So I'm finally back to riding 3-4 times a week after a few years where my riding was sporadic at best. I'm starting to notice how much my body has changed in that time, and it's not helping my finicky mare!
I spend a lot of time carrying around a very needy toddler. For 18 months now, I've apparently been carrying her the same way all the time without really thinking about it. She sits on my left hip with my left hand holding her thigh, and (because she is a seriously wiggly kid) I reach around with my right arm to steady her lest she dive out of my arms. As the load gets heavier and heavier, the lopsidedness of my muscles gets worse. Basically, I am a twisted woman. At rest, my left shoulder stays pulled back, and my right shoulder hunches forward and down.
This is killing me on horseback. My mare is feisty, and her right shoulder happens to be bigger than her left, so she tends to fall that way anyway... add to that my permanently-hunched right shoulder, and I cannot keep the horse straight. I don't think I can even walk in a straight line myself anymore.
So, short of just switching and making a point of carrying the kid in the other arm, anyone have good exercises for beefing up that one shoulder? Just constantly reminding myself not to hunch isn't helping. I cannot seem to physically keep it back for more than a few seconds at a time.
I'm really trying not to carry her so much anymore... which means she whines like 93% of the time. That awful, sniveling whine that only a spoiled toddler who's not getting her way can manage. It's driving me batty. But she's cute. And she loves horses. So I;m sure it's all worth it. If I can just get my bnody back in some sort of working order (probably just in time to have another kid...).
Proud Momma of *Capital Kiss* and Bottle Rocket!
Baby Arm...yup. It's not just your shoulder/arm. Carrying heavy weight on one hip all the time makes you all sorts of crooked. Cocking that hip to give the toddler a "seat" makes your spine, pelvis/hips and neck crooked. And considering you went through labor in the last year or two...I'm betting you could use a straightening. Try this: use either a beach ball or roll up a blanket or pillow until it's larger around than the width of your hips. Roll it tight so it only has a little give when you squeeze it. (a good gauge to use is once it's rolled, place it on your chest and wrap your arms around it, it should be big enough around that you either can touch fingers or hold one wrist with the other hand) Lat flat on your back, feet flat on the floor/knees bent. Feet hip-width. Place ball of blanket between your knees. Relax, then squeeze steady and hard with your knees. Keep squeezing for a slow count of 5. Relax. Do it 3 times. You may hear a loud click or feel a "shift" with a little pressure at first. once your pelvis goes crooked, it throws everything else off. And we notice it the most in the saddle. We may blame it on something else, but it's a crooked pelvis often. Especially for moms with youngsters...from having them and carrying them.
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!