Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pacific Northwest
• Horses: 0
Try this on the ground:
Put your feet shoulder width apart with your feet flat on a level surface. Put your weight in your heels with your knees slightly bent and your shoulders upright. Move around a bit in your hips and upper legs. Notice how your feet stay still? In order to keep your shoulders somewhat still, your core is also likely doing some work--just as it would on a horse. Your ankles, knees, hips, and core are absorbing all the movement.
Now bring your shoulders forward and your bum back into a two point or jumping position. Did you go up onto the balls of your feet or onto your toes as you tipped forward? Did you feel the muscles on the front of your shins working? If you are like most people, you did.
Go try it beside your computer before continuing to read. You need to be honest about what you feel when you do these things.
Now do the same, but have a friend give a gentle forward or sideways tug on your arm or a (soft!) push on the bum. Did you fall forward or step to the side?
Here's the thing, though--you want your weight down in your heels. Tipping forward is the problem. Go forward into that jumping position again, this time concentrating on having your weight falling down your back, over your bum, the backs of your thighs, and into your heels. Keep your knees over your toes, not in front of them. Keep your chest open. I feel like there's an anchor coming from my spine and dangling from my bum if that helps. Think proper squat (watching squat videos on youtube can help).
Do you feel how your lower leg is completely stable and solid and holding your balance? As long as your weight is down and back and your core strong, you can do whatever you want with your arms, head, and upper body. Get into that position and have your friend give a tug on your arm or soft push on the bum. Did you stay mostly in position or at least find it easier?
When you next get on a horse get that feeling of sinking down. You will feel the difference and it will feel like it would take an atom bomb to remove you!