BIOMECHANICS - how much do you understand your body and how it effects your horse and your riding

Biomechanics delivers positive results to Richard and his riding 
 
Do you ever have riding lessons were the instructor keeps telling you to get your heels down, elbows in or sit up? Richard has
Having broken his leg in the past Richard sits slightly to one side and sometimes off balance. He had accepted that his riding was always going to be affected by his injury and all he could do was keep up with his lessons and try and do his best.
 
Richard continues
 
teresa and_richIt was far too easy for me to just accept my injury and that any improvement I made would come from simply having regular riding lessons. It wasn't until Suzanne Taylor, owner and publisher of www.horseanswerstoday.com who put me in contact with Teresa Dixon Biomechanics Coach that I became aware of my whole body and the impact it could be having on my riding.
 
I arrived at my biomechanics assessment not knowing what to expect, however it soon turned into a very interesting and enlightening process. Teresa took me through various assessments looking at how my body moved and what range of movement I had. 
 
I knew my damaged leg lacked movement but I was amazed to discover that several other areas of my body needed improvements, the position of my shoulders and upper back had been affected by bad posture caused by years of working at a desk on a computer. 
Teresa was quick to follow my assessment with a selection of exercises that were non strenuous or extreme, but all were focused. Typically the amount of force I was to exert was 20%, so not at all like some of the gym work I was used to doing. I got in the car after being taken through the exercise plan and immediately noticed how different I sat in the car seat - my back seemed to fit it - was I aware of my posture already?
 
For the following week I did my exercises every day and didn't really notice any change in my body or in my riding, but then about 10 days in I found I was sitting deeper in the saddle and feeling the movement of the horse more than I had ever done  before.
 
At my second session with Teresa I was pleased to find that there had been a positive and measurable change in the range of movement I could make. I was set new exercises that not only took in to account the improvements I had made but were also to include my shoulders, lower back, pelvis, my core, neck and legs. Again all exercises were focused on correcting and increasing my range of movement and not about strengthening or working my body hard, as Teresa said There is no point in building strength until I was able to move correctly
 
 
Rich on_saddle_backI have now had five sessions and can really feel the change in my body, my friends have noticed the improvement in my posture too.
The moment came to have a dressage lesson with the Biomechanics coach watching, It became very apparent that all the areas of my body that Teresa was working on were the areas that were very much affecting the way I rode and because of this the horse was amplifying these issues - It highlighting how it was me affecting the horses' movement.
 
By the end of the lesson I felt we had reached a point of change and although there was still a lot of work for me to do at least now I had a good plan on how to work on targeted areas and have a greater awareness of how much I effected the horses movement and how the horses movement changed for the better as I improved. 
 
 
I still have to be aware that sometimes when I am concentrating on a single element of riding I forget to maintain all the other areas corrected. (and not forgetting to breath is essential )  
Rich on_saddle_side
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