In order to ride completely in balance we should be the same length at the front as at the back. Not only does this create good alignment and therefore balance and stability but also enables efficient use of the body to give clear aids to your horse.
The very nature of our daily life means we spend a large part of our day hunched or leaning forward.
We may sit at a desk for our day job and therefore sit round shouldered, or maybe you spend a lot of time driving hunched over a steering wheel. When we get to the yard or indeed those who work with horses all day, we again muck out; leaning forward throughout onto leaning over to make feeds, sweep yards, pick out horses feet……..the list goes on!
I also see a lot of riders who although on appearance seem to be creating a very nice picture, are actually riding very much with the front of their body only.
This may come from wanting to use “the core” as when we say this we think of abdominal crunches etc. However our core is actually all the way around our torso front and back, so to make use of it fully we need to be activating in the front and the back.
To create the right environment for us to begin using this “back core” area we must open up the front of the body to create the same length at the front as at the back. If we are short and over active at the front this in turn means the back is long and underactive. By creating more length at the front we allow the back to shorten and encourage it to activate the muscles as part of the core.
Here is a short yoga flow to help you open up the full anterior chain of chest, abs and hips and quads.