Go-Forward Muscles

Learn how to engage, strengthen, and care for the muscles that help your horse go.

Article by Kelly Altschwager, with Alexis Bennett + Photos by Nichole Chirico

There’s a lot to be said for forward momentum, especially when riding. Your glutes (butt muscles), as well as your hamstrings (back-of-the-leg muscles) play a significant role when you’re in the saddle.

In reining, these muscles allow you to drive your horse forward into a large, fast circle, sit balanced through your spins, and cue accurately for a plus-worthy sliding stop. If you struggle to do any of these maneuvers well, it’s likely that you lack or have imbalanced strength, flexibility, and coordination in your lower body.

Here, I’ll share the importance of developing strength and flexibility in your “go-forward muscles,” and share exercises to do at home and in the arena to improve your riding.

Flip to page 44 of your October 2020 Reiner or click here to read more.