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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are two bad habits that I am currently trying to work on.

One of the habits is looking where I am going or the lack thereof. I often catch myself "admiring my horse" instead of looking where I am going. Although I am aware of the saying, "where you are looking is where you'll end up", I still tend to look down instead of up.

The other habit had to do with my shoulders; my shoulders are disgusting. I round my shoulders and hollow my chest. When I was taking lessons, that was something that my instructors often had to remind me of, in conjunction to "head upppp! look where you're going!" Just to clarify, I'm not slouching or doing that fetal position thing - just rounded shoulders.

I've had these habits since I started riding; as they say, "old habits die hard." Any tips would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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I also tend to slouch my shoulders, and to correct this I would stick a crop behind my back and through the crooks of my elbows. I would keep it there while my horse walked and when we were ready to trot I would remove it. This really helps to stretch those shoulders out and puts you in a good position to start your ride. If you notice slouching in the middle of your ride, walk and put the crop back for just a few minutes.
 

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Interesting. I've heard of that, but I wasn't sure if people actually did that or if it actually worked. I may try that on my next ride. Thanks.
 
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Do you ride wearing a helmet? If so, buy yourself a cheap headlamp and place it around your helmet so the light is sitting in the middle of the visor. You will be amazed how such a seemingly small weight there will make you very aware of exactly where your eyes are looking! [I found this out when I started using a helmetcam..]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I ride with a helmet, which is also by law. I haven't heard of that, but I have noticed those who wear GoPros or other cameras tend to not look down as much.
 

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Think, "Hips like a wh**e, shoulders like a lady!" when riding. If it's an outrageous mnemonic, it's easier to remember. :)
 

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I'm tall so this shoulder slumping thing has been a problem for me historically too. I used a Shoulders Back support as a reminder for a while, and it's not a bad strategy:

https://www.posturebraceguide.com/r...ginal-and-lite-does-it-help-with-bad-posture/

However, I came to the conclusion that I was attempting to rigidly "fix" into a more correct position, which created more problems, especially when riding. The best thing ever for my posture on and off the horse was starting Pilates, which works all the muscles that give you core strength and really, really, really improves your posture, without it being a conscious thing.
 

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If it is that much of an issue then chances are it is overall poor posture. Pull your shoulders back and press shoulders and rear against a wall then slide to a position where thighs are parallel to floor and hold. Don't over arch or hollow out your lower back. I practice deep breathing while doing this. Another is to clasp your hands behind your head with elbows out to the side. Then press your head into your hands. Hold then relax and repeat several times. I never had poor posture growing up but lately I've noticed some changes that aren't for the good.
 

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One of the habits is looking where I am going or the lack thereof. I often catch myself "admiring my horse" instead of looking where I am going. Although I am aware of the saying, "where you are looking is where you'll end up", I still tend to look down instead of up.
I have that same habit. But when trainers ask what I'm looking at I tell them in certain light I can see the Virgin Mary on my horse's neck. :biglaugh:

It is hard; the struggle is real. I am better in the show pen EXCEPT going for a sliding stop. I fix my eyes on a point on the horizon and stay there through the rundown, but when I stop, I always end up looking down. :icon_rolleyes::redface: It's constantly reminding myself to KEEP YOUR EYES UP. I'll get there but it's a journey for sure.

The other habit had to do with my shoulders; my shoulders are disgusting. I round my shoulders and hollow my chest.
I fixed this by basically (excuse the descrption) pointing my boobs where I want to go. :wink: Sounds pretty hoky, but it's worked for me. Same as with looking down; just had to keep reminding my self and soon I didn't have to.

You can do it. It's just constant self-reminders and practice. :thumbsup:
 
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