Saturday, February 13, 2010

Still Snowed In And No End In Sight

This is beginning to get ridiculous. The weatherman is calling for more snow Monday and Tuesday. By the time all this snow melts I'll be too big to fit in the saddle. For now I'm occupying my time with reading. Those who can do, those who can't theorize. *L*

I'm really enjoying the book "Anatomy of Dressage". It's slow getting through it, as I have to stop and visualize everything and allow the material time to sink in before moving on, but to me that makes for good reading. I really like that the authors describe how the muscles and joints are interacting to create the position we desire, rather than just saying "do it". I think that's a big problem among instructors, too many of them just say "do this" without ever bothering to explain (or understand) how or why. This book really bridges that gap. It also illuminates many of the problems riders encounter, like becoming too tense or getting twisted, and gives sound advice on how to fix these problems. It's given me a lot to think about if I ever manage to get into the saddle again. I think my first several rides will be spent breaking down my position and fixing some of the nasty habits I've managed to get into. I tend to get very tight through my pelvis and lower back when I ride. I'm hoping that if I focus on the muscles I should be using, rather than just repetitively thinking "relax your hips", I will have better success keeping a soft, effective seat. We'll see. Until then, I'm keeping myself busy by formulating my Plan Of Attack.

I'm a very visual thinker, meaning that I think about things as little pictures and diagrams. When I think about a horse's movement, I see a little diagram in my head of how the muscles are pulling the bones around, how the ligaments and tendons are stretching and how the whole system is interacting to produce the action I want. I need to develop the same sort of picture for my own body. My Plan Of Attack is to get a solid picture in my mind of exactly what I want my body to do while I'm riding and what muscles need to be engaged to accomplish this. I'm sure the entire thing will unravel the second I sit in the saddle and I'll have to make adjustments to The Plan accordingly.......but that's sort of the nature of plans. It wouldn't be any fun otherwise, would it?

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  1. Hopefully, from last reports, this snowstorm is heading north of us.

    I am a verbal thinker and have trouble visualizing. I have to explain things to myself so I can do them.

    Have to figure out, however, why I keep sitting off to the right on my two horses--so it's not them. I can straighten myself out, but for the life of me don't feel myself sitting unevenly. However, my chiropractor noted I had a list to that side, so perhaps it is my physique...

    Wish we could to something about this ridiculous snow. When is your baby due and how much longer will you be able to ride? All I can do is wish for the thaw on your behalf...but it's something. We Jersey girls have to stick together. *G*

  2. I always envied the verbal thinkers in college. They could just read the professor's lecture notes and get it. I spent hours drawing pictures of everything so that I could figure it out, my notes looked like some sort of mad scientist's evil scheme!

    I'm currently still drawing pictures of the tense seat, I haven't gotten to the crooked seat yet. When I get there I'll let you know. I have trouble with sitting to the left, I'm pretty sure it's the horse, but I'm still the one who needs to fix it.

    I'm due in early June, I'm 5 months along now. With my first I stopped when my belly got so big that I was throwing poor Spider onto his forehand....which was around 7 months. It will probably take 2 months for all this snow to melt, but I can always do groundwork when the snow melts, all is not lost!

    We Jersey girls have to keep reminding each other that this is still Jersey, not Siberia! *G*

  3. I'll appreciate your analysis of the seat. As I said, I can fix it, but somehow I keep drifing off to the side again unless I REALLY concentrate on it. Since I ride in treeless Ansurs, it's much easier to notice.

    I need to see if I am perhaps putting one leg too far forward too.

    The storm is going to hit harder north of us. You might not get anything while we might get 2-4 inches. But's snow. Bigger worry is if it's rain and sleet that feezes up later.


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