Posture- H/J

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Posture- H/J

This is a discussion on Posture- H/J within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Posture for riding english
  • Horse developing a flat back

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  • 1 Post By Corazon Lock

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    06-01-2012, 11:08 PM
Posture- H/J

Okay... so, years ago when I rode, I was told I had great posture/a great seat. It's been 11 years or so, and I've done some (not lots) of reading before coming back in to riding... and it seems to me that you want to have the line heels-hips-shoulders and sit up straight and tall. No leaning forward, no chair seat, etc. Right?

And I've been feeling pretty good. But in my last lesson (which was my 3rd lesson since coming back in to riding), my instructor was telling me it's time to work on my posture - that I need to have more arch in my back and really have my shoulders back more/stick my boobs out.

I thought that in my absence the horse world had moved away from that really fake posture? No?
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    06-01-2012, 11:18 PM
It's possible that you could've lost that posture in those 11 years. I don't know what else you do to keep fit, but not using those muscles for a while could cause them to deteriorate. Also, just getting older can cause your posture to become bad. :( Also, certain exercises like pushups, when you're a woman, can actually cause bad posture because if you have a lot of muscling in your pectoral area, it pulls your shoulders forward.

Or - perhaps your posture has not deteriorated at all. Your instructor may be having you exaggerate your posture so your two-point comes out just right. You say you are doing h/j, so I'm going to assume a lot of it comes down to the two-point. When I two-point, I have a tendency to hunch my shoulders. By overexaggerating my posture, when I forget to think about it, I have just the right posture. It's like what George Morris said about horses - overflexion is a good tool to use for a short period of time. If you overflex after you are warmed up before a class at a show, your horse will go in on the bit.

Even a slight roach in your back while jumping can be detrimental. It can cause back problems, first of all. Also, it can cause you to lose your position easier. I am not assuming that you are developing a roach, but perhaps your instructor is looking out for your well-being.

Hope this all helps.
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    06-04-2012, 02:13 PM
I'd try to get a better understanding from your trainer on what they are looking for. Arched back is a BIG NO-NO as it means you're stiff and unable to move with the horse. You don't want a roached back, but an arched back is equally as bad. You want a nice flat back with shoulders back (but not forced). Remember, form follows function!
    06-05-2012, 01:12 PM
Do you have any pictures of you riding (recent ones)? I know sometimes people say arch so you get the feeling but mean more just to open your shoulders and roll them back. In h/j it is acceptable to ride in a bit more of a forward seat than you would see a dressage rider in with the shoulders slightly in front of the hips, but still with a flat back, no rolled forward hunching shoulders.

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