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Fixing anterior pelvic tilt under saddle

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  • Fixing anterior pelvic tilt under saddle

    I just had a clinician work with me on fixing my anterior pelvic tilt. She said until I fix this, my horse will always be losing energy behind. My body type: short legs, muscular thigh, round booty, small waist, flat stomach. Think Isabell Werth or Judy Reynolds with a slightly smaller build. The change in the saddle to my pelvis/mid-back alignment feels ***major***. Big rotation back on my bum, almost crunching at solar plexus (sternum). Don’t have to do much with shoulders if I get the first two aligned. I can’t round or lean shoulders back much if solar plexus is contracting. Been playing around with the change for a week. Two duller low-level horses I ride 1x a week are going better than ever. My main ride who is very sensitive and further along with collection seems very confused, inconsistent and I worry about causing him back discomfort. Any advice or encouragement for me? My immediate worry is for my horse. The other is for my back. And is there a point during the ride I can/should relax to my old norm (walk break or end of ride)? Thanks so much for any words of wisdom! Success stories are appreciated!!!!

  • #2
    I have a very similar body type to you and have much the same problem, i don't have the magical answer for you, but am very interested in hearing others responses too.
    anterior pelvic tilt sounds much nicer than "Fix your duck butt!" that i constantly hear lol.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have a different body type but the same problem. Google “exercises to fix anterior pelvic tilt”. The exercise I think that has helped me the most is the “dead bug”. It has been really hard to overcome this postural habit and if I don’t monitor myself in the saddle it will rear its ugly head, but you can make significant improvements!

      Comment


      • #4
        This is where I'd find a very, very skilled Rolfer to see what

        1. She/he could do with any of my fascia that was holding my pelvis in that ass-out orientation. IME, you are fighting the bad fight if you try to use muscular strength to pull against fascia that has been shortened on the opposing side of your body. (Ask my rounded shoulders how they know.)

        2. If your pelvis is, in fact, rotated anteriorally (?) with respect to your spine. To do this (and in the normal course of their practice), a Rolfer will get right up in your undercarriage. Think Larry Nassar prowling around the outside of your house, if you read me. You will be wearing panties. While they are there, they can feel the relationship between your spine and your pelvis.

        I'm not built like you, but my Rolfer declared my pelvis very "neutral", with respect to where it sits in relation to my spine. But if, between your boney conformation and soft-tissue attachments, you have stuff that can be changed, Rolfing might be able to help.

        There are better and worse Rolfers out there. If they are certified, they will all have learned a ton of anatomy and Ida Rolf's system for "smoothing out" planes of fascia on the body. After that, some Rolfers are into continuing education. Those guys are really, really great, especially with complicated things like shoulders and/or twists in the body. And Rolfers will characteristically have different touches, heavy or light.

        Just my two cents. But Rolfing transformed my body and probably has prevented some joint arthritis.

        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a similar build/issue and I feel like I need to do various core exercises to the point where when my core is engaged/spine at neutral I almost feel like my abs are a full safety belt pressing me up against a seat/flat board. Rather than just doing crunches, try to do ab work that works the lower abs (scissor abs with a resistance band, flutter kicks, bridges with resistance bands). I also do a lot of exercises that work the top of the hamstring to create better alignment (Warrior 3, weighted lunges - even thought they suck, quad ped kickbacks with a resistance band). Also make sure that you stretch the hip flexor - it has to be very open and loose to allow your pelvis to come underneath of you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Aeris View Post
            I have a similar build/issue and I feel like I need to do various core exercises to the point where when my core is engaged/spine at neutral I almost feel like my abs are a full safety belt pressing me up against a seat/flat board. Rather than just doing crunches, try to do ab work that works the lower abs (scissor abs with a resistance band, flutter kicks, bridges with resistance bands). I also do a lot of exercises that work the top of the hamstring to create better alignment (Warrior 3, weighted lunges - even thought they suck, quad ped kickbacks with a resistance band). Also make sure that you stretch the hip flexor - it has to be very open and loose to allow your pelvis to come underneath of you.
            I agree with all of this. I too am of similar build and issue.

            Stretching is so important for me. I really need to thoroughly stretch my hips as well as psoas. When I am diligent about my stretches, my riding is much better.

            Being tight in your hips and having a round booty does not work out well...especially for dressage! All those years of weight lifting that included a lot of squats and lunges helped, and I do have great leg and glute strength as well as core, but it was really all in the stretches for me. However, I really feel like one can never have enough core stregth when it comes to riding. Especially those that ride horses with a lot of movement/a difficult to sit gait. At one point I thought that I had good core strength, but decided to up my core workouts, it made even more of a difference!

            With the stretching, it doesn't change anything overnight really, you have to keep at it consistently and keep everything stretched out and limber.

            Comment


            • #7
              Cantering Carrot - I agree very strongly with "stretched out and LIMBER" (emphasis added).

              How often do we hear advice about strengthening the core but without mention of suppleness?

              From my own experience, I'd say that if core strengthening increases rigidity, you need to adjust your program to balance strength with suppleness. In my case, the suppleness comes from stretching and meticulous attention to alignment both on and off the horse.

              Wendy Murdoch's approaches to self-assessment and adjustment have been helpful for me.

              Comment


              • #8
                All the above is good advise.

                I just want to add in, that depending on anyone’s build, what you are looking for is neutral spine. Which means when you sit in your saddle you should feel your two seat bones and your pubic bone evenly. Following/controlling without driving.

                If you slightly weight your seat bones (without loosing contact with your pubic bone) that is a driving seat.

                Reason I’m sharing is I have a large bum that looks like I’m not in neutral spine and have heard to tuck my butt under enough to “look” correct but then I’m in a driving/chasing seat and completely tilted the wrong way.

                Knowing my body has helped more then someone trying to make me look like someone else.

                Find neutral spine off the horse, know what it feels like in your body, then transfer to your horses.

                *hot sensitive horses do not like a driving seat... duller horses don't care and can actually go better initially to a driving seat.
                http://www.windsweptfarmllc.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Juxtapoze View Post
                  I just had a clinician work with me on fixing my anterior pelvic tilt. She said until I fix this, my horse will always be losing energy behind. My body type: short legs, muscular thigh, round booty, small waist, flat stomach. Think Isabell Werth or Judy Reynolds with a slightly smaller build. The change in the saddle to my pelvis/mid-back alignment feels ***major***. Big rotation back on my bum, almost crunching at solar plexus (sternum). Don’t have to do much with shoulders if I get the first two aligned. I can’t round or lean shoulders back much if solar plexus is contracting. Been playing around with the change for a week. Two duller low-level horses I ride 1x a week are going better than ever. My main ride who is very sensitive and further along with collection seems very confused, inconsistent and I worry about causing him back discomfort. Any advice or encouragement for me? My immediate worry is for my horse. The other is for my back. And is there a point during the ride I can/should relax to my old norm (walk break or end of ride)? Thanks so much for any words of wisdom! Success stories are appreciated!!!!
                  This may or may not apply to you but I will let you know my story. I have a similar body type also, especially big booty. I have been struggling with SI pain and also feeling like one leg is shorter than the other under saddle. I have really tight hips and struggle to move my hips and pelvis. Recently I was jump schooling my one mare, fences were high (about 4' which we school rarely) and over the one fence my SI just screamed, I had to get off and I couldn't walk.

                  The next day I went to the chiro, I was in excruciating pain all night. Chiro advises my hip has been jammed forward on one side for likely years, just straining my SI, nerves, muscles etc. This is why I have not been able to move my hips how they should and why my leg always felt stronger, and why I have had SI pain for years. I likely did this in a fall about 6 years ago.

                  I've been to the chiro about 9 times so far and already I feel totally different on my horse. The pain is almost gone entirely, and I know my riding is going to improve a lot because of this. So all this to say, just have your checked out medically also. What we may think is nothing or just our confirmation, could in fact be an underlying physical condition.

                  On top this I have started yoga and pilates daily to maintain the correct hip position and keep my body limber and strong.
                  Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Find a saddle with a different balance.
                    ... _. ._ .._. .._

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Check out the Dave Thind Method online. I think the pelvic movement exercises in the sitting trot course could really help you. They are youtube videos that you can do at home, and replay when you find the set of exercises that help you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Guyot View Post
                        All the above is good advise.

                        I just want to add in, that depending on anyone’s build, what you are looking for is neutral spine. Which means when you sit in your saddle you should feel your two seat bones and your pubic bone evenly. Following/controlling without driving.

                        If you slightly weight your seat bones (without loosing contact with your pubic bone) that is a driving seat.

                        Reason I’m sharing is I have a large bum that looks like I’m not in neutral spine and have heard to tuck my butt under enough to “look” correct but then I’m in a driving/chasing seat and completely tilted the wrong way.

                        Knowing my body has helped more then someone trying to make me look like someone else.

                        Find neutral spine off the horse, know what it feels like in your body, then transfer to your horses.

                        *hot sensitive horses do not like a driving seat... duller horses don't care and can actually go better initially to a driving seat.
                        LISTEN TO THIS! Soooo right. If you get yourself too tucked under you will definitely screw up your back, and from your description that sounds like what is happening.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I agree with a lot of what was said above. Knowing your own body is a big key.

                          I had struggled for several years with this. I had done huge amounts of equitation classes when younger and didn't know that was part of my problem until my first lesson with him, when my trainer said, "slouch!" The attached photo feels like slouching to me.

                          I also learned what I need for my pelvis shape. I have to have a very narrow twist saddle, with a very high rise in front, and a bog flat spot in the middle. In a scooped shape seat, I pretty much can't get my butt in the saddle. People talk about a three point seat. If my pubic ridge or whatever the front part of that three parts is supposed to be were touching the saddle, I would be on my horse's neck.

                          Hamstring strengthening has been VERY important for me, as well as learning to relax tight muscles. That's just thousands of hours of practice to get there for me. I have used many visuals, including thinking of breathing through my legs as a favorite - lightening their weight on my horse's side. That relaxation of tension makes everything easier, and I recently even rode extended trot on a mare I didn't used to think I had enough range of motion to ride in a collected trot. Development Iof the deep core stabilization muscles also allows that to happen, so riding plus pilates and yoga can help get you there.
                          If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.
                          -meupatdoes

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            I think once again (*sigh*) I've been trying to do too much, too soon when smaller incremental changes will be a better fix for ME and MY HORSE in the long run. I will add on the positive side that already in the bathroom mirror, it's looking & feeling more natural/neutral to not pop my booty up. When I think FIRST about contracting my solar plexus, a slight tilt back happens naturally in my pelvis (without that strange "tucking under" feeling that happens when I try starting with my pelvis and then aligning my middle).

                            From an instructional perspective, perhaps the clinician was trying too hard to get everything in my back body stick straight (think yard stick against my back straight) and I think a slight dip in low back with this improved pelvic alignment and core engagement is a good improvement & compromise for now. Will see if my sensitive guy is happier today.
                            Yes, I did feel I had too much of a driving seat when I tried to get my pelvis perfectly aligned with my low & upper back.

                            For the record, when this clinician (who is an alignment specialist) brought up my anterior pelvic tilt and wanted a major correction to my seat, this is the first time in my 10 years of riding anyone had suggested this. I've had about 7 trainers/clinicians who never mentioned it. I've never heard the term "duck butt" before. I just thought I had a little extra booty. I thought I had been sitting square on my seat bones with even balance between crotch and bum. This change of alignment has made a huge difference already in my ability to keep my leg underneath me versus always wanting to push too hard on my stirrups. It's humbling and slightly maddening at the same time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Something else to be very careful about in your quest to realign your pelvis is to not start using the front of your shoulders and lose the elasticity there.

                              I second whoever suggested trying some different saddles and also finding a good chiropractor. I found that with the right saddle and my spine actually aligned well (I had a pretty severe deviation in C1 and C2 that has since been fixed) it really isn't that hard to sit properly and allow the horse to do its job.
                              "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My Mary Wanless certified trainer helped me learn to sit correctly. I improve from every single lesson. Now I can sit in any saddle on any horse and put my pelvis and myself in much better alignment and feel if I'm not sitting evenly on my seat bones and fix it. Huge improvement in my seat, but it's a ton of core strength for the whole ride. Horse goes so much better and happily when I'm sitting right.

                                I wish I would have been "Rolfed" when I was younger, but I don't think I could get through that now!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  A few things - Improving your range of motion as well as your ability to sense where you are is critical. I have and still do use Ekhart Meyners exercises https://smile.amazon.com/Rider-Fitne...s%2C161&sr=8-2 as well as going to Mary Wanless clinics. The correct position can feel so strange! Mary's visualizations are really helpful. I also go to an Alexander Technique teacher to help me release the tension/contraction of the fascia that prevents me from achieving the relaxation and lengthening that is so critical.

                                  One final thing - it takes TIME to develop the neural connections that enable you to sense where you are. Don't get frustrated. IT has taken me years to be able to tell where my feet are and to sense my seatbones. Dressage is hard and time consuming, but so rewarding when you get it!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I had this same problem, and part of mine is an actual genetic conformation, so I could never appear to be sitting properly even when I am. This is what fixed my problem permanently:

                                    1. Go for long walks at least 3x per week. Use GOOD shoes, and if you pronate, get customized inserts or use a figure 8 ankle brace with the strap pulled up on the outside of the ankle. You can tell if you pronate by looking at an old pair of shoes and examining the soles (are the soles worn thinner on the outside edge?).

                                    2. Strengthen your abs and glutes. But get a personal trainer or sports med therapist to watch and correct your posture while doing these exercises the first few times.

                                    3. Stretch your hip flexors and lower+mid back muscles. These stretches should be done every day, morning and evening. You don’t need anyone to supervise these, really...and you can find exercises for these on the internet.

                                    after about three months, you will easily be able to ride in the correct position without thinking about it.

                                    spend the money up front for the solutions above, and avoid lower back pain and poor riding posture for the rest of your life. And watch the changes in your horse’s back, performance, and happiness!
                                    Banter whenever you want to banter....canter whenever you want to canter.

                                    Comment

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