February 6, 2020


When I rode the Haffies, Jen kept getting onto me about my right hand/forearm raising and coming to or across the neck, especially when I was turning left - something I'd never noticed before.  But, like anything else, once I realized it, I noticed I was doing it a lot. Next I had to figure out WHY I felt I had to do that.  I tucked that in my brain for later.

Right Arm, where u going?

Then I got my own Equicube, after trying JenJ's.  On Griffy, I found it hard but not impossible to keep him straight and steer while holding it.  Cube straight = horse straight.

On Connor, that concept went to hell in the most fascinating way.  With the cube dead straight, his neck was curved out from the base of the neck on the right rein (or in on the left rein), even though he was weighting the inside fore more, and I could not get him to go straight.

I didn't really know why until the vet looked at him for chiro and said, "His neck is an "S" shape if you look at it from the top.  The bulk of his muscles are on the left side of the neck near the poll, and in a knot at the base of his neck on the right side."

Well, s***.  That's my fault.  I'll cut through my diagnostic process and tell you what I've figured out:

- I have a hard time activating my left shoulder/sliding my left shoulder blade into the pocket at all times, not just in the saddle, which means that I'm constantly giving that left shoulder/left side of my body forward.

- Since I'm not plugged in with the left shoulder, my core isn't supporting me on the left

- Combine those things with an lack of self-awareness and the Equicube making me actually look at whether my reins are even or not, and you get...I think I've been riding with my reins for two different length for a while. And crooked feels even to me, because my torso is crooked.  Intentionally holding the reins the same length feels crooked to me.  My brain's whole perception of straight on the horse is wrong.

Connor's always been a tough ride to the left and had a real problem shortening his left side and engaging the left hind.  But now I've created a horse that's still a tough ride to the left AND has developed muscles that will make it even harder for him to do what he should be doing on that side.

And like anything else, I created it, and now I get the pleasure of solving the puzzle of how to un-create it.  Both the human and the horse.

Guess who started taking private Pilates lessons yesterday?

This is not Pilates ^


  1. Awareness is more than half the battle! But, ugh, I totally sympathize with having a broken GPS in my brain!

  2. My left hand loves to creep up and over, so I feel your pain. Being straight and even is SO hard!

  3. When I was lucky enough to have a trainer it seemed like every other thing she said was DON"T CROSS OVER THE WITHERS. That was probably really annoying for her. Unfortunately, though she knew proper form and was diligent about schooling me on it, she had zero bio-mechanics insight. Fixing the ingrained physical habits is the place to start - you're on the right track!

  4. Uh oh crooked rider club not so anonymous. My right side body creeps and now I am wondering if it's due to my right shoulder being less flexible too.