View Full Version : Lopsided, twisted, corkscrew - wrong weight aids!
4th Apr 2002, 11:54 PM
I've just realised what a horrible position I ride in: first of all, I'm stiff on the right side, so that the saddle goes over to the right. Then I screw my shoulders round the other way, so that my left rein is shorter than my right.
It took me ages to work out what was going on - I only worked it out because someone told me about the saddle, and I use continental reins with stops, so I could see why one was shorter, and I couldn't understand why poor old Barney was drifting to the right all the time...
I'm sure it wasn't like this last year - maybe because he was much more tense then, so was just thinking about going forward. And by the end of the summer we were both fitter.
But if anyone knows a way to feel if you're straight in the saddle, not twisted or lopside; or any exercises to correct it - please help!
5th Apr 2002, 10:34 AM
i usually end up horribly crooked after i've fallen off, and the longer i leave it, the worse it gets. how about seeing a chiropractor? it really helped me. there's a training school somewhere in poole, i can find out where if you like. the students do you under supervision, and it's a lot cheaper. or i have a lovely lady in west moors who's done a great job on my neck.
other than that, it might help to do loads of stretching exercises (or have a back massage) and really loosen your back and hips up, then get on, shut your eyes and try to feel where you're twisting. once you're aware of where it's coming form, it ought to be easier to correct it.
when i teach people how to use weight aids, i always have then sit with their eyes shut to feel their seatbones and weight distribution, and get them to turn their head and tell me what happens to their weight. i've had much better results than with eyes open.
5th Apr 2002, 02:07 PM
Theres a book on it Alexander Technique for Riders or some such.
Pilates may also help.
5th Apr 2002, 02:14 PM
Another advocate for Alexander technique. You can find a local practitioner through their website, can't remember the exact address but search under STAT on google and it should bring up their website.
5th Apr 2002, 05:09 PM
Another vote for Alexander (and Pilates)!
5th Apr 2002, 09:43 PM
Exercises can help if you're stiffening up, but don't forget to check your saddle, because if it's that that's out of true it won't matter how many exercises you do!
If you've got into the habit of riding lopsided, I think the easiest way to correct it is to have someone else watch you like a hawk and tell you when you're level and when you're not. You can't really trust yourself, because crooked feels OK and straight feel odd. One of our livery owners is having the same problem at the moment - crooked saddle for 6 years, poor lass, and now when she's straight she says she feels really weird!
6th Apr 2002, 11:35 PM
Thanks for all your replies...
ros, I think the saddle is crooked because I'm crooked, not the other way round! The horse has a lot of bellyl and not much wither, so it tends to slip quite easily, although it starts off straight.
I'll try and find an Alexander technique teacher who knows about riding if I can... it seems to be the obvious solution. Not Pilates, though: I read a magazine article about that in one of the horse magazines, and it seems pelvic floor contractions are essential. Well I haven't given much thought to my pelvic floor since I was having babies many years ago, and I find it quite impossible to contract it when I'm riding...
Es, I don't think this is the result of a fall, I haven't fallen off for ages (touch wood!), but I would like to know the name of that school if you can find it, please. It could come in very useful one day.
7th Apr 2002, 10:07 AM
I'd still have a really good look at everything on your saddle, just in case (they usually do start off fairly straight when you first put them on). If you're then fairly sure it's you, there's no substitute for another pair of eyes.
I rode out with Michelle yesterday for the first time in a week or two. She had terrific problems with a wonky saddle for six years, but has now swapped it for a really good one. She'd got used to being very crooked, and when she was told what "straight" actually was she said it felt awful, but she persevered. Her friend Selena rides out with her and helps by telling her whether or not she's sitting straight. I think she expected to be able to sit straight immediately, but of course the old muscles get used to compensating for the irregularities of the saddle, and it doesn't happen overnight.
Yesterday I thought as soon as we set off that Michelle was looking nice and level. After about 20 mins I told her she was sitting much better, and asked her how she felt, and she said "terrible"! But at least she's now pretty much able to maintain her position, and soon it will start feeling normal. So it does take time.
Oh, and fat horses with no withers? Tell me about it!
7th Apr 2002, 10:40 PM
Thanks, ros. I'm pretty sure it's not the saddle, because it's fairly new - I've only had it a year, and it was professionally fitted. Also, the person who pointed it out to me was my instructor, and she said it was ok when I got it back by putting my weight more in the left stirrup... But I'll have a good look at it tomorrow, just to be sure.
I know what you mean about it feeling wrong when you're straight... I'm beginning to recognise the feeling of being straight in the saddle. Luckily the horse hasn't learned to adapt to it yet - I know if he goes straight then I'm riding straight: otherwise he drifts, very kindly, to the right...
14th Apr 2002, 08:35 PM
im glad im not the only one who has this problem.im also a person with terrible position i now ride with a back support to straighten me out.i think horses arent the only ones that need supplements.........i need a good dose of cod liver oil....
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