|Working on our bigger trot at home|
About 6 weeks ago, I fell off in a lesson. Pretty insignificant fall for the most part, but it highlighted some issues that I am having with my own body & magnified them. Banner has always been a crooked horse, and somewhere over this last year I became a pretty crooked rider too. And unfortunately we became crooked the same way! I've put a fairly significant amount of money into Banner to keep him in line, but I have neglected that same care for myself (I'm sure all of you can relate!). I used to be really good about chiropractic care for myself, but when my last chiropractor left his practice a few years ago, I didn't really keep up on it because I didn't want to find a new chiropractor.
The fall however made me realize how crooked I was riding. And then the next lesson I had highlighted it even more, when Trainer C made me canter for about 5 minutes constantly yelling "step in your right stirrup". At no point did I make an excuse to her because I know better than doing that kind of stuff - but I remember thinking in my head "I'm trying!". It took a massive amount of effort to get straight in the saddle and I was incredibly ineffective with my aids because I had to concentrate so hard on being even in the stirrups.
The next week was my birthday & my dad graciously gifted me a prepaid chiropractor session with the new guy that he has been using. I explained my issues to him & told him that I knew I was pretty significantly crooked, putting a large amount more weight on my left side. There was probably a fair amount of skepticism from him as I told him how I knew this, but once he put me on the scales he believed me pretty quickly! I was putting 15lbs(!!) more weight on my left leg than my right leg.
After a fair amount of massaging and some icy-hot type gel, we finally got my lower back to loosen up enough to adjust and WOW did it make a difference. I got back in the saddle and immediately noticed how much straighter I felt. I went back the next week and I was only 7lbs more in my left leg which was a big difference! After a couple more appointments, I am definitely getting much straighter in general, but I'm still working on transferring this newfound straightness into my riding. My muscle memory wants to pull me left but my brain is trying hard to help me stay straight!
In our lesson on Tuesday this week, Trainer C commented on how much straighter I looked, which was a fantastic compliment to hear! I'm thankful for Banner for being such a tattletale about when I get crooked too! His whole way of going changes when I'm straight, and he falls apart quickly when I start throwing him off balance.
His natural jump has a tendency to have a significant angle from left to right. We often land a good foot further to the right than where we took off. This issue is something we had almost solved in the late spring/early summer of this year, but it reared its ugly little head again in recent months. I'm sure it is heavily related to my own issues, but now its a problem for B again.
|All photos from an unrelated ride at home|
We are using lots of guide rails to prevent him jumping to the right and I am working very hard on my own body position to help as much as I can. It is still a big struggle for us right now, but we are working on it! At least its the perfect time to work on these kind of problems as we head into the teeny indoor for the winter - lots of work on grids & straightness for a few months!