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The woes of tight hips...(new vids post 71 - be gentle lol!)

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  • The woes of tight hips...(new vids post 71 - be gentle lol!)

    Through much discussion - I have come to realize that my long torso is not the issue and it is in fact, my tight hips and lower back that are the main culprits. Thanks COTHers for the sharp eyes and great advice!
    --
    Hi, I'm a dressage rider and I have a long torso. I have been working tirelessly on my position for 2 years now (before that, I rode H/J.) I have made a lot of progress with my teacher and his fantastic school horses. I have even "graduated" to riding his Andalusian stallion in lessons. I have gone from "the worst tummy trot" that my trainer has ever seen, to learning how to collect from my seat and back and I have been playing with passage and learning canter pirouettes and tempis.

    However, I still collapse in my back, especially in the canter. I envy short torsoed riders and their strong backs. They look so elegant. Am I doomed to always appear a bit loose in the sitting trot? I'm together, I'm effective- and I wouldn't be able to effectively ask for passage if I wasn't using my back correctly, yet in videos- there always appears to be more movement than I want.

    In the canter, I have come a long way in retraining the hunter perch. I can sit tall, I can collect from my seat and back, yet invariably- I give... Just a little bit, just below my rib cage. And every time, that Cadillac of a stallion leans on me and the work goes to hell. I can regroup, I can fix it... But I can't stop it yet.

    At this level, it's tiny nuances that make a difference, and I want to lick this giving in the back in a bad way.

    So, fellow long-torsoed COTHers, how have you strengthened your back and taught yourself not to give in that spot just below your ribs? Core strength is not an issue for me... I'm almost too strong and it counter-acts my back muscles. Are there targeted excercises to help over come this less than ideal rider conformation?? Help!
    Last edited by Reddfox; Aug. 10, 2011, 09:40 PM. Reason: Typo... But I'm sure I missed some

  • #2
    As a person with a long torso and short legs.

    Get over it and deal with it.

    I sit on an exercise ball at work all day. Helps strengthen EVERYTHING.

    I do pilates.

    I do yoga.

    Comment


    • #3
      You can work out as much as you want, but you will always have more wiggle. It has nothing to fo with short backs being stronger. It has everything to do with absorbing energy over a longer distance--meaning your torso. You will never look like a short torso rider, but you can still have a beautiful seat and quiet hands, etc.

      Do not obsess over it too much.
      "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I guess that my post ended up sounding more whiney than I meant it to be. I'm not sitting in a dark room crying "poor me..." all the time I had a lesson yesterday and I had just watched the video of it and was frustrated with what I was seeing. I think it's 90% habit and 10% strength - but, I want to have my position be as good as it can be.

        Velvet, the statement about energy being absorbed over longer distances makes sense - and that does come into play. The other part - about giving in my back, I'm hoping someone has suggestions for exercises that target the low back area and to help connect my back.

        mjhco, I do have an exercise ball at work - it does make a big difference. I do yoga - have not tried pilates yet.

        Comment


        • #5
          You might also try the Back On Track back support (I believe there are a few styles) & see if that makes a difference - BOT usually offers a 30day "trial" period on their products (check with the shop though as they may want you to contact BOT directly if the shop is not a "dealer").

          Comment


          • #6
            ''At this level, it's tiny nuances that make a difference, and I want to lick this giving in the back in a bad way.''

            Seriously, after two years dressage riding,tiny nuances are probably not what will make the difference.

            Comment


            • #7
              definitely recommend pilates. I too have a long torso, and the strengthening pilates has provided for my back and core have made a big difference in my riding.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Eohwen View Post
                definitely recommend pilates. I too have a long torso, and the strengthening pilates has provided for my back and core have made a big difference in my riding.
                Agreed, they can make a big difference in all body types, but to the OPs point, they will ALWAYS have more movement when looking at video, etc. It has nothing to do with how effective you are, though. I hate it when people get hung up on some idea of perfection that does not take body type/conformation into account. Kind of like the toes pointing exactly forward or having people sitting with their pelvis at a specific angle. Um, not everyone can do that and be effective. It then becomes a matter of sitting pretty, but maybe one rider is more perched, has a cranked leg with little effect because of the closing of the hips and locking them so they can't sit right.

                You need to work with each rider and their body type. Just as each horse is different and while some standards stand, you can't expect a long backed horse or low necked horse to look like a compact horse with an uphill build and neck that comes up and out. You can collect them and they can do the harder work, but a TB will never look like a Lip!
                "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by raff View Post
                  ''At this level, it's tiny nuances that make a difference, and I want to lick this giving in the back in a bad way.''

                  Seriously, after two years dressage riding,tiny nuances are probably not what will make the difference.
                  Considering that she is working on passage, canter pirouettes, and tempis "after two years dressage riding," I suspect that her position is pretty correct already.

                  OP -I have quite a long torso as well but I won't be of much help as it has never bothered me or been commented upon by my instructors. I do a lot of "bigger trot/littler trot/bigger trot/littler trot" and try to get that response solely from seat without relying on hand or leg; seems to help the horse go througher and me sit with a quieter, better influence through my seat and back.
                  The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                  Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                  Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yoga and Pilates combined with strength training 3x/week will do wonders for your torso. I'm not talking body-builder training but regular get everything toned and strong training. You really need the combination to help "stabilize" your back (and rest of body). Work with a personal trainer at first to make sure you are doing the correct exercises for your goals - and not just bulking up.
                    Originally posted by yellowbritches
                    Suck it up, buttercup. Horses spook. Sometimes they spook to the point of losing the event.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Velvet View Post
                      Agreed, they can make a big difference in all body types, but to the OPs point, they will ALWAYS have more movement when looking at video, etc. It has nothing to do with how effective you are, though. I hate it when people get hung up on some idea of perfection that does not take body type/conformation into account. Kind of like the toes pointing exactly forward or having people sitting with their pelvis at a specific angle. Um, not everyone can do that and be effective. It then becomes a matter of sitting pretty, but maybe one rider is more perched, has a cranked leg with little effect because of the closing of the hips and locking them so they can't sit right.

                      You need to work with each rider and their body type. Just as each horse is different and while some standards stand, you can't expect a long backed horse or low necked horse to look like a compact horse with an uphill build and neck that comes up and out. You can collect them and they can do the harder work, but a TB will never look like a Lip!
                      Well said. Not to mention how the horse's body affects the rider's leg and position. My draft cross gelding is very wide and my calf meets up against the widest, roundest part of his barrel and pushes my lower leg out. I cannot keep my feet parallel and also keep my leg on my horse.

                      I don't have this problem on my narrow, flat-sided TB gelding (though I really don't ride him anyway). My mare is even wider than my gelding -- rather like riding a picnic table -- and my toes point out slightly. Having bad hips, knock-knees, scoliosis and a host of war wounds doesn't help much either.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A well known, and well respected, coach used to say, "Do not die in beauty."

                        This can be applied in a couple of situations. One, that you always want all parts of your training to look pretty so you lose the ugly moments that sometimes have to happen to make things actually look more beautiful in the end. (Working through educating the horse. Not all things are pretty when first attempted, but you don't stop asking and pushing for more.)

                        For the rider, that means not just sitting there looking pretty, but being an effective rider that flows with the horse. If you watch different top riders you can see differences. Look at Steffen Peters vs Edward Gal. Similar, but some small differences. The differences are sometimes due to the horse's movement, the riders build and combinations of other factors. You don't care about them so much.

                        At the upper levels, it doesn't matter if your horse is looking beautiful and you are going with and helping your horse (and having aids that are generally invisible). That's what you try to achieve. Not someone else's ideal that might not fit your situation!
                        "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by raff View Post
                          ''At this level, it's tiny nuances that make a difference, and I want to lick this giving in the back in a bad way.''

                          Seriously, after two years dressage riding,tiny nuances are probably not what will make the difference.
                          I should clarify...not 2 years riding dressage...just 2 years with this particular trainer - and this has been 2 years of twice monthly lessons that focus directly on my position...not learning tricks.


                          I should also clarify, I'm not hung up on looking elegant, or looking like a perfect statue on the horse. I'm interested in targeting the "give" in my back that makes me less effective in those moments. I want to be as effective as I can, not as pretty as I can

                          I can post some sound scrubbed video if that helps and you can see what i mean in the give.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Reddfox View Post

                            I can post some sound scrubbed video if that helps and you can see what i mean in the give.
                            I think you should, and I wouldn't be surprised if I couldn't even notice what you're seeing. Remember, you are your own worst critic.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Short video, shows a bit of trot and some changes. Please note that I can't count This horse is also bouncy as all get out, for the longest time, I thought it'd be impossible to sit to him at all! You can see the give at 1:08 and 1:19 in the changes. When I start to push more with my seat - that's where I tend to give in the back.

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTfzZe3XzA4

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Reddfox View Post
                                Short video, shows a bit of trot and some changes. Please note that I can't count This horse is also bouncy as all get out, for the longest time, I thought it'd be impossible to sit to him at all! You can see the give at 1:08 and 1:19 in the changes. When I start to push more with my seat - that's where I tend to give in the back.

                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTfzZe3XzA4
                                Looks to me like you just need to follow with your hips more. Meaning, actively follow by slightly lifting each side of your pelvis with the horse's motion. Mary Wanless has some good information on this. It comes from more actively following the motion rather than passively allowing the horse to push you. When they do that, you get a lot more movement in the saddle, too.

                                Start at your base of support. Really think about the drop and rise of each side of the horse at the trot and follow the back muscles. Lift the pelvis on each side that lifts and allow the opposite side to stretch and follow on the down side (side that feels more dropped during the stride). Use the lower abs to do this. You'll feel that you control the motion more this way. Once you get so you are following really well, then you can increase or decrease what you're doing (remember, it's subtle and not noticeable to the other people around you) to give the horse more room for his back when collecting and especially when doing piaffe and passage work.

                                Small and controlled following.

                                Did any of that make sense?
                                "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  You are brave to post the video,you know there is a problem, but are looking at a symptom rather than the essential issue.
                                  What I see is a rider who IS doing tricks...because you do not have an effective seat.You are in no way ready for upper level work (and this isn't upper level work, it's piddling)
                                  Dressage is not a ladylike pursuit spent hovering over the horse connecting only occasionally.
                                  You need to get your seat into the saddle,then you wont be pulled forward and collapse in the middle.
                                  I can see that the instructor very much wants you to do well,they look quite anxious.Maybe if you ask to be put on the longe and really crack this nut they would do it?
                                  It's a cute horse that is babysitting you.What happens in the extended paces? What happens if someone stands in front and pulls on the reins? Does it pull you into the saddle, or pull you forward?Try it and see.
                                  You need to get your seat under you, get your leg ON, your lower back working,and lead the horse with your seat connected.Your seat is how you communicate with the horse,he needs to hear you.
                                  It isn't easy to learn, but it is possible.
                                  Best of luck (and please don't feel i'm attacking you I almost didn't bother replying, but though maybe it could help?)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by raff View Post
                                    You need to get your seat under you, get your leg ON, your lower back working,and lead the horse with your seat connected.Your seat is how you communicate with the horse,he needs to hear you.
                                    It isn't easy to learn, but it is possible.
                                    Why don't you offer some exercises, mental images, or helpful tips?

                                    Surely if you learned it you received plenty of them which you could pass along to the OP.

                                    Anyone can stand in the middle of the ring and holler, "WELL, YOU JUST NEED TO LEARN HOW TO RIDE." Teaching riding is like training a horse: you can't just tell the horse "No no no NO" all the time. Somewhere a door needs to be open for him to go through.

                                    Open the door, and invite them through it.
                                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                                    Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                                    Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                                    The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I did offer several tips,can't you read?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If we all waited until our seats were perfect before learning any upper-level movements, most of us would be dead before we ever got to try anything.

                                        She is working with one of the best trainers in the country and what movements or "tricks" she rides is between the two of them.

                                        Comment

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