Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dissassembling my position

Between my trainer (who has great riding analogies and metaphors) and a friend/personal trainer who is introducing me to new core-building exercises, I'm continuing to work on my riding position and esp. the collapsed core and  "floppy belly" phenom. Here is some recent footage that I think shows a little improvement.

A few changes that have helped to make a difference...
  1. Sitting. I'm learning to sit a whole lot more forward in the saddle than I am used to. Honestly in this footage I feel like I'm in a two-point.
  2. Upper body. Sitting a bit more forward makes it easier to keep my shoulders back, because the mechanics of my posting is different. See this video.
  3. The hot-seat metaphor. Many trainers  have told me to sit more lightly on the down-post of posting trot, but it was hard because I was not doing #1 (above). It is more doable now, but also I was given the suggestion to sit as if the saddle were very hot -- just barely touch it. And this made an immediate difference in Ri's willingness to go forward.
  4. Plank exercises -- I'd always associated the term "plank" with torture, and it turns out I was right. Plank exercises have made me sore in new places, esp. my back muscles. When I engage the muscles that i have made sore from plank exercises, I know I'm sitting more correctly. 
So, the journey continues...


  1. You look great! And Riley is floating.

  2. What Val said. You DO look great and so does Riley.

    I know about "how it feels" when the position is changed. When I was told to "sit back" (ALL THE TIME, it seemed, because my old saddle pitched me forward), I felt like I was falling. Now with a saddle that puts me in the correct position, I'm sitting where I need to be.

  3. Oh, but Riley looks lovely; so lofty! I'm the opposite of you in that I tend to sit way too forward in my seat, even in western pleasure. You two look great!

  4. I think the video shows MUCH improvement in your position; good job!!!

  5. I gotta say this. At about the 1 minute mark, Riley has some lovely 'hang time' in his trot and it looks effortless for him. Yes it is working! Hooray for you. I will have to try that on my own mare and see if it works for us. Anything is worth a try.

  6. Good going. The correct vertical position of shoulder, hip, heel, all lined up can feel as if you are perched when you first start. Looks like your instructor has you well on the right track and it surely is making Riley look more forward. Knowing you, I'm sure you are going to work really hard to develop the strength and correct muscles for both you and Riley to really shine in the arena next time you compete.


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