July 27, 2020

Big Biomechanics Changes

Something big has changed in my biomechanics lately, which I started to explore in my "Sitting Heavy" post, but I've started to understand that change more thoroughly in the past couple of weeks.

Me, sitting like this, on a regular basis, IS AMAZING OMG

Because this is what I'm used to seeing in photos (December 2018, PC: Austen)

For the first time ever, I'm spending more of the ride than not with my lower back flat and my shoulder blades down. There's an "able to" part of that too - thanks to Pilates and PT, I'm now able to keep my lower back flat, which means I'm able to really sit on the horse, which means I'm also able to bring my shoulder blades down, which means I'm able to open my chest, which means I'm able to stop pulling.

Well he can definitely cross his legs, lol

(Also I just want to clarify, when I say "lower back is flat", that's a code word for "actually sitting on the saddle" which can't happen if my lower back is arched. Lower back flat is not the point, but it's the way you can tell in the photos what's going on, and it's the easiest way to describe it.)

My shoulder blades are often the last to fall into place. Using my abs to support myself, sitting heavy, and having a flat lower back are becoming more automatic, but engaging my lats take conscious effort. One other thing I didn't mention is that my PT also diagnosed some minor shoulder pain as being from an inability to fire my "deep lats", aka, I slump throughout everything I do, CrossFit, riding, sleeping, working. So this one will take some time.

I can pull any random still from a video lately and more often than not, my lower back will be flat, which, compared to ALLLLL of my media in the past, is a huge change.

When all of that happens I can feel a completed circle of energy going throughout his and my bodies. Connection. I hate that I have to describe this like that, because I hate woo woo explanations of Dressage concepts, but that's the way it feels. If I'm not sitting heavy, the circle never even happens, and if I'm not engaging my lats, the circle is more C shaped, with the energy happening, but escaping somewhere along the way.

It's not all sunshine and rainbows though. I've totally let my core go here and Connor is taking advantage of that.

That circle of energy feeling - it just doesn't happen if I'm not sitting well, and it's not an eq thing at all. I could have kept showing with my crooked body and my horse pulling me out of the saddle every stride and made mediocre scores at 2nd and 3rd and gotten my Bronze, I'm positive. Heck, I did that already, I got my first Bronze score at 2nd last year riding like an absolute monkey.

You think I'm kidding, but this is a rated show and I got a Bronze score with this ride in August of 2019.

But stepping back and first learning the language to describe what I should be feeling (with Mary Wanless) and second getting my body sorted out outside of the saddle so that I could implement Mary's/my home trainers/CGP's concepts have completely the changed the game.

Little by little, the pieces come together


  1. As someone who spends time during every ride telling myself to get the hollow out of my back (which for me means using my GD lower abs), THIS IS SO AMAZING. I'm so freaking psyched your hard work is paying off and that you're seeing some amazing changes in yourself and Connor as a result. Bravo, lady.

  2. Good for you and digging deeper to ride to a higher standard. Many don't and achieve medals,placings,and etc but it is not always attractive. Enjoying watching your journey, frustrations and all.

  3. This looks really good! I have a tendency to arch my lower back as well.