In Equitation there are two biomechanical systems, each with their own unique function, together the dynamics constantly influence each other
Niki is a Specialist Bio-mechanic for Horse and Rider, Postural Expert, Improving fitness, Performance, Reducing Injuries and working in all areas of Rehabilitation
Biomechanics is the science of movement of a living body, including how muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments work together to produce movement. If we are unnaturally balanced, this will, without a doubt, transfer to your horse and affect his own movement and muscle development.
As a rider, our posture is the bedrock of our influence on the horse, it is what sums up the difference between being a rider and simply a passenger
An independent seat means that they are able to connect continuously to the horse’s movement, and remain in balance without the support of the rein contact. It also means that the rider has independent control of their leg position and aiding, without this disrupting the seat.
Does your horse bend better to one side than the other? does he find certain movements or transitions more difficult than others? Do you carry one shoulder higher than the other? Is your head tilted to one side? Are your shoulders round and forward? Because all of these components affect your riding, we must question how they will transfer to your horse.
Our dominant side is natural and apparent when in the saddle. Right-handed riders may carry more pressure in that hand and arm than on the left. Perhaps this is keeping your horse bent through his neck or preventing him from accepting the bridle evenly. To aid your horses training and to have the ability to recognise stiffness and asymmetry a good strong posture yourself is imperative.
We all often have other influences affecting our posture and our musculature resists the change from sitting compressed at a desk or driving a car to then sitting in the saddle.
Improving your own body posture will take time and commitment but your horse will be straighter, stronger and more balanced.
After a couple of injuries I had a month or so ago, I’ve been slowly ceasing up, twisting & very sore! I spoke with Niki Matthews; biomechanic osteopath based at Willowsway, she booked me in asap. After a superb & professional treatment I left not only feeling straighter & in less pain, but also inspired & empowered to keep pushing towards my coaching goals.JDS Equestrian