Meet the modern horse riding posture corrector
As a Western and English rider, my biggest overlapping challenge is position. When my Quarter Horse gallops after a cow, I need to have a deep, strong, stabilizing seat. When my jumping pony approaches a big oxer, I need to sit deep with my chest up, shoulders back, and head up.
That’s why I was so curious to try the Equestorian Back Brace. Big thanks to the company for sending me a product to test, and read on to see video and photos from my experience.
Shop Equestorian products with code “HORSEROOKIE” to get 10% off your first order!
Founded in 2016, this company came about from a group of riders who understood the vital importance of position.
It’s typically pretty easy to tell when products were designed by actual riders, and this back brace clearly was. From the materials to the design, this tool has been extensively tested in the saddle.
We help all our fellow riders to achieve the perfect riding posture. – Equestorian Founding Team
You might be wondering, is horse riding posture really that big of a deal? Short answer: yes.
But achieving optimal posture in the saddle is harder than bystanders might assume. You’re busy trying to direct and control a 1,000+ pound animal, dealing with distractions and weather, and attempting to do what your instructor is telling you in the moment.
It’s physically and mentally strenuous to maintain good posture. Your body often reverts to bad habits without you noticing!
Here are my personal posture challenges:
- Even, Straight Shoulders: My shoulders easily get off-center. I end up riding with one shoulder further back than the other, which also makes my hips uneven.
- Rounded Shoulders: I work on a computer (like right now!), so my shoulders like to round forward and downward.
- Head Down: My neck likes to pivot downward, taking my chin, eyes, and head weight with it.
- Too Much Lower Back Curve: For years, my coach as been telling me to take the curve out of my lower back.
- Lower Back Pain: Due to too much curve, and how my spine is shaped, I often find myself with lower back pain. This is true in the saddle, when sitting, and while standing.
- Chest Forward: When I try to take the curve out of my back, sometimes I just end up pushing my chest and stomach forward.
- Butt Out: Instead of having a deep, balanced seat, I tend to stick my butt too far behind me.
Note: I have Scoliosis, which is a sideways curvature of the spine. That means I’m constantly working against my naturally-uneven body to ride evenly.
Good news: With a few subtle tweaks to your posture, every ride can become exponentially better. Over time, muscle memory develops so you don’t even need to think about it!
That’s what horse riding posture correctors, like the Equestorian Back Brace, are for—but do they work?
Behind the Brace Design
- Perfect Posture Without Guidance: You shouldn’t need a 24/7 coach to help improve your posture. Equestorian wants you to be able to practice in and out of the saddle, at your convenience. It shouldn’t take all your time or money either.
- Safe & Comfortable Riding: Riders of all ages can comfortably use the brace (no pregnant women though) to reinforce great posture and make proper position a habit.
- Affordable After-Ride Recovery: Many riders struggle with post-ride back pain, and a quality posture correction device may be able to help. Wearing the brace can improve your riding experience, performance, and overall quality of life.
I now affectionately call the back brace my “anti-turtle girdle” 🙂
Back Brace Unboxing
First impressions: The outer packaging was fairly utilitarian, but the interior, logo-branded carry bag was a nice surprise.
A high-quality printed thank you card was a nice touch. As a marketer, I appreciated it!
The back of the card featured illustrated instructions about how to wear the back brace. So, let’s talk about that next.
How to Put on the Brace
Initially, I read through the directions and felt pretty confident. Then, I promptly did it all wrong .
My confusion came when I tried to figure out which side of the brace was show in the images—and what side of the back and straps should shown when worn.
I added comments below to help clarify it for you.
Here’s a video of how to put it on:
Here’s a video of how to take it back off:
When the brace is on, it feels and looks similar to wearing a backpack.
When you turn around, the “belt loop” and strap logos should show.
Let’s Talk Fit & Sizing
For context, I *hate* wearing tight things around my waist. (I even wrote a post all about it.) So I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle a back brace at all.
To get a good sense of how it felt, I decided to put it on at home for about an hour, leave it on while I drove to the barn (~30 minutes), and wear it for a lesson (~60 minutes).
Equestorian recommends trying it for shorter periods of time at first. Call me a rebel.
Much to my surprise, I really didn’t mind the feel of wearing it at all. In fact, I rather enjoyed the extra support—even around the house. It made me feel like I wasn’t rounding my shoulders or over-arching my back.
I was also really pleased with how low-profile the brace was, even over winter layers.
It didn’t look bulky, and with black clothes it blends in even more.
Shop Equestorian products with code “HORSEROOKIE” to get 10% off your first order!
Size-wise, I ordered a Medium and was happy I did. It’s super adjustable, so I’m confident I can comfortably wear it in the summer and winter with a variety of layers.
Remember that this brace is unisex, so it’s especially great for gifting to male and female riders.
After several hours of wear on the first day, I didn’t have any soreness from the brace. In the saddle and out, I stayed comfortable!
Here’s a look at my posture with and without the brace.
This was after riding in it for an hour, so I like to think my position was a bit better than normal once I’d removed it.
My Riding Experience
As mentioned, I decided to try the brace first in a lesson. I was curious whether my instructor would notice any difference in my position. Turns out, he did!
“I didn’t have to tell you to take the extra curve out of your lower back once.” – My Coach
Comfort-wise, I actually enjoyed riding in the corrector. It was quite similar to riding in my jumping body protector. I felt like I didn’t need to work as hard to keep my chest stretched upward—and my seat felt more stable.
Also, it seemed easier to keep my shoulders and neck back aligned.
Later that week, I put it back on and rode by myself. The video shows riding my English pony without, then with the brace. I also took some video riding my Western horse bareback in the brace.
Riding English Horse:
Riding Western Horse (Bareback):
Overall, there was a lot to like about the Equestorian Back Brace. Will I choose to wear it every day (or remember to)? Doubtful, but I would happily school it in more.
What I Liked:
- Adjustability: It works over various types of clothing, including winter layers, thanks to the highly-adjustable shoulder and waist straps.
- Construction: The materials are high-quality, breathable, and lightweight. I didn’t overheat or feel like I need to be super delicate with the brace around the barn.
- Back Support: I really liked how it took the excess curve out of my lower back, as that’s what has caused me pain in the past.
- Brain Space: Because the brace did a lot of the work for me, I could free up brain space usually focused on keeping a good position and use it for the rest of my training.
- Comfort: This was the most surprising aspect, given my lifelong distain for tight-waisted… anything. It also helps that you can make it as tight or loose as you want.
- Free Lessons: Wearing this brace is like giving your body lessons in good position, but for free!
Shop Equestorian products with code “HORSEROOKIE” to get 10% off your first order!Room for Improvement
Food for Thought:
- SUPER Sticky Velcro: I get why it’s necessary, but expect all the straps to hook onto themselves if you don’t keep them secured. This was particularly true when slipping on the brace.
- Noise: Due to the sticky velcro, and something the waist materials, the brace makes a fair amount of noise. If your horse has auditory sensitivity, don’t put this on while mounted.
- Putting It On: Slipping on the brace and adjusting it can take a little practice. I always felt like the straps would come loose from the back loop while I put it on, so be careful.
- Not Quite Invisible: I got really excited thinking I might be able to completely hide the brace under a jacket. While it was mostly concealed, there was still a very noticeable bump at the top of the back. (See below)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do you wear an Equestorian back brace?
If you need extra help, check out this video:
Q: Does a back brace really help with posture?
It certainly can! Be sure to purchase a high-quality posture corrector so you can be confident it’s putting your body in a better—not worse—position.
Q: Will it help with back pain?
This depends on the person, but typically people see improvement within about two weeks. If you get sore, always take a break and return to the device later.
Q: Will my back muscles get weaker?
Nope! The brace is designed as assist your muscles and train them to work as they should. It doesn’t replace the purpose of your muscles.
Q: How long should you wear it?
Equestorian recommends trying 2-4 hours per day once you’re used to the brace.
Q: Can you ride horse with back brace?
This is a personal decision based on your needs and the horse you ride, but generally speaking yes.
Q: How does a posture corrector work?
It assists in better alignment of your body and training your muscles to stay in the proper position over time.
Q: Does this provide equestrian lower back support?
You bet! This brace is designed to help you achieve better posture and alleviate discomfort.
Q: Is this a shoulders back brace for horse riding?
Among other things, like back support, yes this brace will help keep your shoulders back and down.
This was my first experience with a posture corrector, and it was certainly a positive one. If you’ve struggled to maintain proper posture in the saddle (or on the ground), this back brace could be a great tool to build your muscle memory!
If you haven’t already, shop Equestorian products with code “HORSEROOKIE” to get 10% off your first order.
P.S. Enjoy this article? Trot on over to:
- Jumping Position 101
- Best Dressage Stirrups for a Perfect Position
- Best Horse Riding Back Braces and Protectors
- Do You Ever Forget How to Ride a Horse
- How to Ride a Horse for Beginners