Are you a balanced horse rider?
If someone asked you how you influence your horse when you ride what would you say?
Did you know that your own injuries and asymmetries can change the way your horse moves and goes?
Have you ever thought about those ‘things’ you and your steed struggle to do together, it might be an upward transition on the right rein, leg yielding left, or your horse always running out to the same side? Have you ever thought it might be you preventing your horse from moving as well as he or she could?
Now I’m not here to tell you that you are the root of all your riding problems because of course we cannot rule out training issues, behaviour or pain in the horse, however I wish someone had told me these things years ago when I used to ride a lot more than I do now!
So, what am I talking about and how does this affect you?
For example, do you have lessons and your coach often tells you you’re stronger on one leg, or to sit down more on one seat bone, perhaps you ‘collapse your hip’ on one side, or you get asked to relax your rein contact one side, maybe you find one rein always loosens when the other doesn’t. All of these things can be signs of asymmetry within yourself rather than the horse.
What causes these problems? This can be any number of things which will vary on an individual basis. You may have suffered from back pain last year or have an ongoing hip injury. It may be that you broke your arm 4 years ago and some of the muscles involved in certain activities aren’t as strong as they were before. These are all normal processes and can be helped and put right with physiotherapy and some guidance.
A challenge for you.
Next time you get your riding gear on take a minute to study it. Look for any difference in patterns of wear, do your breeches have different rub marks, does your saddle have asymmetrical seat or saddle flap wear. Maybe look at your reins (easier with rubber grip reins), you might notice that one is more worn maybe in a different place to the other. These are just a few tale-tale signs that things aren’t quite right and that you may benefit from an assessment and a rehab plan.
As a physiotherapist we are trained to assess your body, we can pick up those subtle changes side to side that may make quite a big difference to you and your horse, and your horse may just thank you at the end of it! At Stonegallows Physiotherapy, Emily offers tailored rider assessments to get the best out of you... and your horse.
If you would like to know more about how we can help or to book in for a rider assessment, please get in contact, these are available at the clinic (Ash Lodge, Cook Way, Taunton, TA2 6BJ) or at your yard with your horse.
Keep an eye out for exciting things to come as soon Emily will be able to treat you AND your horse as a qualified Veterinary Physiotherapist.
Tel: 01823 330689
Credit to Andy Thomas of EventPhysio for sharing his knowledge and photos from Rider Elite Physio.