When you drive your car, do you pull the steering wheel toward you, or do you push it away from your body?
I am reading this small booklet by Tom Nagel about body balance and riding and in particular, the use of the deep core muscles called the Psoas muclses. In one chapter he speaks about having a revelation that all accomplished riders he has spoken with ride with a feeling of pushing the horse out with their arms and hands, with their intention emphasizing a forward movement in the horse, which allows for it stretch and recylce energy better than when the rider holds or "pulls" the hrose back to the rider's body. Pushers and Pullers.
And the accomplished riders who used pushing arms, also drove their cars with that same sort of push on the steering wheel.
So, I tested myself and of course , I do pull on the steering wheel, and I think I often ride with too much pull (too much front to back riding ). So today I rode Zulu with contact, a following contact, but kind of imagining that my reins were solid so that I could actually "push" him into a nice , forward attitude and stretch of his neck. It felt cool and it required MORE core engagement from me because I need my core to push from.
What do you think about this? Are you a pusher or a puller?