Pain is a thief—don’t let it rob you [VIDEO]

Hey riders, Emily here, from Many riders suffer needlessly with pain. I help clients shift harmful posture habits that create discomfort.

Together, we create new habits of effortless posture. Clients say they feel great and connect with their horse every single ride.

Remember, pain is a thief. Don’t let it rob you.

Click here to get a copy of my free report, The Secrets of Pain Free Riders. Til next time, stay tall in the saddle!

The trick to true core strength

Core Strength for Horseback Riders

photo by stockimages

We’ve all heard that core strength is important for horseback riders. And it is important. But focusing too much on strengthening and not enough on creating ease in the body can actually strengthen an underlying cycle of stiffness and pain.

Stiffness and pain cycle

The stiffness and pain cycle prevents independent movement of riders’ legs, arms, head/neck and torso.

When a rider has low back pain, they’re often advised to strengthen their core muscles in order to support the back.

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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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Connected Riding® Founder’s Must-know Posture Secret for Horseback Riders

Peggy Cummings and Friends

L to R: Lori Bridges, Peggy Cummings and Susan Cook of Connected Riding

Meeting Connected Riding® founder Peggy Cummings is always a treat. Her humor, knowledge and briliance came through at the NW Horse Expo in Albany, OR last weekend. She gave riders practical posture tips that bring immediate positive results.

Neutral pelvis is the first step. Having your pelvis in neutral is essential so your horse can access the power of his hind legs under saddle. Neutral pelvis means your pelvis is upright, not cocked forward or rolled back.

Slumped posture or braced posture (rigid “sitting up straight”) makes a neutral pelvis impossible and makes you into dead weight in the saddle. Dead weight beaks the connection between your horse’s hind end and his front end.

Neutral pelvis transforms you into live weight that moves with your horse instead of interfering with his movement.

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Alexander Technique and Equestrians – Spotlight #1: Force vs. Allowing

According to Erik Herbermann in the April 2012 issue of USDF Connection, “Few things sabotage our endeavors to achieve harmony with the horse and to elicit his willing participation more than force…”

The dictionary says force is “compelling, constraining, or obliging (oneself or someone) to do something” or “driving or propelling against resistance.”

When Force Doesn’t Work Anymore

The use of mental or physical force implies a fixed mental attitude “It’s my way or the highway” and a rigid physical attitude “I have to make this horse go”.

If you have a fixed mental attitude with your horse, it’s likely you have a similar attitude regarding yourself.

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Suppleness for Horseback Riders Can’t Be Taught – Or Can it?

Suppleness for RidersWelcome to The Supple Rider Blog! This is my first post and I look forward to connecting with you and hearing your comments.

We all know that suppleness is one of the basic principles of classical riding as it applies to the horse.

But what can suppleness mean for a rider?

Dictionary Definition of Suppleness 1

Easy and fluent without stiffness or awkwardness.

Dictionary Definition of Suppleness 2

The gracefulness and beautiful carriage that is pliant and flexible.

These two definitions are no-brainers. We all want ease and grace … But how do we achieve it? This brings up more questions than answers. (Or the answers are negative tapes playing in our heads.)

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