How often do you think about your own body balance and how it affects your horse?
Yesterday I had a private consultation with Claire from the balanced rider, see previous blog about the balanced rider here.
I am very aware I have a few issues with my body since my accident last year, and having a dressage horse in the making, along with a very promising youngster, I owe it to them to be the very best I can be.
Since the accident I have had physio from various sources, provided by the hospital, but I never felt the benefit in my riding.
Claire gave me a thorough check over and found "issues" in places never worked on before, with the main areas being my hips which were very tight. A very common problem in riders.
I was manipulated, pushed, pulled, bent, straightened, lengthened and generally put my body through a good workout!
Some of the exercises I had to do were indeed painful, but once the initial “shock” of what my body was being asked to do was accepted, I could feel the benefit immediately.
We also worked on specific exercises on the Pilates ball, aiming to improve flexibility, strength and body balance/control.
You may be able to see a pattern forming - I need to be straighter, more flexibly, have better body balance/control, and what is it we ask of our horses? Yes, the very same! So by ensuring I am at my best, it can only serve to help my horses, after all, if I am crooked, how on earth can I help out a wobbly youngster? Or if I lack balance, how can I improve the balance of Masie?
I have ridden today, even though the areas worked on are very sore, and I can happily report there is a difference already, a softer half halt, a deeper seat, easier transitions and Masie actually felt like she could “pick me up” easier.
There will be undoubtedly be some pain, but as they say “no pain, no gain”!
Next time you are experiencing an issue with your horse, it may be wise to check yourself, and address any issues. You may be surprised at the results!