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View Full Version : "Shoulders back" thing Dover sells...



AnEnglishRider
Apr. 5, 2012, 04:46 PM
Does it work?

I have come leaps and bounds in my equitation this year... I finally made my university's IHSA team and got some instruction. All of my issues so far (from weak swinging lower leg to inconsistent hands to heavy seat) I've managed to correct by just practice practice practice, and having a friend yell at me (especially with my hands, that was the biggest thing I couldn't quite get right until I had someone catch me every time I dropped my left hand too low). Except for getting my shoulders back. In fact, I seem to hunch them worse than ever now. And no amount of yelling or being aware that I'm doing it has managed to help me keep them back.

And I have quite large, manly shoulders, so it is very obvious that I do not have them back enough.

Has anyone tried the Dover thing? Does it work? If I could get something to physically put my shoulders in the correct position for awhile I think then I could have no issues realizing when my shoulders are hunched and fixing it. And I know my coach won't let me show until my equitation is as good as it can be. (obviously this school year has been entirely dedicated to learning how to equitate, the only thing left for IHSA this year is nationals).

CHT
Apr. 5, 2012, 05:52 PM
Yes, it works.

Works even better if you wear it often (not just when riding) as the more having your shoulders back becomes natural, the easier it will be, and the ligaments (or whatever is back there) will tighten up.

horsegal301
Apr. 5, 2012, 05:53 PM
Does it work?

I have come leaps and bounds in my equitation this year... I finally made my university's IHSA team and got some instruction. All of my issues so far (from weak swinging lower leg to inconsistent hands to heavy seat) I've managed to correct by just practice practice practice, and having a friend yell at me (especially with my hands, that was the biggest thing I couldn't quite get right until I had someone catch me every time I dropped my left hand too low). Except for getting my shoulders back. In fact, I seem to hunch them worse than ever now. And no amount of yelling or being aware that I'm doing it has managed to help me keep them back.

And I have quite large, manly shoulders, so it is very obvious that I do not have them back enough.

Has anyone tried the Dover thing? Does it work? If I could get something to physically put my shoulders in the correct position for awhile I think then I could have no issues realizing when my shoulders are hunched and fixing it. And I know my coach won't let me show until my equitation is as good as it can be. (obviously this school year has been entirely dedicated to learning how to equitate, the only thing left for IHSA this year is nationals).


My old IHSA coach made me wear it for all my lessons, team practices and at shows (including nationals). It does work as a reminder, but don't use it fully to think it's going to fix the problem on your own, you still also need to think about your shoulders as part of the big picture.

So don't use it as a bandaid, but as a learning tool and you should be good to do.

Crown Royal
Apr. 5, 2012, 07:07 PM
Haven't personally used it, but it seems like it will make it easier to have your shoulders in the correct position (back) than the wrong position (hunched). So it's not going to pull the shoulders back FOR you, but it'll remind you that it's not comfortable for you when they're hunched and you get a bit more comfort keeping them back. Does that sound about right, horsegal301?

accidental cowgirl
Apr. 5, 2012, 07:25 PM
I have one and I think it's been really helpful to help retrain me to keep my shoulders back. When I don't wear it, I actually will notice myself when my shoulders round forward.

Tonkafriend
Apr. 5, 2012, 07:34 PM
A friend of mine used it consistantly for every ride, and she said it helped her a lot

Renn/aissance
Apr. 5, 2012, 07:38 PM
It works well. I wear it regularly outside of riding as well.

Sunny's Mom
Apr. 5, 2012, 07:48 PM
One thing that really helped me get my shoulders back was doing some personal training that included weight lifting. I don't know why, but it helped my overall posture immensely.

Right on Target
Apr. 5, 2012, 11:47 PM
It works and it pulls your shoulders back to the correct position for you. I second wearing it for more than just riding. It helps teach your shoulders where they should be positioned. It doesn't stop core slumping, but it helps immensely with the shoulders.

Working out will help as well for shoulders and slumping.

taliesinian
Apr. 5, 2012, 11:56 PM
I bought this and found that it helps with my back pain. I like it a lot. Keeping my shoulders back remains a challenge for me. I agree it helps you remain aware of your shoulder position and reminds you to straighten up.

AnEnglishRider
Apr. 6, 2012, 12:12 AM
One thing that really helped me get my shoulders back was doing some personal training that included weight lifting. I don't know why, but it helped my overall posture immensely.

Thanks :) as a team we lift two or 3 times a week, and I go to kickboxing classes on my own (in addition to running), so as far as muscles go, I'm definitely building them all over.

Sounds like just what I need... Took a two hour trail ride and just sat there working on keeping my shoulders back as my horse walked along... With my ancient Crosby though by the end of my ride I was considering a seat saver instead of a shoulders back thing... :lol: that thing is like sitting on a plank of wood.

I think I'll invest in one as soon as my money comes through from selling my other saddle.

Void
Apr. 6, 2012, 02:24 AM
Yes, it works.

Works even better if you wear it often (not just when riding) as the more having your shoulders back becomes natural, the easier it will be, and the ligaments (or whatever is back there) will tighten up.

This^

I found that wearing it all day and then taking the break from it when I rode helped more, than wearing it while I ride. :)

kalidascope
Apr. 6, 2012, 03:09 AM
Wow, sounds like something I need. Link?

yellowbritches
Apr. 6, 2012, 10:21 AM
Yep. It works. Haven't used mine in a few years, but when I did, I used it a lot, and, like others said, used it off the horses, too. Shince you are in college, I would suggest wearing it while in front of the computer! I find that is where a lot of riders posture gets ruined, these days (that makes me sound old! :lol:).

Handy added benefit is that it was great support when I was having a lot of a shoulder issues for awhile. :yes:

LarissaL
Apr. 6, 2012, 11:48 AM
I haven't used mine in ages so can't really comment on the effectiveness. But I can say that you should shop around for price comparisons! Posture support is not a product limited to equestrians and you definitely don't have to pay the markup you find on equine-specific items.

I think this will link you to a Google shopping link (http://www.google.com/#q=shoulders+posture+support&hl=en&tbs=p_ord:p&tbm=shop&prmd=imvns&ei=xQF_T_KCHoOK8QTN4vnIBw&start=40&sa=N&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=5c1cfefc6cf9fd25).. if not, try Google yourself, Amazon or various online medical suppliers..

horsegal301
Apr. 6, 2012, 02:14 PM
Haven't personally used it, but it seems like it will make it easier to have your shoulders in the correct position (back) than the wrong position (hunched). So it's not going to pull the shoulders back FOR you, but it'll remind you that it's not comfortable for you when they're hunched and you get a bit more comfort keeping them back. Does that sound about right, horsegal301?


It will pull them back a bit, but it's not going to put them in the perfect position - and the downside is that it's possible that they'll actually pinch you and you get a worse shoulder position if you make it too tight.

that_grey
Apr. 6, 2012, 04:20 PM
I have one also..It will pinch if you have made it to tight. Like everyone else said it wont be an "automatic fix" but it will help your body understand where your shoulders belong!

Foxtrot's
Apr. 6, 2012, 05:46 PM
My daughter likes hers a lot. When I tried it it hurt - guess I'm too far out of whack with my round shoulders that are now permanent! Wear it with a garment under it for comfort.

Ambitious Kate
Apr. 18, 2012, 07:16 AM
I use this phrase all the time and it helps, but I also thought one of these gizmos would be a good reminder. It isn't a fix, but the shoulder strap would remind me.

The phrase is "Shoulders like a princess, hips like a whore..."

Its such fun, I told my dressage freind about it who is riding for now at a western stable to get her strength back after back surgery and relax and have fun. She told the girls at the western stable about it and they hadn't heard it, and howled with laughter. she thinks it will become the new mantra at that stable... heh heh. Besides, it works for me...

kporkchop
Apr. 23, 2012, 09:51 PM
This and some core strengthening (and core Stretching) Yoga exercises will help a lot. Surprisingly when you have a very strong and supple lower back, everything else will align for you---but the shoulders back is a really great tool!

AnEnglishRider
Apr. 23, 2012, 10:09 PM
Aaaaaand then my horse came down with big liver problems and is racking up probably more than he's worth in vet bills (ok, I lie, it's about $1000 so far in bills and I wouldn't have sold him for that if someone had offered me that) so getting my shoulders back is the least of my problems.

Actually, even in team practice today I didn't get yelled at for my shoulders. Probably had something to do with getting the wrong lead over and over again, then being unable to pick up the counter canter when asked. What can I say, I've been a little stressed and distracted lately... I think my coach would probably say my lack of focus is a bigger problem than my shoulders at this point. Oh well. :lol:

JLD
Apr. 24, 2012, 02:37 PM
[QUOTE=The phrase is "Shoulders like a princess, hips like a whore..."QUOTE]

Love it.

vegetabler
Apr. 24, 2012, 06:10 PM
I've had my shoulders loosely tied back with vet wrap or old polos before, just as an occasional reminder while schooling, and considered buying this thing. Would it have any significant benefits over my more, er, MacGuyver-esque method? Other than appearance. :lol:

hundredacres
Apr. 24, 2012, 06:14 PM
I just ordered a Shoulders Back from the Tack of the Day sale last week.....I think it's going to be too big but I'm hoping I can sew it (the price was so good to pass up!). I work at a desk job now so I'm struggling more than ever to keep my chest open.. They just shipped it so I hope it works!

OP, I hope your horse is going to be okay!

altjaeger
Apr. 24, 2012, 07:07 PM
I'm skeptical of the whole idea, although I don't doubt that it forces your shoulders back. BUT, after looking at lots of shoulders in my life, I've noticed some peoples collar bones are more-or-less parallel to the ground and others have collar bones that rise as they transition from the neck to the shoulders. People of the former group just naturally have shoulders that hang in front of their bodies more, and I don't think any amount of forcing them back is going to change this basic conformation fact about their shoulders. JMO

Pally
Apr. 24, 2012, 08:39 PM
Notice how many responses said to wear it outside of riding. If you have crap posture 23 hours a day, of course it will be hard to magically sit up like a princess in the hour you ride. So whether you do it with an aid or just your awareness, practice proper posture all of the time.

But, the problem is many people have a contorted view of what proper posture is. "pull your shoulders back, suck your tummy in, tuck your butt under". These contortions may help you be "straight" but they won't be aligned. It will take a lot of muscular effort to maintain, so you won't, or you will end up with another set of aches and pains.

I highly recommend that you do some research on the Alexander technique. While the real way it's done is to go to a practitioner who works with you, I have never had the access or budget, so I just read about it and watch YouTube videos, and just doing that has changed my life (my posture is not perfect so there are still aches and pains, but the horrible headaches the neck pain was causing are a thing of the past ).

Now, I have never used the shoulders back, so I can't comment personally. But I know someone who was forced to wear one in another sport, and she thinks it made her posture worse, because she got around it (I think of like a horse who curls behind side reins or something). So I would say monitor how it is changing your posture as you use it. I think combined with working on body awareness, it could be a helpful reminder.


Altjaeger, I am not sure if I am picturing exactly what you meant, but I would ask you....are the ones with the collar bones to the ground, being pulled down there by a head that comes forward, the neck straining down and out? Are the ones with the rise, growing up with their neck, head aligned on top of their spine? In other words...I definitely urge you to check out the Alexander technique...because if you have already been noticing differences in people's self carriage, you will probably click into the AT principles awfully quick.

altjaeger
Apr. 24, 2012, 09:14 PM
I WILL take a look at the Alexander method but before I do that let me further explain what I was saying.

My point is that some people's shoulders naturally reside in front of their body (and on these people the clavicles are parallel to the ground) and other people's shoulders NATURALLY align with their bodies (and on these people their clavicles are slanted with respect to the ground (higher at the point where they attach to the shoulder). The latter group have to do nothing to have squared shoulders, but the former have to take a, for them, unnatural position. They can force their shoulders back and their clavicles up, but they won't be able to hold that position for long. I suppose this device being discussed could force them to hold that position as long as they wore it, but I just don't think it is the way to go.

huntershorizon
Apr. 25, 2012, 02:19 AM
If you buy a collar bone splint from CVS it is.the same thing but 1/3 the price.

jlphilli
May. 1, 2012, 03:24 PM
The "Shoulders back" has helped me tremendously. I got the Equifit summer version (more ventilation) from Smartpak.

abv1269
May. 2, 2012, 02:57 AM
Great thread. Been wanting one of these for myself, also for my daughter.


The phrase is "Shoulders like a princess, hips like a whore..."

^Thought that was great, but will keep that gem to myself and not share with 10 yr old DD. LOL

hntrjmprpro45
May. 3, 2012, 03:15 PM
I just bought the shoulders back and really like it. I think more than anything it helps to create body awareness. If you really want to slump your shoulders you still can, but you are more aware of what position your shoulders are in. The straps are fairly uncomfortable but I think that helps in a way. If you slump forward, they dig into your armpits.

All in all, I think it is a good tool and definitely good for wearing during other times besides riding.

hundredacres
May. 3, 2012, 06:29 PM
I got mine from TOD last week. I'm a size 8-10 so i worried when I bought the extra large (for CHEAP) that it would need alterations but it doesn't. Like the above poster said, it's not confining, but more like a gentle reminder. If you let yourself relax and let it hold your shoulders where they should be it's not uncomfortable at all. I wore it for a couple of hours one day and when I took it off I actually felt that my muscles had stretched a little bit in that shoulder area. It wasn't painful but it was evident I'd "done" something.