Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
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Friday, November 5, 2010

Balancing the Body: Legs and Arms

After you Stretch out the legs joints - ankle, knee and hip - from the previous post, are your legs even?

Day 4

First, you have to move your legs back... from the hip joint. Let's exercise the leg joints first.

There are a few leg exercises. First, start with the ankle. Move it up anddown. Move it in circles. Stretch it down. Stretch it up. Each stretch should be done slowly.

Next, stretch the knee. Move the lower leg. Swinging it slowly.

Than, move the hip joint. March in place. First with one leg, than the otherleg. With the leg straight, swing the leg back and forth. Slowly.

Finally, move the hip back. Grab the back of your breeches or jeans, and pullthe leg back, slowly. Once the legs are balanced, you will stay balanced.

Day 5

Do you have even weight on each stirrup? Are you sitting square where you have the same length of leg on each side of the horse?

Try leaning a little heavy on one side, putting more weight into that stirrup. Then lean the other way, putting more weight into the other stirrup.

Now, don't lean with the body. Sit square and straight. If you have to balance the upper body, do this know. First lean forward, with your back straight, than backward, leaning a little less each time until you rock into neutral position. Then lean a little sideways, each direction, until you rock your body into neutral position from the side.

Now sit square and balanced, and with only putting more weight into your legs, push down into the stirrup a little with one leg, than the other. Push down a little less each time, until you find that neutral area where you are holding equal weight with each foot in the stirrups. You shouldn't be pushing down with either leg.

Day 6

Now your arms need balanced the same way. Lift them over your head than out to the side. Slowly drop your arms down to your side, with your palms down.

Lift your arms straight out in front of you, than straight over head again. Stretch up slightly with one arm, than the other. Stretch until both arms seem even. Turn your palms out, and slowly drop your arms down to your side.

Now your body is balanced? How do you feel?

Try it now, sitting in a chair. Are you sitting taller? Do you feel even?

If you ride this weekend, try these exercises on your horse and let me know how you feel. Try to keep the feeling of balanced body parts. If you feel a body part isn't even, stop and rebalance.

You may just want to stretch and ride balanced for 15 minutes. Add time slowly each day so
that you aren't sore the next day. Build your time up slowly until you can ride balanced during your whole ride.

Let me know how your riding is going! I'm anxious to hear from you!

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