are for inspiration. Please send
by email. Suggestions are welcome too!
during the Spring when hormones are running high, try aromatherapy
on your horse. There are several companies such as Chamisa Ridge
which sell the oils which can help calm the anxious horse, focus
mentally, minimize pheromones, etc. I put a small amount on my
mare's nose and a tad in the opening of her nostrils before we
train. This has made her very happy and much more willing to enjoy
her work. I refer to it as her perfume! Give it a try, it's one
more way to enhance your partnership naturally and pleasantly.
2. In order
to balance out your body and your horse's body much more evenly,
mount from a different side each day. Always mounting from the
left, torques the horse's withers and shoulder to the left and
triggers the right hind muscles to support the pull. If you are
doing that the same way throughout your horse's life don't be
surprised if he is uneven in his work, develops left front/right
hind lamenesses, and/or has difficulty bending evenly.
3. Do your
stretching and strengthening exercises (especially those ab crunches)
to support your back at least 5 times per week. It should only
take 10 minutes of your day or evening and prevent back pain and
4. Get a lumbar
support pillow for your truck or car. Even if your car seat features
a lumbar support, it is not effective enough to give your spinal
curvature the correct position for all the many hours we spend
behind the wheel.
5. Make sure
your office chair is supportive to your lower back or add a pillow
to the chair to make it anatomically correct.
6. When you
travel by air please add a pillow to the lower part of your back.
If there aren't any available use a folded up sweater or blanket
to fill in the empty space. The people who make airline seats
have not had contact with a human body yet!
7. While you
watch TV make sure you put a pillow behind you to fill in your
lower back, otherwise your back is improperly strained while you
try and relax.
8. When doing
your floor stretching exercises place a book (about 1 inch thick)or
something similar in thickness under your head. You will be lining
up your spine to get the best effect from your stretches.
9. If you
can, add a deep muscle massage to your monthly schedule.
accepted essentials for success in sport are speed, stamina, strength,
flexibility and mental approach. To these should be added correct
posture and the prevention of posture related injuries."
Excerpt from "Posture Makes Perfect" by Dr. Victor Barker
11. The more
lordotic (arched back) your body type the more you will need to
think about keeping your hips and knees open while riding and
staying away from the tendency to want to pinch or compress with
your knees. This especially applies in the half halt where compressing
with the knees takes your seat up and off the saddle instead of
12. Use your
elbows and shoulder joints as a pulley connection with the horse's
mouth with soft hands instead of breaking your wrists or tightening
into a fist.
13. Tune into
how your body behaves during the luteal phase of your menstrual
cycle. The luteal phase is the last third of your cycle or the
week prior to menstruation. It is during this time that the estrogen
level is very high and you may experience joint laxity or a change
in the way your hips and lower back move or don't with the horse's
motion. Be aware of it, make sure and do your stretches regularly
and ride comfortably with it in mind.
14. Did you
know… …Doing everyday physical activities like walking for 30
minutes several days per week is as effective in the long run
for lowering body fat, improving blood pressure and boosting aerobic
fitness as doing more traditional structured exercise three to
five days a week, according to two recent studies in the Journal
of the American Medical Association. (USA Today, Jan. 27, 1999)
someone tells me there is only one way to do things, it always
lights a fire under my butt. My instant reaction is, 'I'm gonna
prove you wrong.' " - Picabo Street