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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2003
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    Default Need help with my posture

    So, watching videos, etc I realize that I compress my center. My trainer has been drilling me on 'sit up tall and elegant' and when she says that I do it instantly-it feels like I get 6" taller when that happens and my horse feels better under me. However, within just a few strides I'm doing it again! Can anyone come up with a key word or phrase or something to help me remember this? I think what happens is the second I think of something else, it's just gone from my head until I'm reminded again. I need something to trigger it in my thick head! Any advice/ideas?
    Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!



  2. #2
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    Jan. 4, 2000
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    Point your **** east and west!!!!



  3. #3
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    Jul. 27, 2007
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    I've really been enjoying the Mary Wanless book, and she has a few things in there to help remind you to keep yourself tall. Not that it's working for me yet, but it might work for you



  4. #4
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    Jun. 6, 2007
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    T!ts up!
    * <-- RR Certified Gold Star {) <-- RR Golden Croissant Award
    Training Tip of the Day: If you can’t beat your best competitor, buy his horse.
    NO! What was the question?



  5. #5
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    Oct. 3, 2002
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    it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
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    Default

    If you have any kind of back support (professional's choice type) you can wear it backwards. That will help while you establish the muscle memory and strength.

    But truly, having gone through this myself and made a dramatic change--until an injury and now starting over again--you have to think about it ALL THE TIME. Most especially when walking... EVERYWHERE. To work. In the store. Doing chores. Just correct, correct, correct.

    When sitting--particularly at the computer or a desk when we tend to slump forward to type or write. Correct, correct, correct.

    You can't have enough strength to stay upright when riding if you don't have it in everyday life. Try to always have the posture of a dancer or artist.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  6. #6
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    Aug. 28, 2008
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    Default

    an instructor told me to take the three things you most need to work on and repeat them in a rythm while you are riding. for example, "stretch up, long leg, ride forward." So each stride would be one word and you would address that issue in that stride. Obviously there are a million things to think about in dressage, but to fix a problem like that you need to simplify things. Even if your horse isn't going at his 100% best because you take 10 min to work mostly just on your posture, like you said, your horse gets better when you fix your posture anyway.



  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dressurfan View Post
    an instructor told me to take the three things you most need to work on and repeat them in a rythm while you are riding. for example, "stretch up, long leg, ride forward." So each stride would be one word and you would address that issue in that stride. Obviously there are a million things to think about in dressage, but to fix a problem like that you need to simplify things. Even if your horse isn't going at his 100% best because you take 10 min to work mostly just on your posture, like you said, your horse gets better when you fix your posture anyway.
    Yep, my trainer says the same thing! Have a tape in your head on a constant loop with the things you are trying to fix. "Heels down, shoulders back, thumbs up!"



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
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    Default

    I have just started riding "proper" dressage. The only thing that has helped me find my correct upper body position is to think "belly button forward" and to concentrate on using my abdomen more. If I try to think about sitting tall or stretching up it still does not address the most important part, the core.



  9. #9
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    Sep. 21, 2007
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    SF Bay Area
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    Core Strength. That will take work outside the saddle.
    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht



  10. #10
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    May. 4, 2003
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    Canada
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    There has been a thread here on "shoulders back". I personally did not read it, but should have. My daughter tried one and said "OMG, it has changed my life. I even sleep better", and she is one fit and healthy rider/athlete.



  11. #11
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    Aug. 25, 2008
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    Florida
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    Default

    This is a good thread for me, as I've been struggling with something similar. I have pretty good posture in general (and I'm doing a lot of yoga to work on the core strength) but my arms, oh my gawd my arms! When I have contact they just want to go forward and remove the bend in the elbow! Which of course throws my posture/shoulders/everything off. I swear I'm going to get a string and tie it around my arms so they stay back!

    I know the problem - I've ridden western (worked cows, actually) all my life, and while I never sat like a sack of potatoes I never had contact on a horse in my life. So I feel that mouth on the end of the reins and want to immediately relieve the pressure. It's frustrating.



  12. #12
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    Nov. 1, 2001
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    Pilates

    Mr nhwr used to say that the only time I ever sat up was on a horse. Honestly, it was very uncomfortable for me to sit properly. I started taking Pilates at a local community collge about a month ago and I can not believe the difference. I felt it after the first session.
    See those flying monkeys? They work for me.



  13. #13
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    Nov. 19, 2006
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    Ca
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    Stretch your head straight up towards the rafters, knees and heels down toward the earth, shoulders back & down, elbows down, ribcage or boobs up, neck long, and ride as if you have a glass of champagne on your head.
    For me if I just think "glass of champagne on my head" it is my "buzz word".
    Riding is not a gentle hobby to be picked up and laid down. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.



  14. #14
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    Nov. 9, 2005
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    uk
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    look here and makesure your stirrups are right lenght as that effect your position http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=168593



  15. #15
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    Apr. 23, 2005
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    Chicago
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    Default

    I agree to make sure your stirrups are the right length, and also double check that your lower leg hangs under you and not in front of you. Rotate your toe in towards the horse until you feel your thigh flatten against the saddle, then point your toe straight forward and let your leg stretch down under your without taking your knee/thigh away from the saddle. If your lower leg is in front of you, your upper body will want to tip forwards. If your leg position is correct, make sure you are sitting correct on your seat bones (so your pelvis isn't tipped too far forward or back), then think belly button up and shoulders open. Then get someone to stand there and remind you every few strides or as needed until it becomes habit! It takes time to build the muscles and muscle memory to change your posture, you can't expect yourself to change it in a day.
    Gallant Gesture "Liam" 1995 chestnut ottb gelding
    Mr. Painter "Remy" 2006 chestnut ottb gelding
    Stories about our adventures:http://tbatx.wordpress.com



  16. #16
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    Jul. 19, 2008
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    SW Ohio
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    Well...I have been reading all this...and find that this is what I try to achieve...and when I do...I end up arching my back! Trainer said this is wrong....so, to sum, when I do boobies north, stretch up, belly button foreward, shoulders back heels down,leg long...it all tends to arch my back...what's the deal with that?????
    lindasp62
    Founder & Donor/Account Advisor
    Brennan Equine Welfare Fund
    http://www.brennanequinewelfarefund.com/index.html



  17. #17
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    Default

    lengthen your front line
    and buy an enell bra. fixed me!
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  18. #18
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    May. 10, 2003
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    Default

    Ok, so friend at work today-not horsey-asked where my eyes are most of the time. Well, most of the time, but not always they are on my horses neck. She suggested something bright and colorful where I usually have my eyes and everytime I see it I will be reminded to get tall. I put a bright yellow childs barrette in her mane and it worked great!! I was reminded almost constantly and my hold ride was great. So, I will continue this for a while and see if I get some muscle memory going.
    I also agree w/linda that the boob references all put a hollow in my back, butr just reminding myself to be tall seems to work. I also really liked the reference to 'the posture of a dancer'. That one seems to help not only my posture but it slows me down a bit mentally.
    Thanks!!
    Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!



  19. #19
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Default

    If you "sit up tall" you most likely will pull your upper body away from your lower body, effectively disabling yourself. Ever wonder why some people look so pretty but can't ride.. and some people look so awful but can? This is the crux of that matter.

    Beyond core strength, which is important, what you want to do is slide your shoulder blades DOWN the back of your back and breath UP thru your body, not DOWN into your chest. As soon as you do this, you look JUST like you are "sitting up and pulling your shoulder back" but you are now a powerhouse instead of a willow wisp. Try it and I don't mean just a little bit, I mean exaggerate it, and get a feel for what it feels like to be that solid.

    Don't be fooled by the mixed message either. You may feel like Humpty Dumpty but your horse will be saying HELL YEAH she finally quit whipping around up there, what a relief. And if you see yourself in a mirror, you will magically appear to be sitting up straight with your shoulders back and boobs up. I figure why question it, just run with it!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  20. #20
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Default

    Oh - one last thing to remember - your horse emulates your posture. Not as if he were making fun of you, no but if you lengthen your front line.. so does he you don't want that. You want him to lengthen his top line, not the underneath of himself.. shorten yours down and he will, too
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



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