As riders, our posture on the horse is the same as it is off the horse. It is really hard to have good posture for the hour you ride your horse if you have bad habits or poor posture the other 23 hours. To improve your posture on the horse, you need to improve your posture off the horse, and that’s where Equine Therapies: 4 The Rider can help.
Talking from personal experience, my right hip is higher than my left when I’m out of balance and in need of treatment. For my everyday life that will mean I’ll wear out my left shoe faster, my left jean leg will drag on the ground, and my skirts will always slide around. On my horse, it means I put more weight on my left seat bone, and through my left stirrup (especially when jumping). Which in turn means I have trouble getting my left hip up and forward for left canter lead; my horse drifts left (until they learn to ignore my imbalance); I have greater trouble sitting trot; and I will give my horses not as smooth and comfortable ride as I can otherwise.
And that’s only looking at my hips!
What if its your feet joints that are locked up, meaning you can’t flex through your ankle.
Or you’re hunched over like the Hunchback Of Notra Dame (maybe an exaggeration) from too many hours in the office – how do you expect to sit any differently on your horse?
And your riding instructor may say to you – “be softer through your heels”, or “open your chest, close the distance between your shoulder blades, sit tall”… And you may achieve it for a little while, by the sheer idea of holding yourself in correct posture will create TENSION, something that we all know riders strive never to do.
So what to expect when you visit us, and why are we different to your physio or massage therapist down the road?
We will look at you, and you and your horse (either through video images or visit by a visit to your place) to assess, treat (check out our website or our Blog to find out more), teach specific exercises and stretches for your muscloskeletal issues, liaise with your instructor / horse physio to discuss activities that will help your posture on and off your horse.