ballet exercises good for riding?

suzanne7575

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Jul 25, 2007
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I might have dreamned this but I'm sure i have read somewhere that ballet exercises can be good for riding (although I believe ballet dancers are discouraged from riding) as it helps with your hip turnout and posture and balance. For the last 6 months before getting back into the saddle i have been taking some ballet classes and doing the new york ballet workout DVD and I must admit when i got back in the saddle for the first time last week I felt very balanced and the instructor said my body position and leg position was good. I'm not sure if the ballet has helped this or wether it is just my body remembering?

Anybody else found ballet to help with riding
 

Trio

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Jan 5, 2007
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haven't done it personally (i was described as a bull in a chinashop when i took ballet lessons :rolleyes:) but i imagine it must be perfect for riding- balance and poise and all that should be ideal. The stretching would also improve your position as it opens the hips so you can sit deeper- very jealous .
 

suzanne7575

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well i wouldn't describe myself as the perfect ballerina, more like the ballet dancing hippos from fantasia, but it does wonderes for your posture i must say, it has cured my bad back
 

eventerbabe

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Dec 16, 2004
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I was told the opposite. As a child i did ballet and horse riding in tandem for many years. My RI eventually said i had to pick one or the other as the ballet was doing my riding no favours. Sadly ballet got the chop :( :D it may help with balance but pointy toes and toes out are not compatible with riding!
 

Kathryn128

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May 21, 2007
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I was told the opposite. As a child i did ballet and horse riding in tandem for many years. My RI eventually said i had to pick one or the other as the ballet was doing my riding no favours. Sadly ballet got the chop :( :D it may help with balance but pointy toes and toes out are not compatible with riding!

exact same thing with me. I hung up my pointe shoes not too long ago so I'd have more time on my hands for school and Merlyn. I've always been told they weren't complementing each other at all!
 

suzanne7575

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I know my ballet teacher as a child told us we could only do one or the other, I was another one that chose the horses, however i went to ballet for a fitness thing and it does seem to have done my balance and posture good, maybe i have ridden for too long (previous to my break from it) for the ballet to have a detrememtal effect.
 

Peanut

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I know my ballet teacher as a child told us we could only do one or the other

I was told the same and chose to ignore the comment and do both. :p But certainly in my case that was in the days when one was taught to grip with the knees and hips were very turned inwards.

These days being taught to open the hips and thighs when riding, I can't imagine ballet and riding are at all conflicting. As has been said, there can be few things better than ballet for strengthening the core muscles and improving posture and balance.
 

chev

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May 7, 2002
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My eldest rides and plays football; my second child does ballet and rides.

Ballet teacher and instructor both say that the two are not mutually exclusive, and kids who dance and ride tend to be better balanced, more open at the hip and have a better sense of rhythm.

Child who plays football is more co-ordinated and generally stronger.

I think most physical pastimes will have beneficial effects for each other, in some way.
 

Teehee

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I'd say as for the flexibility part and balance in ballet is good, but by my own experience... I had gone to ballet when I was younger... and I had a real hard time trying to keep my feet pointing in instead of out... :eek: I don't know if the ballet was to blame... or it's just because I'm cow hocked!!! hehehe :rolleyes:
 

Kathryn128

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May 21, 2007
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i have to say, it's been so hard to shake ballet from my system and everyday life, so I don't bother anymore, and it has given me a real sense of balance and rhythm i wouldn't have had otherwise.

The only thing I found conflicting about it was that I have really really muscular thighs from riding, which isn't exactly desirable in ballet, as I could do my grande battements extremely high but it didn't exactly look graceful :p more along the lines of a fairy elephant
 
S

Shadow69

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Ballet and equin use different muscle groupes. I was told to quit ballet if I wanted to progress in equitation. It was great advice as I achieved a lot from competition on my and my mentors horses.

weather the advice was correct or not is subjective.
weather ballet and equitation can co-exist, is subjective.

would I have achieved what I did as well as ballet, i dont know.

just do what is best for you and everything will be ok if you work hard.

JC
 

EquusRider91

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Aug 20, 2007
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Hm. I danced for 5 years before i started riding and then continued to dance as I rode(though I quite 2 years after i started to ride for reasons other than it being in the way of my riding). The only thing I can remember being said about me being a dancer is that i tried to point my toes out, but it just takes some discipline to adjust that when on a horse. We're not incapable of adjusting ourselves to different situations and circumstances. I don't think there is any need to quit dancing because you've started to ride. :) It just means you have to think a little more about your position and there's nothing wrong with that.

I also think ballet helps. It strengthens the legs and your core as well as giving you flexibility that is needed for riding. sometimes i arch my back a bit too much when i'm on a horse, but other than that I've found that dance has helped.
 

Skibum

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Jun 9, 2021
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My riding instructor told me today that I should look at ballet exercises so that my shoulders sit right when I ride. I am an adult beginner rider, I am 54, and I have never danced. Can any of you give me advice? Thank you.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Apr 30, 2010
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Hi Skibum, I'm not sure if you'll get much response from this thread because it is very old (the last post before yours is dated 2007). If it doesn't get you anywhere, try posting a new thread for us all to have a go at :)
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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Many people recommend Pilates for balance.
Ballet (I was told by a new rider from Russia) can be a major problem. She told me that in ballet, one's balance depended on one's feet. She told me she felt unsafe sitting on a horse without firm ground under her feet. In the end the RI helped her dismount and she did not go for a ride.
 

Skibum

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Jun 9, 2021
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Many people recommend Pilates for balance.
Ballet (I was told by a new rider from Russia) can be a major problem. She told me that in ballet, one's balance depended on one's feet. She told me she felt unsafe sitting on a horse without firm ground under her feet. In the end the RI helped her dismount and she did not go for a ride.
Oh wow. That's interesting. I have been learning bareback. I much prefer that to being in a saddle. You can't brace on the stirrups if you don't have any! šŸ˜ƒ
 

Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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Hi there! I studied contemporary dance whilst getting my teaching degree. I know little about ballet, but we studied Laban and Martha Graham. My posture, and core strength improved dramatically, as did the strength in my legs. To this day, I am the only one in my family that can rock my 3 year old grandson up and down on my crossed leg - that includes the men, who are all quite sporty! I think dancing helps you be aware of each part of your body more easily, and know what that part's doing.
 
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