do not need a yoga mat for this flow!

    Currently, I am unable to travel for clinics due to COVID-19 so we have moved to an online platform. It's been a fun shift and a great way to stay connected with riders nationally. As we hope to begin to travel again, we will continue the online classes as a way to help riders get more time on the mat. Anyone is welcome to join! Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. More information is available here.

    Oct 27, 2021 Education

    Horse Industry Trends -Lessons from STRIDER & EQUITANA USA

    If you were involved in equestrian sports at all last year, you probably noticed how COVID incentivized the industry to make a few changes in day-to-day business operations. The United States Eventing Association (USEA) caught up with the STRIDER leadership team to learn more about recent industry trends after their trip earlier this month to EQUITANA USA at the Kentucky Horse Park.

    Oct 26, 2021 Competitions

    US Equestrian Announces Additional CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced Level Competitions for 2023-2027

    US Equestrian is pleased to announce two additional competitions approved by the USEF Board of Directors to host CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced level events during the 2023-2027 competition cycle under the new Eventing Calendar Process. The Florida Horse Park has been allocated the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced levels on Week 16 and the Advanced level on Week 40.

    Oct 26, 2021 Volunteers

    The VIP Volunteer: Jim Moyer

    If you take one look at Jim Moyer’s Facebook page, you will see it is filled with sweet sentiments from the lives he has touched through his work in the equine industry. Moyer’s involvement with horses began when he met his future wife Jean 50 years ago. As Jean went on to become a prominent instructor in eventing, Moyer found that their friend circle was full of horse people, so it was only natural that he should find his place in the community.

    Oct 25, 2021 Competitions

    Winning Day for the Law Family: Great Britain's Leslie Law Claims CCI4*-S and Open Prelim Victories at The Event at TerraNova

    Horses and riders in 12 divisions, from Starter to CCI4*-S, tackled the show jumping phase of competition Sunday at The Event at TerraNova, over a track designed by Nick Granat in the world-class setting of the main arena. Prize money was awarded in all divisions.

    Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

    Official Outerwear of the USEA

    Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

    Official Forage of the USEA

    Official Feed of the USEA

    Official Saddle of the USEA

    Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

    Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

    Official Horse Clothing of the USEA