February 11, 2021

What IS riding exactly?

How much do you invest for every hour of riding?

 

Sure the cost of your horse’s care??, but also money for lessons and various types of fees??, and your time...driving to and from the barn, cleaning tack, hauling.????

 

And then, of course, the emotional rewards and expense.??????

 

Riders get so busy keeping it all together that it can all become a blurrrrrr...

 

So take a moment, what does it all add up to?

 

And, how can you get a greater return on your devotion as measured in joy and accomplishment?

 

What does it really come down to?  At its most fundamental level, what is riding?

 

Riding is mastering your movements, your emotions & your behavior, not the horse’s.

 

The key to success being an understanding of the integral connection these three skill sets share, and the role this interplay has with the connection you want with your horse.

 

It all can seem so big, so overwhelming, and more often than not, it is as “frustration” is the word I hear most often from riders.

 

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  

 

It’s just knowing what to focus on for the most meaningful impact. 

 

For example, “Shoulders Back.”  

 

You hear the instruction, you try to comply, but holding your shoulders back does absolutely no good at all, it doesn’t fix the problem and they won’t stay there.

 

Years go by, frustration builds and with it, negative self-talk grows, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I do this? I try so hard.”  

 

Then comes the behavior, maybe you settle for where you are, maybe head to the gym, maybe some tack store shopping therapy. 

 

Round and round and round it goes.

 

Or, you could...

 

? Value awareness, recognize that if you find yourself rounding forward it is because of a postural imbalance. We get these when we age...things get out of alignment.

 

? Appreciate that what happens in your shoulders has as much to do with your SI joint, hip, knee etc… as it does with your shoulders.

 

? Welcome the relief that once you find out where you are out of alignment your shoulders, neck and head will fall back into the correct place.

 

? Absorb information, bones follow muscles, not the other way around contrary to popular belief.

 

? Recognize that your bones are your alignment, and your alignment is your classical line.

 

? Clarify remedy. While fitness has many benefits it does nothing to get you back into alignment.  Because stretching and strength training make you dysfunctionally stronger, in other words you reinforce the imbalance.  Also, you can stretch till the cows come home, you will find temporary relief, but will tighten up again pretty quick.

 

? Cherish your ability as a human being to smoothly recalibrate your muscle memory to learn/relearn an ease and grace in your riding.

 

? Enjoy the Ah-Ha moment! The classical line isn’t just a place of beauty, but of function.  One being it allows the riders to effortlessly shape her horse for the next movement or transition.

 

? Treasure that what works for the saddle also keeps you moving properly as you age. 

 

? Gratitude that a tack store shopping spree can be a celebration event.

 

This is why I always say to women riders:

 

“You are more than just grit and determination, you are more than just muscle and tenacity.  You are your sensitivity and your intelligence, the very ingredients you need to be the lovely rider you know you have it in you to be.”

 

What would change for you if you could be proud of every ride????

 

I’d love to hear, just hit reply to the email, I read every comment.???

 

To your riding success,

 

Heather

Guild Certified Feldenkrais PractitionerCM

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