View Full Version : posture correction
18th Apr 2002, 02:35 AM
Someone told me to put a broom stick handle behind my elbows when riding to correct my posture. Has anyone heard of doing this??
18th Apr 2002, 06:34 AM
Sure, my coach used to stick a dressage whip behind my elbows, the basic idea being you cannot hollow your back or bend it forward to slouch. Also the whip/broomstick stops you from allowing your elbows to go forward, in other words riding with straight arms, or back eg. pulling on the horses mouth. It was a magic and simple tool that helped me to improve my posture when it was at its worst. It took just a few sessions to correct the problem, and I still use it occasionally when I feel I have slackened.
18th Apr 2002, 10:19 AM
It seems so extreme, but I guess it shows how out of whack that I actually am! (yikes) Thank goodness I found someone to work with me.
18th Apr 2002, 11:07 AM
it works because it exaggerates the effect you actually want - so when it comes off, your arms go forwards, because your habit is to have them forwards, but they go into the correct position. it's like saying lean back instead of sit up straight - you ask for more than you want so that when the rider goes back to normal riding, you've overcorrected enough that they go into the right position. it doesn't necessarily mean that you have enormous problems!
18th Apr 2002, 11:23 AM
Yup,... I was taught this way when I was a 'little nipper'! by having a whip slotted through, infront of my elbows and behind my back! It does feel strange at first, then again,...when you've been used to riding a certain way for a while, the CORRECT way, will not FEEL correct it will feel a bit 'alien' for a while until you get more used to the new position!:D
18th Apr 2002, 03:36 PM
I tried it on my horse this morning and we trotted really divine I must admit. I saw my shadow from the sun and liked the look. But I don't know if I'd ever feel safe trying to canter with anything behind my elbows like that. Thank goodness nothing spooked him today either, but it is a good idea to do it to "reprogram" in my case. He appreciated it for sure. Its fun having this trainer help me get my act together. Its only once a week, but is the highlight of the week for sure. I like getting the best of my horse for a change instead of vice versa.
18th Apr 2002, 06:43 PM
My instructor did that to me, and at first it felt VERY uncormfortable. Fourtanetly she didn't make me have to wear it while riding! he-he. :) She just showed me what some people do to correct their posture. After feeling what a dressage whip feels like behind my elbows, I tried double hard to get the correct posture. :)
18th Apr 2002, 09:20 PM
yup..my instructor used to do this too me too every so often. But always make sure you wear a long sleeved top because he did this too me in summer and i got sores on the bends of my elbows.
19th Apr 2002, 05:34 AM
I'll have to try that this weekend- it sounds interesting. I've never had an instructor tell me to do that only carry a glass of water. Nobody ever do that on a nutso Arab like mine- took one look of the water coming out of teh glass and bolted.
19th Apr 2002, 01:40 PM
Rebellion, my mare took one look at that glass of water sloshing and did the best leg yield she has ever done.
The Old People group were in a contest to see how much water would be left in each person's glass and we were into a sitting trot when I was eliminated.....The thought had been to use wine glasses and wine but we decided to save the wine for after the rides!
19th Apr 2002, 02:07 PM
my favourite one for unsteady hands is to balance a whip across the thumbs.
and when i was younger, my instructor used to attach the reins to the bit with a loop of sewing thread, that would break if your hands weren't soft enough. really good for making you aware how hard you pull. you need a really good horse though, because you always break the string and end up with no reins!
6th May 2002, 05:20 AM
my old instructor made me balance a whip with my thumbs too! She said that if my position is correct, then the whip won't move everywhere.
18th May 2002, 06:02 PM
My old teachers used to make me do this years ago, but as for not hollowing the lower back, it is exactly what it does! Bringing the elbows that far back causes the chest to thrust out and the lower back to hollow in too much. If the lower back is forcibly flexed in,all of the available flexibility is used up before you even move off!
Good posture on the horse is the same as good posture on the ground, nothing forced or unnatural. If you walked up the High Street of any town with your elbows out behind you as if you had a broomstick between them, and chest stuck out, you would get a few funny glances!!
I like the idea of imagining that you have a bungee rope attached to your head, giving the impression of stretching up tall and light in the saddle, but without any unnatural forcing of the torso, either in or out! The lower back needs to be free to flex slightly in and straight again to absorb the up and down movement of the hors'es back in trot and canter.
22nd May 2002, 03:58 AM
I like the idea of imagining a bungee cord attached to the top of my helmet. I'll try that tomorrow. It was such a relief when I read the book about stirrup bar positions and how some saddles are actually a part of the problem. (Thank goodness its not all just me!!) My full seat breeches are helping to secure my position longer than plain tights with only knee pads too. Thanks for the replies.
31st May 2002, 12:01 PM
i have never in my life herd of any one doing that but i must try it!
let me get this strait, you put the whip behind your back and in front of your arms/elbows?
it's wierd but it sounds logical:D
31st May 2002, 12:04 PM
even more good ideas! i have only just read the rest off the page!:D
31st May 2005, 11:52 PM
iv heard of that, never tried it
1st Jun 2005, 04:08 AM
I like the idea of imagining that you have a bungee rope attached to your head, giving the impression of stretching up tall and light in the saddle, but without any unnatural forcing of the torso, either in or out!
Thankfully that's how I was taught :) and it's much better than whips behind the back, whips down the back etc!
As Heather hasn't mentioned her book I will! 'Enlightened Equitation' is a brilliant book to have in your collection, it will tell you things that your instructor doesn't but WILL make a whole lot of sense! You can also check out the Kinder Way (http://www.newrider.co.uk/Kinder_Way/introduction.html) section of this site http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/froehlich/a050.gif
3rd Jun 2005, 12:29 AM
I wouldn't do it - where is the freedom of movement required for control is anything goes wrong??
You should be practising your posture when not on the horse. Have a look at Applied Posture Riding (http://www.appliedpostureriding.com.au) - I bought the book & it's great. All day I think about my shoulders & how to keep them strong. The book explains really well about developing muscle independence from the rest of teh body - being able to extend your arms (give with the reins) without the torso following... I never knew it was so difficult! :p
I've come to the point where my riding isn't going to improve any great leaps & bounds unless I really think about where my body parts are, what they are doing, and how I can make them move effectively. I'll have no chance at sitting trot unless I learn this... :rolleyes:
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