We’ve straightened the horse, what about you?

As a fully qualified Massage Therapist treating horses and people I see a lot of horses with postural problems, unequal muscle build up and tightness, due to hard athletic work that they are continually asked to perform.  If a rider notices that they are “hanging on the inside rein” or “falling out through the shoulder” and if they are resisting canter, going disunited or unable to perform flying changes the more affluent of us sometimes choose Massage Therapy/Chiropractic or Osteopathic treatment to help.

However, how many of us then look to correct ourselves after we have corrected our horse?  If we are not straight how can we expect our horse to be?

A crooked rider makes a crooked horse.  However unsubtle the crookedness is, the horse is extremely perceptive and will detect it.  If the rider imbalances their horse by as much as a quarter of an inch this will cause the shoulders or haunches to deviate from their line and they immediately lose impulsion, suppleness, lightness, and flexion.  It does not matter how many times we continue to correct our horse, if a rider remains crooked they will never remain straight for longer than a few days after treatment.

A common problem is a lopsided seat (below) and one I used to suffer with before I had regular Chiropractic treatment which fixed the issue.  I am now a more effective and comfortable rider.

Any adverse tension in the body due to stress, fear or even too much effort will hinder the progress of developing your seat.  Any deviations in our position can cause the horse to be over bent, on the forehand or just simply crooked.

  • The shoulders should be relaxed, back and down.
  • Both seat bones should rest in the saddle without the coccyx (tailbone) having contact and the hips should be vertical to the saddle.
  • The thigh should be relaxed and lay against the flap of the saddle and the knee should be turned in without gripping.
  • The calf muscle needs to be stretched down but not forced down as this will create tension.

As riders we must take responsibility for our position and our seat and ensure that we are structurally even, not just for ourselves but for the sake of our horse.

If you are concerned about your position or have problems with straightness and balance when riding; a Chiropractor/Massage Therapist or Osteopath can help.  Please remember it can sometimes take more than one treatment to see improvement continue as unfortunately long-standing problems cannot be fixed overnight.

Alternatively any questions please comment below.

In addition I have also attached details of where you can obtain a free e-book about Straightness Training.  This also provides some useful information for you and your horse.

http://academic-art-of-riding.com/

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