A couple of weeks ago we looked at the hollow backed rider so this week I want to look at the round shouldered rider.
What problems does this cause?
Most likely the head and shoulders will be stooped forward which puts extra weight on the front of the horse-in short of you are on your forehand your horse is on his forehand.
It is also likely that as the back is lengthened it will not be activating effectively. This impacts on the core as the back is as important as the front, and secondly the rein contact. A truly soft and giving but supportive rein contact can only come from the use of the shoulders. Relying on the chest and arms will cause tension and stiffness in the rein.
So if this is you, what can you do to fix it?
Well firstly you need to open up the front of your body.
I use this great stretch to open up the front of the body. In yoga it is called Camel. It can be done with the aid of a chair or ball if you wish-I really like the ball version.
Kneeling (put cushions under your knees if you wish) lift your hips and push them forward and with your hands either behind you on the floor or on a chair open your chest and push your shoulders back. Hold this for up to a minute.
Then you need to switch on those back muscles to help keep you upright.
I like a back extension with a pull down as this works both lower and upper back.
Lying on your front, arms above your head on the floor. Lift your upper body off the floor a couple of inches, then squeeze your shoulders blades together, and draw your elbows down as if pulling down something from over your head to your shoulders. Then return to start position.
Do 2 x 10 sets.