April 26, 2009

I am on a Quest


I am fed up.
With my lousy posture.
I recently saw a video of myself, and I did not like what I saw.
I round my shoulders, and wiggle in the middle.
*sigh*
No matter how much time and effort I have put in this over the years it seems like it is never enough.
A never ending quest.
But I am not giving up. Even if your bad habits are kinda good friends with your body when you are 46. My abdominal muscles have to step up a bit, I am afraid.
Problem is that I slouch when I sit, always have. I have a long body and short legs and arms (sigh again) and unfortunately this invites me to round my shoulders to “improve” the length of my arms.
But I am not letting such trivial things stop me.
I have given my instructor strict instructions to nag as much as possible on me.
All you others out there feel free to chime in. Like ending all comments “How’s your posture doing?” or something like that.
I am stubborn as hell, so I am gonna make this quest a successful one. .. It can’t be much worse *mutters*



I love this picture.
I believe it is taken some 10 years ago.
I am on my old gelding, Amigo, and it is my daughter standing beside us. I guess she is about 4-5 years old here, she is 14 now.
I loved this horse.
He was with me until he was 20, and got retired a couple of years before that due to bone spavin. He was such a sweet horse. A bit anxious, but with a large heart.
I thought it would be difficult to get another horse that would mean as much to me as he did, but I feel I have a worthy candidate in Fame.


My daughter has a very good posture.
She has been lucky to both get a pony and qualified instruction in early years.
(I was very anxious when I was pregnant that I would get a child that was interested in something weird, like football, but luckily a little Horsaii came out.)

Elin with her first pony Felix, at her first show.

I grew up at the local riding school, trying to get as much riding I could, but not owing a horse of my own.
You just don't get as much attention being 8 off at an hour of instruction on a riding school horse as you get when you are one or two...I am just a produce of my past, I guess.
And then a heartfelt sigh.
Why do so many instructors overlook the work with seat and posture? I know there are many instructors out there really doing a good job, but sometimes I wonder if the seat/posture is overlooked because it is tedious work? They don't want to nag? throw boring lessons? or do they really not see the vital importance of this?
If someone out there had corrected me in my early years my work later in life would have been so much easier.

Tomorrow I am off to Paris with a bunch of old friends.
We started up a "club" close to 20 years ago, where we meet regularily at each other's home over dinner. We also collect some money when we meet, so every second or third year we take an extended weekend off from our families.
We always have a good time, so I am looking forward to go.
So, a bit in advance - have a nice weekend everybody!
I am going to....


5 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm sure you are being over critical of your posture and it is just fine. I've heard that doing some form of exercise like Pilates will strengthen the core muscles in your abdomen that will in turn help you hold your position better. You sound as if you are really motivated about this so I'm sure you will overcome any difficulties you have at the moment.
Your daughter is beautiful on her horse with great posture.
Have a great time in Paris.

HorseOfCourse said...

Thanks GHM, you are kind!
Yes, it would probably do me good with Pilates, or some Alexander or Feltenkreis-help.
I just know myself enough to know that those plans stay with the thought, lol! In the normal stress with job, family and horses there's not much time left.
I have been thinking that I at least should try to do some simple exersises at home, you know like before I go to bed. That should be a bit more easy to achieve...

I made an exciting experience yesterday.
I had my dressage training, and we focused on seat/posture. I discovered that even if I thought I was looking up, there was actually more to go on. And when I REALLY was looking up, then it was easier to keep shoulders and wiggle under control as well. Interesting.

Anne i Hannover said...

My best advice, which is simple and free, is to have a picture in your mind of someone who has a great posture. Watch a film of the person riding, or in real life if it's someone you know, and try to feel like that rider later when you're riding.
My picture is of Ulla Salzgeber, and I believe I really sit better when I imagine I'm her!

Gute Fährt nach Paris!

stillearning said...

You ask "Why do so many instructors overlook the work with seat and posture? I know there are many instructors out there really doing a good job, but sometimes I wonder if the seat/posture is overlooked because it is tedious work? They don't want to nag? throw boring lessons? or do they really not see the vital importance of this?
If someone out there had corrected me in my early years my work later in life would have been so much easier."

So true...but would we have listened in the beginning? I think the discipline it takes to develop a good seat would discourage many starting riders. Those of us who are "re-schools" from other riding beginnings would really be afraid to learn dressage! Add it that many of us have green horses...our poor instuctors have alot to work on! My instructor says she works on the horse for awhile, then the rider, then the horse....

I also have a long torso, combined with a tendency to both round my shoulders and lead with my right shoulder. (Spending my formative riding years riding OTTBs over jumps didn't help much.) Correcting my posture is now at least 75% of my concentration when riding. It does get frustrating at times.

I do a mix of exercises, all aimed at correcting postural bad habits, and building my strength and straightness. Just like the program I try to develop for my horse! Too bad I'm much more disciplined about HIS work.

HorseOfCourse said...

Anne - yes. It helps, I agree.

stillearning - yes, I agree on that one too.
I probably would have thought it boring, and would not have had the same motivation as I have now. It is just so unfair that when you have the motivation, your body has in the meantime lost a bit of its ability. Aaarrrgh.
And I wholeheartily, completely agree with you re. the "entrance ticket" to dressage. It is one of my favourite issues to discuss. Hm.
I believe I'll keep that as a subject for a separate post!