A big part of Dressage is straightness. All horses are naturally crooked and so are the riders. It is very important to first identify these asymmetries, understand how they effect your position and your horse and then work to correct them!
Here are some of the key takeaways from the interview, although I highly suggest you watch the video as there are a TON of really great information in the interview:
- It is important that you can see and actually visualize your asymmetries so that you can fix them. Often our proprioception is off – we think that we are straight when we are not. The first step to correcting this is you must see your asymmetries.
- Building Blocks for Straightness – to assess the rider’s straightness, always start with the pelvis and make sure that the pelvis is sitting straight in the saddle. Then work your way up to the ribcage, shoulders, and finally the head.
- Consider what you do outside of riding – the way that you sit in your car, the way that you sit at your desk and even the way that you sleep effects your riding and symmetry in the saddle as does any old injuries you have had. Exercise, working with a physical therapist, and addressing your asymmetries when NOT riding is hugely important.
I am very grateful to Dr. Russel MacKechnie-Guire fo doing this interview! I learned a ton and I hope you did as well! Dr. Russel MacKechnie-Guire is the founder of Centaur Biomechanics and developed the black jackets with a yellow ex on the back that I often use in my videos.