Centaur Biomechanics had an absolutely packed house in the lecture room at Moulton College, I was really impressed to see such a good turn out. The folders they gave out were very professional, another big tick in their favour!
First up was Russell Guire, with a general introduction. He made some very good points.
“The rider’s position can significantly influence the horse’s way of going, however, our day to day activities can lend themselves to making riders asymmetric, which can have an effect on the horse’s way of going. This presentation will highlight key areas within the rider’s position which riders can focus on to help improve.”
The rider is an ATHLETE, although some people in the industry do not acknowledge this. (We as riders all know that we are not just sitting up the being a passenger, letting the horse do all the work!)
Riders at the lower levels share exactly the same emotions (and pressures) that elite riders feel.
Most people ride a horse for 4% of their day (1 hour).
Most of everyday life is asymmetric.
Time spent per average day for a 1 horse owner/rider:
Sleep 35%, Work 39%, Stables (2hrs work) 9%, Fitness 4%, Other 9%, Riding 4%.
We should all strive to make our daily life more symmetrical.
70-90% of people are right handed.
The BYRDS squad: 9 out of 10 had shoulder imbalances.
In 1 year, 3,300 children in the U.S.A. were admitted to A&E for back related injuries. Wearing a bag on 1 shoulder with heavy books in it is a big problem.
Unfortunately it’s not ‘cool for school’ to wear a rucksack properly on both shoulders. Out of 21 Junior and Young Riders Event Riders, 86% were in pain, only 14% were pain free.
In a study of 33 adult riders, 69% were in pain, of which 52% was back pain, 14% hip pain.
This has long term consequences!
If a horse is sore in its back, we will REST it. This is not something people do.
It takes 6 weeks to reprogramme a horse’s back, for good or bad.
So, 6 weeks to create an asymmetry, or 6 weeks to repair/strengthen.
Out of 100 adult riders:
35% dropped their right shoulder, 36% had their left leg longer.
15% dropped their left shoulder, 14% had their right leg longer.
The overall message was to really WORK on your asymmetry, for instance be careful to make loads as even as possible, and to REST if you have hurt your back!
Part 2, to follow soon: The Saddle, How this can affect your position and horse’s way of going.