For Riders & Trainers
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The tensions in our bodies can not only compromise our own ability to be even left and right....but indeed our ability to apply the same aid in the same way left and right to our horse.
Most discrepancies are based around a pelvis that is not square and level (in 20 years of practice I have only found one person with a pelvis that was level). When one side of the pelvis is more rotated forward than the other, it changes both the height of the hip socket resulting in an 'apparent' leg length difference, AND the height of the sit-bones. This last part ....the sit-bone height difference is the critical part of the jigsaw puzzle.
For the novice rider it puts more weight in one sit-bone (and for about 96-98% of people that's usually the right side). More weight in one sit-bone asks the horse to bend away from the extra weight and move laterally. So if it's the right, then horse will be easier to bend to the right, swing the barrel more to the left than the right, be more likely to fall out through the left shoulder.
For a more experienced rider, they may be more aware that the weight through their seat should be equal left and right. So they are more likely to shift or translate their (body) weight to the left to even it up. UNFORTUNATELY, the original challenge was a front-back rotation that is different left and right, NOT a left to right translation/shift of weight through the body. Now, the rider feels that he/she is more even in the seat but because they have corrected it with a different part of their body to the cause , their trunk at the waist is sitting shorter and more jammed to the left and most likely collapsed to the right. This is NOT central to the horse. Anyone who has given a small child a piggyback when the child has been hanging off to one side will appreciate what that could feel like for the horse (and indeed why the horse's body may then start to show differences left and right).
The rider is then told to sit up straight and not to collapse to the right but if they do so, they also feel unbalanced through the sit-bones.
A tell-tale symptom of a rotationally unbalanced pelvis can be seen in rising trot. The more forwardly rotated side of the pelvis describes a bigger arc. In this example the left hip would rise less as the person posts, the right hip would lift both higher, more forwards and quicker, AND fall quicker, more back and lower. However uneven this looks, it's not possible for most for us to correct this without manufacturing the correction from a body part that is NOT at FAULT. It is the interplay of the tensions of these counter compensations, that not only robs us our OWN fluidity, but creates extra tensions within the horse.
By 'gritting our teeth' we can often manufacture 'the right look' at the expense of a fluid connection and balance with our horse.
When the pelvis, per se, is anteriorly rotated (tipped forwards) ......which is virtually always the case in a western world due to the amount of time spent in a sitting or bent forward position.......then there are other compensations that occur . A tipped forward pelvis , a more pronounced back arch (lordosis), matches lost length in the front of the body, a more rounded upper back (kyphosis), which matches a more forward head carriage, matches a hooked back neck.
The brain only thinks you are upright if it feels that your ear (the centre of your precious 'computer') is over the balance of your support -the ankle when standing, the hip socket when sitting.
If you have a head forward head carriage, then most people cantilever back until their ear is over the hip. This makes them FEEL upright. Unfortunately at this point their TRUNK is actually leaning back...we've all seen a rider that looks like this. The instructor may tell them that they're leaning back, but their brain is screaming that they ARE upright. They are trying to correct it from leaning back and forward from their lumbar spine, when it is the lift through the chest only that needs to correct this.
How I can help.....
- I can even up the pelvis to not only allow it to be balanced left to right, but also front to back
- I can restore length to the front line of the body
.......TO BE CONTINUED........
Tel: 077 9645 7715
Email: [email protected]