Pre-Ride Warm Up: 1/2 Eagle Pose

We all know that tension anywhere in the neck and shoulders sends the wrong message down your arms, through your hands and into the contact with your horse’s mouth.  1/2 Eagle is another great way to relax the muscles and reduce tension in the neck and shoulders, especially the area between your shoulder blades.

In horse back riding it is super important to release tension in your shoulders as tension anywhere can result in stiff, ineffective riding. It can also translate the wrong message to your horse, one of tension and fear rather than calm and confident.

Let’s get started!

Find yourself seated evenly on your seat bones with your back straight, shoulders square and head normal. Picture someone pulling a string out of the top of your head.

Bring your elbows up parallel in front of you with your arms bent at a 90% angle.


Cross your left arm over your right nesting the left elbow above the right.


Your hands will be back to back, try and and intertwine your fingers if you can.


Taking a deep breath through your nose (to a count of four) raise your arms up and then push them forward.


On your exhale (through the nose and to a count of four) drop the arms back down and pull them back to the start.


Do this for four slow breaths, in and out.

Up > forward >down> back.

Then switch arm positions so the right elbow rests inside of the left arm. Repeat the motions to another four full breaths.

Try to be aware of your seat bones, making sure you are sitting evenly.

This is another great pose to practice any time, anywhere….even in the shower!  You will really feel the release of tension between your shoulder blades.  If you practice this in the saddle it might be a good idea to have someone hold your horse the first few times.

You can learn this pose and 11 others when you purchase the DVD or Digital downloads here

Peace, Yoga and Horses,


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