Horseback on the Pilates Reformer is not often one of the favorite exercises out there. It's tough, really tough and not because it's something so different. Mostly, Horseback is tough because it's an exercise that challenges much of our foundational exercises. In Pilates some exercises teach us and others challenge what we know. Horseback is one of those exercises. Horseback requires you to call upon your Spine Stretch Forward, Teaser, Open Leg Rocker, and Arm Circles to name a few. If you find this exercise is weighing you down practice on the Ladder Barrel and Wunda Chair. And, quick tip, don't go slow! Go for it and if you don't like how it goes you have two more sets to try and try again!
Just go for it! If you don't like how it goes you can try again!
With one spring on your Reformer and your Long Box set up saddle up on your box facing your springs, handles in hands in your lap and legs long on either side of the box. Start with your feet flexed and legs at the level of the box. Ideally, you will keep them this high! As you reach your arms towards the high diagonal point your toes and find the longest round spine you can make. Your seat may lift (and ideally will) off the box but your legs should remain high. Hold the body in this position as you circle your arms around 3 times and then flex your feet and return your seat to your box.
After the first rep is usually where people start to get nitpicky and over think things. Instead of slowing down and overthinking things Channel the exercises that prepare you for the Horseback best and try again. 3 sets of 3 circles in one direction. The more you reach from your back the more this exercise becomes more pleasurable. As you catch the resistance of the spring allow this to help deepen your connection to your center instead of taking you off your box. If it's not going well, head on over to the Ladder Barrel or Wunda Chair to help you for the next time.
Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Reformer exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Reformer training!