Sunday, March 18, 2018

Correcting your aligment

We talk a lot about alignment in riding. Correct alignment is crucial if we want to develop as riders. There are a lot of ways that we can work on correct alignment and I believe that the best way to do it is through various training out of the saddle. When we do yoga, pilates or other forms of muscle training we get to know our bodies better and we get to feel when we are aligned and when we are out of alignment.

There are however some great tricks that we can use also when riding and our trainer Tiina Rikkonen gave one great advice to us on Friday. When we were leg-yielding from the center toward the track I was putting my weight too much to the right side. I drop my hip to the right and become crooked in my spine. This time Tiina did not tell me to think about my hips or hands or legs or anything else. She told me to look over my right shoulder to the right and through that Thors' movement became more fluid and I could really feel myself straighten up.

I started to think about it after the lesson and realized that it can be the smallest things that can make a huge difference. I also tried it while sitting at home. You can tilt your pelvis to the right and put yourself in a crooked position. Once you are there you then turn your gaze to the right and feel your  your lower body straighten and your whole physique becoming more aligned. When you try it e.g. sitting on a chair it is also a lot easier to master in in the saddle. This little trick is however one great way to straighten up and get yourself more aligned on your horse (you just need to know to what side you are crooked to first. That however is a whole other story.:) 

Yesterday Thor had a day off and today we headed out hacking with some friends and our dog Jack. It was the most beautiful weather. Still a lot of snow but very warm and the sun really warmed our faces. When we were almost home I told the others that we would still stay in the forest since Thor felt so good and Jack had a lot of energy. We headed for a long run and we were all completely beat when we returned to the stable. I can't believe the nature that we have around as and even if I love our dressage and jumping lessons I really really enjoy hacking out right now. Thor is also so good and supple to ride that every second with him is such a pleasure. After that we grabbed some food with Ella and went for a lovely sauna. What a perfect way to prepare for a new week ahead.

More blogging on alignment, the riders seat and other similar stories can be found here.

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