Today I ran one my Intensive Training Days for two lovely ladies. It was their first such experience but one loans a horse and the other rides regularly. It's been a day of many discoveries and I hope they will be back soon for much more! It is always such a pleasure to teach committed riders, no matter the level.
Pics. above: Rider collapsing in left hip.
When I teach riders from their first lesson everything is much easier because I don't deal with any deeply ingrained bad habits, just instincts and behaviours that are relatively easy to shape.
When I teach riders who ride a lot but haven't had a good seat education, that's when we need to get creative. Sometimes I look at a rider and think "Right, where do we start!" ;))
I think it's important not to correct everything in one go as more often than not those riders have decent balance and can do rather a lot with the position they came up with! If I changed everything in one instant they might feel like all those years were for nothing.
Not to mention muscle memory is a very stubborn creature - good if it remembers the correct values, not so good if they are wrong.
With both riders today we had a bit of a mixture of bad habits, flexibility problems, various forms of crookedness and lack of alignment. We started addressing some of the issues and tried to have lots of fun in between :)
To watch these two riders on their Training day go to: http://trainingdays-equestrian.blogspot.com/ and scroll down to the 7th August.