The Driving Seat

No, not what you imagine but making use of time spent off the horse - for example, while driving your car! Most of us spend hours sitting badly at the wheel of a car and yet it is not that difficult to convert that time into something of use. OK, so I am a fanatic and can't even drive a car without thinking how it affects my riding, but if nothing else a good posture will help prevent back ache and tension.

Following on from the above, some useful experimentation might be:

  1. Is your pelvis and spine aligned correctly
  2. Are you aware of your seat bones (some set adjustment may be necessary to keep upright)
  3. Do you have equal weight on each seat bone, going straight and while turning
  4. Notice what muscles you use to keep yourself upright
  5. Can you keep your shoulders square against the back of the seat and be totally independent with the arms and hands
  6. Can you push the steering wheel rather than pull it when you steer
  7. Does each hand have the same weight going straight and while turning
  8. Do you have an "open front line" or are you collapsed
  9. Do your shoulders and elbows remain heavy and relaxed at all times
  10. Does your torso remain relaxed when accelerating or braking

Next time you drive to your riding lesson, think of these things and see what a difference it makes to your riding. Instead of arriving tense and rattled, you will already be mentally and physically prepared to get the most from your riding. Your horse will certainly enjoy the difference!

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