Sunday, December 10, 2017

Tailbone toward the horses shoulders

We have had an amazing autumn together with Thor. As Katja Ståhl so well puts it in her writing,  Ehjästä hevosesta iloitsee koko perhe.

We have had a great time together with Thor and I have been able to ride him and attend dressage and jumping lessons regularly. I have done much less hacking out than I thought I would have (then again who knew it would rain for one month almost every day), but a lot less lungeing and running around the forest together work since he is so relaxed and on such a good mood. His muscles are also much more supple when he moves around a lot and his mind is much more settled.

Since Thor is more relaxed I have been able to concentrate more on my own riding and seat and especially on correcting my crookedness. I have mostly been thinking about my upper body and how I want it to be more straight and not fall down as much. I have also been working on a calm hand and mind and a supple hip but stable core.

In the video Jumping on a circle you can see that it is possible to adjust the stride length in the middle of the fences but it is much easier if you come to the first fence correctly (as we do on the third and last round). Then you can just sit down and enjoy the next fence. 

My long-time friend and trainer Mia Kainulainen was so kind to let me ride her gelding Rampe a few weeks back and it did really good for my seat. After that it has been easier for me to ride Thor since I got the feeling of a straight upper body and I have also been working on it away from the stable. I have been doing a lot of yoga lately and last Monday I went to see Kuldip Khalsa, who does something called Tayo Therapeutic Bodywork. I want go more into detail here on the treatment methods, but it sure was amazing and I felt my spine lengthen about five centimetres. I have already a new time booked for my daughter Ella since she grows so fast and I will go for my next treatment as soon as possible. It is funny how much our mind affects our body and how much our body affects our mind.

Mia Kainulainen has always been talking about activating the lower part of the spine but it really helped when Tiina Karkkolainen gave us our first lesson and she told me to activate something that we call the Mula Bhanda in yoga. She did not use those exact words but told me to contract the muscles at the bottom of the pelvic floor, behind the cervix. By activating that area I was able to turn my tailbone naturally more forward and I became more straight in the upper body. Tiina told me to use it in order to sit more straight but also when the horse is not listening or I need to slow down the pace. Tiina however told me to be relaxed in the body at the same time and even if I would activate the core area of the body I should still have a relaxed back, knees, legs and neck area. It helped a lot when Tiina told me to think about drawing my tailbone toward the horses shoulders. It not only straightens the back but also straightens the hips and the sides of the body.

On Sunday's we usually have a jumping lesson. I go there with the teenagers and we mostly have a lot of fun. I am not getting as much out of them as I do from our private lessons during the week with Henna, but it is always good to practice and the more we jump, the more routine we get and the easier it seems to become.

Today was that kind of evening where it all felt almost magical. Thor felt so supple and good. He was not heavy on the fore at all and he had a very good and stable rhythm. He did whatever I asked for and you could almost see him smile while doing it. I also felt particularly supple and straight in my own body and it is so much easier for me to ride when I am more in my own power and I am able to follow Thor. I am just so grateful to have a horse like him in our life. I was so happy when I was driving to the stable today so after talking to my friend Auli Nissinen I went and bought a weekend yoga retreat in Hanko (Tee tilaa uudelle vuodelle MeriMind joogapäivä) for January. A little Christmas present for myself and some more magic waiting to happen.

Have a great week everyone!

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