Re: Riding from the inside out: Exercising your way to better riding!
- From: "Robin Saunders Ryan" <rsaund@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 08 Feb 2006 12:45:57 GMT
"Leesa" <a@xxxxx> wrote in message
I was just googling around and came across this article.
Even though it wasn't actually what I was searching for, it really hit the
nail on the head with some of the problems I've been having lately.
Here's the bit that felt really close to home with me:
"A few lessons later I was cantering around on the left rein and had this
very strong realisation that my right knee and foot were pointing
I remember stopping halfway around the circle and saying to Larissa, "how
come my right foot is pointing to the outside when I'm on the left rein?
feels all wrong!" Then, a short while later, we were working on some
shoulder-in on the circle and I could not get my leg to connect with the
horse in a way that helped him be in the right shape. Larissa jumped up
showed me how her leg worked and it was then that we realised that I
have the ability to put my lower leg on without bending my knee and
my heel. We could clearly see (and I could feel) the problems, but were
still unsure of how to fix them."
It makes a lot of sense now. I have this very same issue on my left side.
With leg yields, turns on the forehand and even just bending. And I ALWAYS
lose my left stirrup.
I've posted the link incase it may help anyone else. :)
So, in saying that, what kind of exercises and stretches do you do to help
your riding? And what IS this "core stability" everyone keeps referring
When I started riding at the "new" barn, I had to relearn my position
big-time. I found that the only way to do it was while in the saddle.
There's just no "land" exercise that helps much with positional faults. And
I'm saying this as a physical therapist! Oh yes, you can stretch the hips
and strengthen the core with lots of exs (like Cindy says), and I would
highly recommend general fitness and Pilates or ball exercises for core in
particular, but what you really need is a tough, drill sergeant type
instructor who will force you to ride correctly.
I literally bled through my breeches on the insides of my knees when I first
learned to inwardly rotate my hip and keep my leg "in" the saddle, and post
without my shoulders coming far forward. I only had the strength and stamina
to do it correctly for about 1/3 to 1/2 the lesson at first, but that was
enough to rub my tender knees raw. I then got different breeches without the
seam in the wrong spot! :) I had ridden for years (if you don't count my
long hiatus without riding) with the same instructor who only told me "good
job" all the time and never corrected my position.
Now the right position is pretty easy, but I've started more general fitness
(elliptical machine and abdominal work) because I'm still not satisfied with
my stamina and want to give my abs a jumpstart cause we're doing more
sitting trot work now.
I had big problems keeping my feet in the stirrups correctly too. From the
sounds of it, you need to internally/inwardly rotate your hip and extend it
backward more. You are flexing it forward and outwardly rotating it, and
you're not keeping your "knee in the saddle". Part of the problem is
stretching (can you inwardly rotate and extend your hip correctly at the
walk? Make sure the inside of your knee is really turned inward - you might
have to help with your hands to position correctly at first.) Don't lean
forward to compensate for the difficulty/newness of the hip position. Walk
on a long rein in the warmup with your leg in the exaggerated inward
rotation/extension until it feels loose and natural. Now here's the hard
part. When you start posting trot, it will all fall apart unless you have
someone on the ground nagging you. Keep shoulders back, post with the hips
coming forward instead. Push the leg down long, and don't let the leg rotate
outward. It will feel like you're falling backward - it will also feel like
your pinching with your thigh RELATIVELY SPEAKING, but you're not. You're
strengthening the internal rotators of the hip. After they become toned, you
won't have to feel like you're pinching. Make sure you're pinching inward
keeping the leg long (otherwise, you're just strengthening the wrong muscles
which will do the WRONG kind of pinching). Keep it up. Prepare to hurt.
That's what I did. It works eventually. I think I improved to where I didn't
have to think about it in about 3-4 months, but I still have to remind
myself to not lean forward in tight turns (as in down quarterline) or at
canter. But that's more of a habit/tenseness issue then a strength/position
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