Ankles

This is it, this is the last piece of my biomechanics puzzle that I've been working through over the past few weeks.  I know it was, because for the first time ever, with any horse, my horse improved between lessons.  If you know me, you know we usually regress between lessons.  This is a huge deal.


My left ankle is only about half as flexible as my right.  How have I missed this?  My flexible right ankle allows my leg to hang quietly at the girth, and be used without affecting my balance.  My left ankle doesn't bend that well, (it actually hurt when I tried to flex it to the same degree as the right), so my leg creeps up his side when I do try to bend it, and is always behind the girth.

This is the extreme end of my left ankle flexibility.

 When you put that in context with everything else I've figured out, it makes perfect sense.  I wasn't using enough left leg, because it was physically difficult, and when I was trying to use my left leg, I was screwing my left seat bone into his back, taking my right seat bone out of the saddle, and ceasing my following hip motion.  Right leg at the girth, left leg behind the girth, in both directions.  I wouldn't turn left under those circumstances either, if I was him.  Once I started working on that (and it will take a while to develop that flexibility for real) his whole body became soft and pliable between my aids. 

I also had some quiet time with Connor tonight, and decided to braid his mane back over.  There's a nice neck under there!  There's nothing more relaxing than listening to Cardinals baseball and braiding in the empty barn after work.  I love this little horse.

"What did you do after work?" "Braided my pony's mane..." "Oh...that's nice little girl."

We both have worked pretty hard on those neck muscles, let's show them off with a non-feral looking mane, shall we?



8 comments:

  1. Ankles are so important, but are often forgotten. Good for you for recognizing the issue. And thanks for reminding me that my boy seriously needs his mane pulled. Sigh... but the nice necks make it worth the work.

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  2. Good report. That was a fun analysis.

    The ankles are also essentioal to a nice sitting trot without losing stirrups. I worked for years to make that one happen. Of course, my ankles were just one piece of the puzzle. ;-)

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  3. LOL your comment about mane braiding :)

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  4. He looks super cute! Love the braids and the sexy neck.

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  5. Supercob with superneck!
    He looks like a warmblood pony!

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  6. Love the defined neck muscle!

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