Category: Biomechanics

  • Yoga, Nutella, and Passier Saddles: Getting to the Core of It with Horseman Simon Cocozza

    Yoga, Nutella, and Passier Saddles: Getting to the Core of It with Horseman Simon Cocozza

    Equine core muscles are very difficult to isolate with the traditional training techniques common to horse sports. However, by examining what we do with the human body when faced with a weak core, we can find new methods for conditioning these areas of the equine body. In his new book CORE CONDITIONING FOR HORSES, Visconte […]

  • Busy Rider? Find Yourself a “Clinic in the Cloud”

    I’m guessing I’m like a lot of you–a job, a family, a gym I try to frequent, friends I try to see, books I try to read, promises I try to keep, and oh yeah…horses. Needless to say, the above list is not compiled in order of preference. So how, when one is so dang […]

  • Use This Easy Test to See if Your Knees Are Inhibiting Your Horse’s Forward Movement

    Use This Easy Test to See if Your Knees Are Inhibiting Your Horse’s Forward Movement

    Did you know your knees can obstruct your horse’s ability to go forward? It’s weird to think about—but true! Your seat bones and feet  play a role, as well, but they are secondary to the knees. You can use this easy test with an exercise ball to identify bad habits that may explain why your […]

  • Is Your Horse a Bean-Bag or a Tennis Ball?

    Is Your Horse a Bean-Bag or a Tennis Ball?

    To the uneducated eye, posting the trot is just a series of silly looking, seemingly purposeless, up-down movements. But riders understand what it takes to make rising and sitting to the two-beat rhythm of the horse’s diagonal gait complement rather than hinder his movement. “The skilled rider uses rising trot to get the tension in […]

  • Is Your Horse a Righty or a Lefty?

    Is Your Horse a Righty or a Lefty?

    Has it ever crossed your mind that your horse might be “left-” or “right-handed”? According to Gabriele Rachen-Schöneich and Klaus Schöneich in their book STRAIGHTENING THE CROOKED HORSE, every horse is either left- or right-handed, and this “handedness” or “sidedness” is almost identical to that of the human population in terms of occurrence (70-90 percent […]

  • Two Easy Exercises to Make the Rider’s Hands More Sensitive and Effective

    Two Easy Exercises to Make the Rider’s Hands More Sensitive and Effective

    “That rider has good hands.” The comment might mean little to those outside the equestrian realm, but within it, we understand it as a compliment. And one of the highest order. As young riders, we try our darnedest for a somewhat light connection with the school horses and tough little ponies we likely learn on. […]

  • Quick Quiz: Riding Position Puzzle

    Quick Quiz: Riding Position Puzzle

    Can you tell which movement this rider is “riding” from the correct position in the left photo above, and the common mistakes depicted in the middle and on the right? When correctly positioned (left photo), the rider is looking to the inside, her shoulders and pelvis are likewise turned to the inside and aligned. The […]

  • Riders! Do NOT Put Your Shoulders Back!

    Riders! Do NOT Put Your Shoulders Back!

    The rider’s trunk and extremities interact and depend on each other. For example, hands and arms depend on shoulder position, which depends on the shoulder girdle, which depends on the position of the spinal column (in particular, the thoracic spine). All of this interconnectedness means that the common instruction heard in riding rings round the […]

  • Quick Quiz: Which Horse Is Bending Correctly?

    Quick Quiz: Which Horse Is Bending Correctly?

    Look at this image. Can you spot the differences between the horse on the left and the horse on the right?   Which one is a horse that is bending correctly? If you guessed the horse on the right is bending correctly, you were right! The horse on the left shows how in an incorrectly […]

  • Stretch Your Neck to Ride Better

    Stretch Your Neck to Ride Better

      Many riders have neck and shoulder tension, which derives from the body’s reaction of “turning on” the trapezius muscle (see illustration above) in their daily lives. When there is a neuromuscular “highway” to an unproductive area such as the trapezius, there will be an almost automatic physical reaction, collecting tension in that area, regardless […]