July 28, 2013

Hip Mobility

It's not uneven strength that's causing this, it's uneven mobility.

So far, I've figured out what Connor is doing (stiff/unwilling to the left) and what I'm doing (not using my left leg or right rein properly).  But I need to know why I'm not using my left leg in order to fix it.

Did I tell you guys the barn got a mini donkey?  Here he is napping in the warm sun/cool morning today.
Dressage llama!
I noticed today that when I use my right leg, it stays long, my hips don't move in the saddle, and it doesn't take much to get Connor to bend around it.  When I use my left leg, the whole leg comes up, my left seatbone drives into the saddle, my right seatbone comes off of the saddle, and my left side collapses.  I tried using my left as independently as the right, and couldn't.  I've always had a harder time getting my left heel down, keeping my left leg at the girth.  Sometimes I even ask my trainer to check my stirrups because I'm sure the left is shorter than the right (it isn't, usually).  Curious, I pulled both knees away from the saddle and realized that I could get my right knee several inches away from the saddle, but my left couldn't go further than 1.5" to 2".  Bingo.  No wonder I'm not using my left leg, it's physically more difficult/impossible to use it the same way I do the right.

So, it's back to the Supple Leopard for some hip mobility exercises!


  1. Jealous! I looooooooooove mini donkeys.

  2. That is a new book for me. How do you like it?

    1. I like it a lot. I have an extra copy that I would give you for free if you are interested, I think you'd like it based on what I've read of your blog. He's CrossFit focused, but notes that improving mobility applies to all sports and activities. The book looks like a textbook, but is written conversationally, and has tons of color photos depicting the various examples and exercises. He talks about how our bodies are used to adapting to whatever form we use, when poor form really sets us up for eventual injuries and decreased athletic performance. The spinal alignment section alone has really helped me out in the saddle, and made me much more aware of the little things.