Asymmetries. II.
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Sunday, October 30, 2011 05:01 PM
I am continuing the previous blog on the upper thigh connection. One of my students asked me questions that made me think about more detailed explanations. Both of the upper inner thighs (groin areas) must be snugly connected to the saddle. You may find that none of your groin areas attached to the saddle enough. However, you still have one side that is easier to push forward than another. The following habitual tendencies can help you figure out which side.
    These habits describe forward/strong side:
  • when you cross your legs the top leg will be the forward leg
  • you kick a ball with this leg
  • when going steeply downhill you advance your forward side
  • stepping down you prefer to land on forward leg
  • it is not a hard rule but usually your dominant hand is on your forward side
While I was thinking about this blog I have read Mary Wanless blog and she said that forward side has a tendency to balance forward over the corresponding seatbone and other side balances backwards. Which is very true and gives you clear visual image. The side which is left behind is usually the weak side and it does not have enough muscle tone to keep up with the horse's movement, so it falls off it's seatbone backwards. The foot of the weak side is most likely to push forward into stirrup to compensate and the rider holds the rein on this side to help for lack of balance. The seatbones will not be centered and during turns toward weak/backward side rider's seatbones will slide outwards and the rider will compensate by leaning in with the shoulders. If you watch riders in your barn you will be able quite easily recognize which is the weak side and which is forward/strong side.
Your horse's asymmetries may complicate the matter. If your horse's concave side is the same as your weak/backward side you will have a very hard time riding to that direction. For example, your right side is weak, your horse concave to the right, you will have a lot of problems riding to the right. Going other way will feel easy, balanced, like it is a different horse. If your weak side is on your horse's convex side you and your horse will even yourselves out. Both directions will have some issues to work on.
Just being more aware of what your body's preferences are can make you a better rider. You start to understand it is not just your horse's fault and you become more responsible for your own actions.
Happy riding...
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My blog is about teaching, riding and training. I share what is important to me in my work with horses and riders. The writing helps me to think things over and have a better understanding of training ideas and priciples.
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