Posture Braces For Equestrian Riders

Have you ever wondered if a posture brace could be the fix you are after with your rounded posture when riding?

Sick of your coach nagging you to “keep your shoulders back”?!

We all dream of the perfect rider position, and whilst posture braces won’t be a cure, they can certainly aid in your mission for your best position.

DISCLAIMER: If you are wanting a posture brace to do all the work for you, so you don’t even have to think about using or strengthening your own muscles- think again!

Posture braces are a great tool to feel good posture, and help remind to lengthen through our spine and open our shoulders- but should not be relied upon in isolation.

Appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises should be done in conjunction with, as well as diligent practice on and off the horse to master good posture. (Checkout Equestrian Biomechanics 10 FREE Rider Specific Exercises)

In this article, I will discuss posture braces that I have personally used on and off the horse to help develop good posture. You can probably find variations of these braces elsewhere but I have included amazon links to the exact braces that I have trialled. They are:

 

Befit24® Upper Back Posture Corrector $39.95

This is a beige coloured posture corrector that wraps around the shoulders and the waist.

It was initially quite tricky to work out how to put on but once on it gives you a very strong reminder about your posture. It is quite restrictive and I did try riding in it once, but it was a bit distracting and made me a little tense because of this.

I also tried wearing it to a social event but had to go to the toilet half way through to take it off as it was quite distracting.

For this reason, I suggest one wears this brace for short periods only and off the horse. I tis good for those who are a little extreme with things and want/need a strong reminder about their posture but for me it was my least favourite out of the ones I have tried.

PROS:

  • Discrete under clothing
  • Intense posture correction
  • Affordable
  • Does not move out of position

CONS:

  • A little uncomfortable and restrictive
  • Not adjustable
  • Size guide is a little on the tight side (go a size up!)
  • Can be uncomfortable around the front of the arm/armpit area- making it difficult to move hands forwards (therefore not recommended whilst riding)

BEST SUITED FOR: Those wanting to feel an intense posture correction but don’t want to wear a brace all day or on the horse.

VANWALK Adjustable Back Posture Corrector Brace $14.99

This is a black posture corrector with two holes for your arms, and velcro straps that you pull up to increase or decrease the amount of posture correction desired.

This brace is definitely comfortable enough to wear whilst riding (I actually forgot I was wearing it one day!)

My husband does say it makes me look like I am wearing a backpack though!

It’s not too intense with the posture correction, although you could adjust it firmer to feel more of a stronger correction.

I do find myself frequently putting my hand behind my back to pull the brace back down into position as it has a habit of riding up, impeding the function of the brace.

PROS:

  • Most comfortable out of the physical posture braces
  • Easy to wear anywhere
  • Easily self adjustable
  • Least expensive

CONS:

  • You can “cheat” if the brace rides up too much it can encourage you to round your shoulders (I had to keep pulling it down at the back).
  • Not easily worn discretely under clothing (unless we are talking winter jackets)
  • Comfortable enough to wear whilst riding

BEST SUITED FOR: those wanting an inexpensive and fairly comfortable posture corrector for daily use and riding.

Fittoo Back Support Stabilizing Lumbar Back Brace $22.35

This brace is a black/blue lumbar support that wraps around your lower back/abdomen with a Velcro closure.

This technically isn’t a brace for posture BUT it does have a purpose for horse riders, especially those who are crooked in the saddle.

This brace has boning at the back which is meant for lower back support, however if your rotate it around to your side (the side that collapses) it can be an effective reminder to lengthen through that side of your body.

PROS:

  • Helps with dropped shoulder/rib cage
  • Suitable to wear when riding
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Descrete under clothing

CONS:

  • Won’t help correct dropped or rounded shoulders

BEST SUITED FOR: Those with asymmetrical seats (one shoulder higher than the other or collapsed ribcages)

Upright GO® Posture Trainer And Corrector $118 (#1 recommendation)

Ok so this isn’t exactly a ‘brace’ but I had to include it because it is a strong recommendation of mine when it comes to improving your posture (and my number one recommendation if you are going to buy a posture training device).

Actually, I think it’s the best way to train your ideal posture for good!

The Upright Go is a small electronic device that you stick to your upper back. It senses where your body is in relation to vertical.

There are two modes: tracking and training.

In training mode, the device will vibrate every time you slouch to remind you to sit up and lengthen your spine.

They do say that 8 out of 10 Upright users report a posture improvement of 92% in less than 2 weeks!

In tracking mode, the device will not vibrate but it will track how much of your time you are spending slouched versus upright so you can view your stats at the end of the day (kind of like a fitbit but for your posture!).

They recommend you do a period of time in training mode, and then track your posture for the rest of the day (via their Upright Go App- free to download).

You can set goals to help strengthen your postural muscles (and neural pathways controlling them).

The Upright Go is more likely to give you longer lasting results as YOU are the one correcting your posture, the device is just reminding you to do so.

This device would be easy to use in both tracking and training modes whilst riding. It doesn’t restrict you like the other braces might do.

PROS:

  • Best long term posture training device
  • Doesn’t help you with HOW you will be upright- as long as you are vertical it doesn’t mind (ie. You could be hollowing your back or tilting your head back)
  • Easy to use
  • Real time feedback
  • Difficult to ignore
  • Easy to wear under clothing (very descrete)

CONS:

  • Sticky adhesives aren’t enough for me- I need to use extra tape to secure it in place (or over a tight top/bra)
  • Fairly expensive compared to other options (but worth the investment)

BEST SUITED FOR: Those serious about getting long lasting changes in their posture!

Best Posture Braces for Equestrian Riders Summary

There are many posture braces to choose from when looking at improving your posture for riding!

If you are wanting a posture brace to do all the work for you, so you don’t even have to think about using or strengthening your own muscles- think again!

Posture braces are a great tool to feel good posture, and help remind to lengthen through our spine and open our shoulders- but should not be relied upon in isolation.

Appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises should be done in conjunction with, as well as diligent practice on and off the horse to master good posture. (Checkout Equestrian Biomechanics 10 FREE Rider Specific Exercises)

Here are the posture braces that I have tried and who I would recommend them for:

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