Do you ever check in with your body?
When you’re riding do you ever mentally check in with how you feel today rather than just checking in with your horse?
Does everything feel stacked up the way it usually does, or feel as mobile or stable as always?
I reckon the answer lies somewhere between no I don’t, and everything hurts!
It can be easy to fall into this system of just plodding considering how your horse feels day to day and whether he might need some physio, a massage, a different workload etc. But never considering how your body feels and whether it needs attention.
Your body has a huge impact on how your horse feels and moves being ridden and then of course than may impact on his overall wellbeing.
There are a couple of ways you can check in with your body.
Sometimes at the beginning or end of a Yoga session in my online programme we just lie on the floor or stand still and do a mental check in of our bodies from top to bottom.
Try lying on the floor, taking some deep breaths, and then starting at the top squeeze then relax each part of your body and see how it feels. Which areas of your body feel like they don’t relax? Those areas might need some more attention.
In my in person classes, we do regular stretch weeks where the sole purpose is to reconnect with your body and deal with those areas of tension. We do this with movement patterns such as opening and closing the chest, mobilising the spine etc. and self - massage with physio balls and foam rollers. It gives everyone a chance to check in with their own bodies and deal with any niggles that may be affecting their riding.
If you put time into making sure your horse’s body is in tip top shape surely it makes sense to make sense yours is too.