Read first and then try the visualization below….
Close your eyes for a moment sitting up in a chair and imagine that you’re sitting on a horse approaching a turn or corner of the arena. Feel the muscular control that you would engage if you were actually riding. Imagine how the inside leg near the girth and how the core moves into position, balancing the seat for the turn. Isolate your focus on the inside leg and seat. What would the perfect alignment look like if you could look down and see the leg? Would your toe be facing outward like a duck? Would you see the heal raise up in the stirrup? Go ahead and give it a try. Continue reading afterwards.
Now stand up and move the feet shoulder width apart. Before you close your eyes again, position yourself like your doing a tiny squat. Slouch down into the base of your feet and flatten out the toes.
When you close eyes again, imagine the turn in the saddle again and stay into whatever position took over as you open your eyes…
Think about the inside leg and focus on your feeling of stability on that inside without lift your other foot off the ground. Feel the muscles engage and keep your body weight shifting over to that side. Engage muscles around the hip and keep balance in foot similar to the stirrup. What is happening to the alignment of that specific leg? Close your eyes and give it a try. Continue reading afterwards. Open your eyes and see what position took over during this exercise.
DID YOU DROP INTO YOUR HEEL?
DID YOU TURN YOUR KNEE TO THE INSIDE?
DID YOU LIFT UP OUT OF THE OTHER LEG?
DID THE SHOULDER ROTATE BEHIND THE FRONTAL LINE?
Muscular engagement move us into position. Individual development creates alignment in ones skeleton structure. The muscle fibers within the body activate and will move a persons physical body. The mind does not power over muscle engagement.
When muscles are neglected, the result is stubborn fascia tissue that cause tight areas in the arms, legs and core. One’s physical muscle will have a hard time lengthening and can cause areas to move out of alignment.
As a horseback rider, muscular habits are the hardest thing to break. The horse learns the compensation of it’s rider the pair continues to do the bad habit over and over. Anytime muscle that continues to shortens over and over, will develop mobility restrictions. The shortness pulls the body into that direction and creates major alignment issues.
In the saddle, a rider will only get shorter in their ‘already short’ areas. The time to try and correct muscle shortening is off the horse. This way riders spend the time on the horse finding a “new habits”. Try a fitness program specific for strengthening muscles while increasing natural alignment. See how the workouts help realign your posture in the saddle. More details, click here.
Regular body work helps reduce fascia build up!
Prevent pulling on the lower back.