Applied Posture Riding - how to ride with balance

  • Lower Back Pain and Horse Riders

     

    When I wrote the Applied Posture Riding program I wrote it with the intention to train any rider to ride better. The core exercises are brilliant for horse riders, but as it has turned out, this program has become the most valuable program for horse riders suffering lower back pains. Many 4820068 spinehorse riders are seeking a program that incorporates core exercises as well as horse riding knowledge.

    Basically, my program teaches horse riders "How To Ride A Horse". The exercises are all core-based and designed to teach horse riders all about the horse riding posture.  Well,  it has become evident that horse riders suffering back pain have been the biggest buyers of my program. I think this is because horse riders with back pain are finding it very difficult to find information and advice that helps them stay riding and doesn't just tell them to give it away and find something else.

    Many horse riders consult with an expert who understands lower back pains but not horse riding. I was told to give it up and I get emails from so many that are told to do the same "Give Up Riding" I don't think so!!!

    Lower Back Pain can be Managed

    I get many emails from riders all over the world asking for help and advice about their back pain and their muscle and posture pains. Many horse riders can't get past a block they have with pain or balance problems or confidence due to weakness. I find riding instructors and health professionals cannot help with these issues.

    Lower back pain seems to be the biggest bogie for horse riders and it is very sad for a rider to be told to give up their passion. The disc is the most common structure injured that affects horse riders forever. If you are one of these riders, they have some hope you can get control back over your body, your pain, and your dreams.

    The first question I ask is "What have you been told?" Many people get the run around with the question and don't actually know what is wrong. I think if you can walk around and go to work and do some exercises then you can train yourself to ride again. I can direct you in asking better questions. In many riders I deal with it is simple as prescribing a back brace, correct core exercises, and of course proper management around the stables.

    The riders I deal with are not going to stop what they are already doing. In many cases I am just changing how they do what they do, to be safer and less harmful to their body. When it comes to getting back in the saddle I do suggest a quiet horse and in many cases save jumping or eventing for the future.

    But any person can get on and ride and be safe. Riding is actually good for lower back pain, caring for a horse is the harmful part. So as a generic program for lower back pain management I suggest a back brace immediately. I suggest wearing as you need at first and then slowly reduce it. I totally recommend core exercises. I can't express enough the importance of correct core exercises.

    This is the story of a lady who returned to riding after following my program.

    I would like to tell you about a lady I helped here in SA get back to riding after one of the worst back injuries I have seen. She had multi-level disc protrusions and a slip at one level. She had severe nerve pain and minimal flexibility. Her Dr. told her never to go near a horse let alone ride again. She contacted me in desperation and wanted me to teach her how to ride again. Well, she was going to ride anyway so I said I would help.

     First up we designed a simple exercise program for flexibility and fitness and had her walking and moving better. We looked at what she could do and she had to promise to stay away from any lifting, twisting, or carrying anything.

    She was not allowed to feed up, rug up or saddle a horse, she could supervise.Back Brace jpg I prescribed a back bracewhich gave her great pain control. While wearing the back brace I taught her core crunches and core exercises. Slowly pain eased, core function improved and she started riding at the walk only. I suggested she have a helper saddle and bridle her horse and not to have anything to do with the care of the horse, but she could get on and ride, of course slowly and safely.

    She followed the program and has had great success. She is back competing at country hack shows on her old faithful and loving it. She is back instructing and enjoying her passion. She is of course still following the rules, her back is still damaged and will still give her pain, but with knowledge and management, she is living her passion.

    I did hear from her husband she had had a nasty fall and ruptured her cruciate ligament. She fell off the ride-on lawnmower!!!!!. The Dr. didn't warn her of this!

    Anyway, my point is if you have the passion to ride and you get the right advice you can follow your passion and achieve your dreams. 

    I am a rider coach if you have a problem and I can help I will. Just ask! I have suffered lower back pain and I know how to manage it.

    For more information look at my  Applied Posture Riding Membership Program.

    Good luck and enjoy your riding Annette Willson

     

  • Training The Horse Rider To Ride, Train and Compete

    Rider Biomechanics is a growing industry.

    There is new research out all the time to prove that training your core and your riding muscles has a significant effect on your riding and on your horse.  It has been proven that unmounted, correct rider specific Movement Patterns will train you to be a better rider than any Pilates class or repetitive exercises you have been given by a personal trainer. You will have changes immediately and then build your skills. Once your posture has been reset you can apply this in the saddle.

    When you have established your new posture with symmetry, core strength, and function your horse will also become balanced and can enjoy being ridden. The fighting will stop and the fun will begin.

    You cannot fix your posture in the saddle, it has to be trained out of the saddle. By training your core and fixing your muscle imbalances out of the saddle you will correct your own little habitual muscle problems.

    • you will stop confusing your horse and blocking him with your asymmetry's
    • you will be able to sit upright and engage your seat effectively
    • you will be able to apply your lower leg with consistent correct aids
    • you will stop using the reins for balance and allow your horse to move forward
    • jumping will become fun and safe as you stay with your horse over fences 

    None of this will happen unless you identify your own muscle imbalances, your own weak areas, your own areas of stiffness, and your own habits. Yes, we all have habits to be reset. Injury has a huge effect on your riding as does having a baby or just having a break from riding to live your life.

    Riders need a new way of training, but it needs to be correct training. Elite riders already do this, naturally.

    Unmounted correct rider specific Movement Patterns will train you to use the riding muscles as an elite rider does. By training using Movement Patterns rather than exercises, you will have more efficient use of your time to gain success.   You will have changes immediately and then build your skills.

    The Core is the Basic Training For All Riders.  Dressage is the Basic Training For All Horses.

    • Do you know if you have a weak core?  Yes! Do you know how to test it? No!
    • Do you suffer from lower back pain and been told to quit riding? Yes!
    • Do you know how to train yourself for riding? No!

    Correct Testing of all your muscles and then applying the correct movement patterns is what you need. Many riders are doing floor exercises and attending classes and still not changing their riding! Why? 

    • Exercises are not enough!
    • You need to have a starting point
    • You need to know your own  muscle imbalances
    • You need to know your own areas of weakness and stiffness
    • You need to know just how dominant or one-sided you are with your posture

    You will have habits and resting posture that affects your riding.

    Do you know what they are?

    You will have micro muscle injuries due to working with horses and from your daily living activities, do you know your shoulder will be developing an inflammatory condition as you use it in a repetitive way.

    All of these problems need to be identified, self-tested, and then fixed.

    My name is Annette Wilson I am a Physiotherapist, I am a retired elite rider and Rider Biomechanics and Posture Training is my specialty. My program Applied Posture Riding Membership Program is a complete program to train the rider for riding and for a better way of living. Applied Posture Riding is all about YOU the rider. This is not a program for your horse it is all about the rider.

     Applied Posture Riding is a complete program to self-test and self-fix your riding posture.  

       Apr photo AMWThis Unique program will teach you the fundamentals of the riding posture. Most importantly how to test your muscles prior to starting, how to strengthen, train, and use your core in daily life and in the saddle. This program will teach you how to train balance and coordination. This program will teach you how to stretch and have symmetry and independent isolation of all your riding muscles and aids. The movement patterns are the secret to this program. Designed by an elite rider with musculoskeletal education.

    The rider here (left) has lost her lower leg balance. This has caused her toes to push down, her foot to slide deeper into the stirrup and her body to tilt forward. In this case, we are using a neck strap to stop the horse from being gobbed and started balance exercises out of the saddle as well as in the saddle. A gym program or a Pilates workout will get you fit, but what about riding skills and riding principles?

    Balance is an assumed skill. Do you know your balance is good?

    Balance is lost due to injury, age, stress, loss of power, reflexes, and many other physiological reasons. Many riders do not even know their balance is poor until their horse starts to react to their riding. Balance for riding is a  learned skill, it is tested with a very simple test and then trained to apply various exercises.

    Balance requires strength and synchronization of all your postural muscles. Being able to ride the canter and the sitting trot requires a good balance.

    A strong functional core, as well as a supple, flexible, pelvis, and lower back, are key skills for good balance. Riding with an independent seat is only achieved once a rider has stability through the lower leg and core and then training for good balance. Riding with an independent seat is only achieved once a rider has achieved skills in balance,  suppleness, and stability through the core and the lower leg.

    Training balance, your core, and become supple and flexible are just three of the many objectives you will achieve following my Applied Posture Riding Membership Program.

    These are essential for the injured rider as well as the weak rider.   Your posture and riding skills all start out of the saddle. Every rider has their own issues...even elite riders.  Stiffness, weakness lack of stability, injury, pain, and age-related changes all affect how we ride and all can be fixed. Your horse has to work through the same problems, so why not you.

    Now more questions. 

    1. Does your lower leg swing out when you rise trot?  This is easily fixed with a simple movement pattern.

    2. Do you drop one shoulder when you apply a canter aid? You won't once you know how to apply your core and lower leg in sync with each other.

    3. Have you been injured? The Injured rider has many more problems to address. Returning to riding after injury requires professional advice and a specific training program. You can ride again if you follow sensible advice and exercises.

    4. Have you ever suffered from a back injury or had a baby or had your shoulder ripped apart from a fall or a horse trauma? As a Physiotherapist and Horse Rider consultant, I treat and prescribe rehab exercises and support riders through their return to riding.

    Isn't It Time To Focus On You.....The Rider??

     You can train yourself to be a better rider if you know HOW.  I suggest you spend a small amount of time learning about the horse riding posture, the skills required, and then learn about you and your body. Learn how to test yourself for stiffness, weakness, balance, and independent movement patterns (in your own home) and then learn how to fix your problems...It is really quite easy!

     Progress in learning specific strength training exercises for your core, your back, and your lower leg, and your riding will improve even further. Move onto the advanced training exercises and learn how to apply your training in the saddle...The strength, balance, and symmetry you achieve will be evident in your riding skills. The outcome is your horse will break his habits of stiffness, weakness, and be able to move with suppleness and rhythm. If you are a good rider can ride any horse if you are a poor rider you will ruin every horse!.

    It is all about the riders' skills and ability to apply independently balanced limb and seat aids.

    If you have any questions contact Annette Willson. We all have the same passion. Applied Posture Riding Membership Program is unique and every rider following it has been successful.