When It Comes Down to It, Riding Is Just a Question of Posture

Exactly how far should one’s vagina be from the saddle when attempting to stand to the trot without collapsing forwards, falling off backward, or using the reins as if water-skiing?

Half an inch? Four inches?

And how do you word this question when trying to ask your coach without her looking at you oddly? Again.

I never know if my questions are silly. I never know the correct vocabulary either.

I have one pony who is a bit too gleeful and likes to set off at speed by bouncing forwards. Apparently, this is “jumping through the reins”. Who came up with that? And how can a horse be behind the leg?

Anyways. Back to my undercarriage. And how high it should be when doing what the French call equilibre.

I am supposed to be learning to stand upright. In perfect balance. To correct a VERY BAD HABIT – folding forwards dramatically, unnecessarily, and uglyly (not a word) over jumps.

I didn’t believe my face-palming coach when she said I do this. In my happy little mind, I was sitting perfectly still. Calmly awaiting the jump to arrive. Then she showed me the video.

I fold like an elderly queen in the Am-Dram Society. All I need is for someone to lob a bouquet of roses at me and job’s a good ‘un.

I put a lot of thought into how I could fix this problem before the next lesson. I figured if I could physically stop the fold from happening by means of a gadget, I could fool my body while it builds new muscle memory.

I spent some time bending at the waist.

Then pondered upon contraptions.

I discovered if I strapped a 2-foot-long bit of plastic to each thigh and tucked it into my back protector, this limited (but did not totally stop) me bending over. It stopped the “getting on the horse”, though.

Trying to attach it whilst mounted didn’t work either.

An adapted corset worn low over the hips failed for the same reasons.

I discarded the idea of wearing a shoulder harness attached to the cantle of the saddle on safety grounds.

I thoroughly enjoyed this exercise in futility, but upon discovering the inherent weaknesses in each cheat, I worked on my weakening, frail, elderly body.

I needed to get fit. I seem to have lost the muscles necessary.

A regime was in order. Poop-scooping became an opportunity to stretch old-lady-stylee with the aid of a steadying fork. Wheel-barrowing hay uphill to build thighs. Downhill to work those chicken wings.

Watch how I achieve perfect, zen-like balance in my new fitness video below. I urge every one of you to do the same. Your riding will improve. Your energy levels will rise higher and higher as you get stronger and stronger. Are you with me?

I can’t hear you.

ARE YOU WITH ME???

And then…

After all of that…

Bloody well turned out, all I had to do was stop hyper-flexing at the ankle. As soon as I stopped putting my heel so far down, my entire position altered and I could stand upright with ease. I was able to relax my legs more and open my knees.

And there we are. Back at my bits. The circle is complete.

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