[RIDER’S POSTURE TIP] Make gravity your BFF

Rider's Posture Tip - Connection Down for stability - ©2016 Emily Clark TheSuppleRider.comI show riders how to create effortless, free posture in and out of the saddle. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking at the Oregon Equestrian Trails (OET) Statewide Roundup. The first point I mentioned was the importance of gravity for stability.

Gravity and stability

This comes as a surprise to lots of people, because most of us think of gravity as a bad thing, especially in terms of our bodies—”giving in to gravity” and “letting gravity take over” both sound negative. We’ve been taught to sit up “ramrod straight”, but free and easy uprightness isn’t possible without a connection down to the earth.

I was reminded how important this is when I heard from one of the OET audience members, Wendy Kerns, a few weeks later:

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Does your horse (and your back) hate it when you sit up straight?

Does your horse (and your back) hate it when you 'sit up straight'?What do you think of when you hear the word posture? If you’re like me, and most of the horseback riders who come to my Secrets of Pain-Free Riders workshops, you probably hear your Mom’s voice telling you to “sit up straight!” Or maybe you hear an instructor telling you to put your “ears, shoulders hips and ankles in a straight line”.

‘Sitting up straight’

I don’t know about you, but whenever I tried ‘sitting up straight’, with my chest puffed out, my shoulders back and my chin tucked, I could only make it last for 30 seconds at the most. And  it wasn’t comfortable at all.

Give it a try it right now, wherever you are and notice how you feel

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“Life-Changing Stress Hack”: Entrepreneur Magazine on The Alexander Technique

Image courtesy DigitalArt, freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy DigitalArt, freedigitalphotos.net

In a recent article in Entrepreneur magazine, contributor Zach Ferres called the Alexander Technique the stress-reduction tool that has contributed more to his success than exercise, visualizations, laughter and “drinking inordinate amounts of chamomile tea”. As an Alexander Technique instructor in the Portland, OR area AND an entrepreneur myself, I wholeheartedly agree.

“Balance despite high-stress entrepreneurial efforts”

After a few lessons with an instructor Zach was able to put these things into practice on a daily basis:

  • Body relaxation
  • Centering mind
  • Better vocal control
  • Improved public speaking
  • Clear thinking under pressure

Check out the entire article here. To find an instructor in your area, visit amsatonline.org, or in the Portland, OR area contact Emily at 503 505 4155 or here.

Horseback Riders’ Self-Care Quiz

Woman readingCan you remember the last time you got away from it all?

Was it a vacation, a weekend retreat, or maybe it was a special occasion with your spouse, partner or a friend? If you could quantify the benefit, what did you get out of it?

Recharging batteries

I don’t know about you, but when I get away it really recharges my batteries. Something else that recharges your batteries is investing in some essential self-care. For riders, self care is an investment that has benefits for you, your riding AND your connection with your horse.

Self-care essentials

The obvious ones are eating right, exercising and getting adequate sleep. And there are 6 more to consider: stress relief, breathing (yes, lots of us hold our breath most of the time), pain relief, and injury prevention strategies as well as paying attention to your posture and mood.

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Braced Posture In the Saddle and What to Do About It

BracedGraphicHorseback riders know upright posture in the saddle helps them ride better. But being able to get there without becoming rigid can be tough.

When riders first come to my Alexander Technique practice, I often notice they have braced posture rather than a slump. They’ve been told to “sit up” but haven’t been instructed how to get and stay upright without strain, rigidity and pain.

Have You Noticed…?

  • An exaggerated curve in your low back
  • Pain or strain in your low back

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Secrets of Pain-Free Horseback Riders: Posture Without Strain = Effortless Connection

For over 10 years now, I’ve been teaching horseback riders the secret to releasing persistent back, neck, shoulder and hip pain: freeing up tension in their bodies.

Riders usually have one of two priorities: achieve true connection with their horse, or become a better rider; preferably both!

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