THE DRESSAGE RIDER MOBILITY SELF ASSESSMENT
Did you know what how well you move has a huge impact on how well you can ride your horse?
Take this self-assessment to find out how your body may be limiting your riding:
SEATED WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION
Sit on a firm surface (the firmer, the better) at a height where your knees and hips can be bent at approximately 90 degrees with the soles of your feet resting flat on the floor.
Close your eyes and pay attention to how your feet contact the floor. Do you feel more weight through one foot than the other? Are the feet angled differently? Do different parts of them exert different pressure?
Now pay attention to your sit bones? Do you feel like you sit with more weight on one side? Does the front of the pelvis feel further forward at one side?
Any weight distribution differences from side to side at the pelvis or at the feet can predispose you to being able to manoeuvre with your horse more easily to one side.
SEATED PELVIC MOVEMENT
Very slowly rock your pelvis forwards and backwards, taking your pubic area closer to the surface you are sat on before taking your tailbone closer. Is it hard to keep full control over this movement? Can you go further one way than the other? Do you rock forwards and backwards along a straight line?
Check the same way rocking the pelvis slowly from left to right and right to left.
Asymmetries in the way you can move your seat affect how you instruct your horse to perform different actions. A difficulty in allowing the pelvis to roll backwards can lead to the majority of your horse's weight being transferred towards its front legs, making it move more sluggishly.
SEATED SPINAL ROTATION
Keeping the weight on your sitting bones approximately even, twist your chest and head to the left. How far does your chest turn? How far around can you see with your eyes? Check how these compare to your rotation to the right?
Not being able to turn one way as easily as the other can make manoeuvring the less easy way more difficult.
SEATED OVERHEAD REACH
Keeping your weight on your sitting bones where it is, straighten the elbows and raise your straightened arms towards an overhead position. With your hands a little wider than shoulder width, the elbows kept straight and without jutting your head forwards, how close do you get to being able to cover the ears with your arms if viewed from the side?
The further away you are from being able to hide the ears with the arms raised in this way, the more this indicates a restricted upper back and shoulders. This can lead to the chest and ribs dropping down and forwards which will shift the centre of mass of the rider forwards which in turn will force the horse to bear more weight on its front legs. This will lead to a less agile, responsive horse.
If any of these tests show asymmetry or restriction and you don't know what to do about these things, I will be running individual sessions in the Netherlands on 27 NOVEMBER 2016 that will deal directly with such issues.
If you suspect that they way you move is stopping you progressing in your riding, this is a way to make instant progress and keep moving forward past that.
Having helped hundreds of riders become less restricted, more in control of their bodies and have less pain, often within an hour riders make huge progress towards riding goals through making small changes they
weren't aware they could benefit from making
benefit from greatly
If you would like to create a great chance in the way that you use your body to communicate your horse for months and years to come, get your session booked here. I don't come to the Netherlands that often and it would be a shame for you to keep riding with the same problem for months and years to come when they can be resolved in as little as one hour.
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Sports injury rehabilitation clinic, Sports Performance