Another visit to The Balanced Rider….
Back in January 2013, I had my first experience of riding the mechanical horse “legless”. Click here to read about my first experience of "legless" the mechanical horse.
As you will read in my previous blog, my first visit was not long after my accident in 2012 which left me paralysed for a short while, the mechanical horse was a great reintroduction to the saddle, highlighting my weaknesses.
Following 8 months of being able to get back in the saddle and get back to “normal”, the memories of “legless” and the computer report which highlighted all the problems, enabled me to address them and therefore improve them, I felt it was about time I revisited Clare Howard and see if my efforts had been worthwhile….
Having told some of my regular riders about “legless” and the benefits to you and your horse, I arranged for 6 of us to attend an evening workshop, even though I had already been to the workshop, it is always good to revisit previously learnt knowledge.
So at 7pm on 11/9/13 we met at Quob Stables, where a warm and friendly greeting was waiting for us from Clare.
The format was very much the same as my previous visit, beginning with introduction to “Harry the plastic skeleton”, a very informative section of the workshop looking at the human anatomy and learning about how our body works on the horse.
We then moved on to the gym ball, having done this before and failing, it was very interesting for me to feel an improvement immediately (not falling off it!) The group was in fits of giggles and a great, but informative time was spent on those balls, leaving everyone more aware of their body balance (or lack of it!).
This part of the workshop was completed, an hour and a half had passed so quickly, and part two beckoned.
Part two being “legless”.
With the previous visit to Legless still very much in my mind, I mounted.
Strangely I immediately felt more “at home” on legless than previously, was it the familiarity? I wasn’t sure.
As Legless went through his paces, I was focussed on “riding” like he was a normal horse, to get the full benefit of the computer reading.
Clare remembered my previous ride and was happy with the results, but not as happy as I was! Previously the results were ones that a heart monitor could have produced! Bouncing unbalanced lines everywhere!
These results were ones which showed an enormous improvement in my balance, a more central, following seat, even rein contact and only 2 minor leg “aids” given. Not perfect, but a huge leap forward.
This is my resuts sheet:
Then we were introduced to the Flexi Chair, another great invention! This seat is linked to a computer and by the use of your balance and pelvic moves only, you guide a spot on the screen around different simulations such as a vertical tube where you guide the spot from top to bottom through a central circle, this was the beginning exercise, we graduated to doing a figure of 8, again, this highlighted weaknesses in our pelvic movement and how we compensate by using/twisting/loading different areas of our body when out of our comfort zone. Everyone found this hard, but the key to doing it well was to not try too hard and allow our body to take over.
All in all, those 8 months of working on my own seat and balance had paid off and I had the computer reading to prove it!
I still don’t ride frequently, only approx. once a month, due to not having my own ridden horse yet, but even the work I do on the gym ball, the stretches, the “everyday” things have obviously paid off.
My riders all thoroughly enjoyed themselves too and I see a visit to buy gym balls in the very near future for them!
As for me, the next stage is to have some” one to ones” with Clare, that way I know as rocky matures into my ridden horse, I will be giving him the very best start to his ridden life.
If you want to know more about The Balanced Rider, and what it can do for you, here is a link to their website: http://www.thebalancedrider.co.uk/