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Trafalgar Square Books

The Athletic Equestrian: Over 40 Exercises for Good Hands, Power Legs, and Superior Seat Awareness

The Athletic Equestrian: Over 40 Exercises for Good Hands, Power Legs, and Superior Seat Awareness

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A proven rider training system to sharpen position and vastly improve skill in the saddle.

Whether competing in the show ring or riding at home on the trail, every rider wants to be more secure and balanced in the saddle and effective with their aids. This innovative guide uses highly effective exercises to develop your athleticism on horseback so you can say goodbye to common rider problems, such as:

  • Swinging lower legs.
  • Stiff arms.
  • Trouble balancing over the horse's center of gravity.
  • Half-halts that go unanswered.
  • Incorrect mechanics, on the flat and in the jumping position.
  • And more.

Division I collegiate riding coach Sally Batton has spent over 30 years perfecting her methods specifically designed to refine and polish riders, whatever their level. In her work with hundreds of varsity team athletes, she found that trouble with position and lack of specific horsemanship skills happens for two reasons: First, riders may not have an understanding of the biomechanics required to maintain the correct position. Second, they may not have attained the suppleness and strength required to maintain a fluid, elastic position on the horse.

Her secret to combatting these difficulties won her teams dozens of championships and awards through the years. Here you learn both her time-proven warm-up and her exciting "Equicize" routine: a series of progressive exercises similar to aerobics on horseback. Batton's recommendations help you build and strengthen the major muscle groups used by equestrian athletes, and all exercises can be customized so you can raise or lower the intensity as needed to suit your age, level, and riding style. Plus, readers find dozens of creative training "hacks" that will get them on their way to greater levels of riding proficiency in no time at all.

Author: Sally Batton
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books
Published: 03/22/2022
Pages: 184
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.35lbs
Size: 10.20h x 8.30w x 0.60d
ISBN: 9781646010516

About the Author

Sally Batton was the head coach of the Dartmouth College Division I Varsity Equestrian Team for 30 years, coaching dozens of riders to regional, zone and national titles. She is the past Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Steward and was presented with the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and was inducted into the inaugural class of the IHSA Hall of Fame in 2019. Batton is a certified instructor with both the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) and the American Riding Instructor's Association (ARIA); in 2008, she was named ARIA Instructor of the Year. She is the Founder and current President of the Athletic Equestrian League, an organization that offers horsemanship education and competition opportunities to English and Western riders from first grade through adult. She lives in New Hampshire (

Christina Keim, M. Ed., is an award-winning equestrian journalist. Her work has appeared in The Chronicle of the Horse, UnTacked, Equine Journal, Practical Horseman, The Eastern Equerry, Northeast Equestrian Life, Green Mountain Horse Association Magazine, Woodstock Magazine, and The Plaid Horse, among others. She is a senior lecturer in the Equine Studies Program at the University of New Hampshire where she has also been the head coach of their Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association hunt seat team since 2004. In 2015, Christina founded Cold Moon Farm, LLC, a working horse farm dedicated to promoting sustainable living, conservation, and the highest standards of compassionate horsemanship in Rochester, New Hampshire (

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