Horse & Rider Biomechanics: Being aware of the actions of each body together and separately, and how each influences the other, to enhance performance, improve confidence, aid rehabilitation and prevent injury.
Biomechanics is the study of the mechanics of how the body moves. Humans and animals alike all move in a mechanical way which can be tested, trained and improved. This is especially important for riders as we have to work with the horse, which is another mechanical system but with a separate mind and instincts (and that’s what makes our sport so special!). This is why it is important to make sure that we are mechanically correct, otherwise, we as riders can have a negative effect on our horses biomechanics.
Rider Biomechanics is for everyone, whether you are a competition rider or someone who prefers to spend their time with their horse in a more leisurely fashion. After all, who doesn’t want to be a more balanced, supple, light rider with a soft, responsive, agile horse?
For the rider’s analysis we first look at your posture dismounted, and how you move naturally. Then how you sit in the saddle and how you move when riding. We focus on how the rider’s position influences the horse, how to stabilise the rider and strengthen his/her position and how to refine the rider’s aids/cues. In Rider Biomechanics we don’t just look at ‘what’ is going on, we look at ‘why’. For example, if a rider is riding with their heels up, we would not say ” get your heels down”, we would look at why those heels had come up in the first place. We would then go on to find exercises to correct this.
Where imbalances occur in the body it is important to address them mechanically, with exercises, and structurally, with treatment. That way the body can become more balanced and new muscle memory be formed leading to better postural habits.
Then we look at the horse, its posture and how he/she moves. Crookedness is natural for horses but as riders we strive for straightness and balance so both training and therapy support this goal and improve the horses way of going.
As a Bowen therapist I use horse and rider biomechanics and analysis as guidance for the treatments I perform and strongly believe that the two are necessary to bring the best out of the partnership.
I run clinics and offer private analysis sessions so please get in touch for more details.