Friday, 25 June 2010

My teaching might be rather strict...

...but rest assured I'm equally hard on myself. I asked someone today to take some photos of me riding because I know that bad habits creep in really fast and although I can tell when things aren't right it's difficult to feel what exactly isn't right.
I've been having a really bad neck/shoulder pain for quite a while now and I know it relates to how I sit on a horse. I can't afford to have lessons myself right now and the training I get via various centres is focused on horses rather than riders. The best recipe for very unwanted habits to settle :(
Now that I've got a good camera I'm going to video my own sessions as I recommend to all my riders to do with theirs. I used to do this a lot when I set on a mission to retrain myself from show-jumping seat to being able to ride with longer stirrups and it worked ok.
What I do is I sit with my video and watch it as if I was teaching someone else. I then think what needs doing and how to do it. Then I go and do it until it's as good as possible.

So now I need to work on keeping my back straighter and head above the shoulders as that's what's giving me chronic pain in shoulders area. I also tend to collapse the middle of the body which weakens my seat. Considering how bad my upper body position is I'm quite glad all the hard work on the lower body seems to have paid off!

Ok, few images for you from today. I'm riding Casper, the TB I mentioned in earlier posts. He is starting to relax about ridden life a bit more and although still has days when he just bursts with tension, there are others when we can just focus on the way of going rather than keeping his mind settled.

If someone wonders why I'm riding him with such long reins and no contact: he is an ex-race horse and doesn't accept anything but very soft feel on the rein. His owner is way more experienced with off the track TBs and this how he advised me to ride him. It does work wonders for Casper's relaxation.
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