Last week I talked about how it was your job as the rider to be strong enough to ride your horse straight and work with him to correct his asymmetries.
This week I want to talk about how your asymmetries may affect him.
According to Dr Russell Machkenie Guire’s research
- a horse took 6 weeks to adapt his locomotion to rider asymmetry.
- There is an increase in horse asymmetry when the rider is asymmetrical in trot.
- Rider asymmetry destabilises the horses thoracolumbar region
So I’d say that makes it pretty clear that our own asymmetry affects our horses way of going. If it affects their gait then over time of course this could contribute to lameness issues.
Now I know none of us wants to do that intentionally.
But of course we don’t always know we are asymmetrical. The horse can give us clues but it’s always really helpful to have eyes on the ground as our perception of how we are is not always what is happening.
I ask my clients to send me videos of them riding so we can assess any issues and then implement that into our training.
Why not set up your phone at the side of the school, or ask a friend to video you and then watch it back. Look at what your body does on turns, does it differ on each rein? Are you sat in neutral? Equal front to back left to right?
Your findings can help you decide what to focus on in your off horse training and of course long term help to keep your horse sound-not accounting for the many new and inventive ways horses can injure themselves…….