Last week we looked at being equal left to right so this week we will look at equal front to back.
This one I think is looked at more often but can actually be more difficult to correct. You see often the problem of leaning forward or back comes from a deeper postural or strength issue-not always but most often.
I’ve mentioned before the importance of Neutral spine for both balance, shock absorption and injury prevention and the short answer is if you are leaning forward or back you aren’t in neutral spine.
If you don’t know whether you lean forward or back ask a friend to video you, or if you are on your own sitting in your saddle ask yourself whether your rib cage sits directly over your pelvis or whether your sternum lines up with your pubic bone. This is a good indicator of where you are sat.
I also like to visualise pushing your front to your back and then equally your back to your front; this encourages you to switch on the right muscles.
In order to maintain equal front to back you need to have equal muscle strength front to back. It is quite common for riders to be told to improve their core stability and for them to go away and do lots of ab work-what about your back?
Now of course you can train your front and back separately and that will improve how they work together, however you are busy people with horses to ride so we want to make it as simple and time efficient as possible.
I really like the kneeling squat exercise with the focus being on staying level on the up and down.
Also Bird Dogs both simple and lifted of you like an extra challenge. This focuses you on keeping the middle still whilst moving limbs-or in riding speak staying still whilst giving aids.
Look out for next week where I’ll share with you another tip for practicing this too.