From the Feet Up!
Every person has a natural crookedness in their body. Crookedness and imbalance in the body can be as a result of a great many things: age & gravity, illness/injury/surgery, emotions of anxiety or fear, repetitive habit from daily living and time in the saddle, just to name a few. When we begin to study a rider's seat and posture, at first glance it may appear that the crookedness is originating, and isolated, to one part of the body! But as I have learned over many years of teaching riders, our amazing bodies are designed so that crookedness or imbalance in one part of the body often translates into several others! The brilliance of a piece of the technology such as the Riding Simulator, is that it allows us to accurately map the pathway of crookedness in the body.
I always start with the feet and work my way up. One of the most common imbalances I see in riders is they position one foot ahead of the other. The Simulator has a square of black matting under both legs and this gives us opportunity to measure & compare where the legs hang on both the right and left side. With the use of mirrors and the ability to me to walk from one side to the other, we can quickly identify if one foot is ahead of another.
But it isn't necessarily about the feet! With the Simulator's diagnostic ability, we can then identify if the imbalance extends through the seat bones, up through the hips and even into the torso and shoulders! In some instances, the imbalance in the feet is a symptom of a crookedness or imbalance in the seat bones or hips .. and sometimes the reverse is true! Its a little like trying to determine what came first - the chicken or the egg?!
An appointment for a session with the Riding Simulator is the best way I have found to give riders insight to what is happening in their bodies .. from the horse's point of view! And take comfort knowing that every rider has some form of crookedness or imbalance. The first step to making positive change in your riding is awareness!
~ Shannon & Marmite
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