Hannah & Stormi
Here's your own page where we'll record all things that we do so you can access at any time
Rider Assessment 2023
From todays video I would guide you first to the core and contact section of the academy, and suggest you take a few minutes each day to work on the daily short sessions called Improve your core, Improve your position Week 1 & 2 , the key with these session is that you don't rush through them, if you do a day and find it challenging then stick with that day until you feel yourself finding it easier, only moving onto the next day when you feel comfortable. This may mean you do the same session for 7 days before moving onto the next one.
If you feel your position was amped up due to the pressure of the competition environment then I would also focus on how to bring your nerves back to a place where your position can feel more at ease, this will come with doing some breath work to help you have the tools to calm that response, I'm happy to catch up via zoom to talk you through this, theres also a podcast of mine I'd recommend listening to, its Episode 13 of the Let's talk horses podcast called Audio Lesson - Breathing and Upper body
The key to breath work is to make sure you are in a good position of alignment when you practice to get the full effect, as the brain will always be on a higher alert when your spine is out of alignment, so practicing whilst laying down in the correct posture (once you've done a few of the classes above) or finding a way to sit correctly is key, you can then practice this in the saddle too.
Once you feel you are understanding your new position a little more I would then look at the Your Seat section of the academy where we can then start to work on creating more space and mobility in the pelvis and thigh angles. Any of the seat classes will work on this so have some fun there. But always make sure you still focus on correct body alignment whilst practicing so you are always coming from the correct place of movement.
The webinar I suggested is the two in the core and contact section Understanding the hands and their jobs, part one and two as I go into what the sympathetic response is here.
I would highly recommend about 10 minutes no stirrup walk work at the start of each ride, just allowing your hips to give a little and your body to feel more open and stable, I would say working on a long rein just let both you and Stormi walk without to much pressure of other exercises focussing on your breathing. Each time you stop in a session for a breather repeat this, and this will help your pelvis stay open and your body patterning stay more in the calm place.
Be aware whilst you start this work you may feel messier than you did before, you are such a neat rider that any movement may feel a bit much, but trust the process, you need to move enough to match Stormi's movement and to get yourself moving you may need to move more than feels "normal" that's all good, so the no stirrup long rein work can be all about you allowing Stormi to move your hips and release you legs.
Let me know if you have any questions
30th May Inperson
It was such a pleasure to meet you on Tuesday.
So just to cover what we looked at and worked on. Initially we took some time to look at your videos and there was a noticeable difference between your left and right side, with your right side being in a really good positions throughout the legs and pelvis and your left side being a little more out of balance.
We also looked at how you were over using your arms for movement, and discussed how the body wants to move between the arms and not the arms move, this helps to balance Stormi as well as for you to feel like you aren't "over" moving.
I really liked the amount of movement in your pelvis and this showed clearly in the way Stormi stepped out.
When I got you to stand there was a noticeable twist to your pelvis with your left hip sitting slightly further back, this rings true of the riding position we saw too.
It was easy to see you had worked really hard on the floor work which was strong and pretty stable, but your body and brain struggled to replicate this when you stood up. This is where your focus wants to now go to.
There was a real feeling that your right side wanted to do everything with your left side not in the brains awareness, this is why when you've worked s well on your position your right side has responded well, but your left not so much. It's just the brain not making the corrections or having the awareness of both sides.
To help bring the left side back on the map we did a lot of balance work and I think this will be your next stage of work, starting with simple one legged balances but maintaining a correct alignment whilst doing them is the first stage and is what we did in front of the mirror. Being careful not to let your Obliques try to do the work of lifting your legs and making sure the movement is coming from within your hip joint. I would recommend doing your balance work in front of a mirror when it is on the ground (not on the balance board) to make sure your body isn't contorting to move correctly.
We then played with the balance board, this has so many benefits, but for you the key for it will be to get the left side working more evenly, it was noticeable after a short time how much more your left side was doing and how much more balanced you were. Id recommend at least 5 minutes a day on the balance board, slowly building up the difficulty, follow the balance board sessions on the academy to help you progress.
We then got on the wobble saddle and your left side was totally different to what we saw in the videos after doing this work, your stirrups to you felt odd, but were in fact even (note, check your own stirrups) because your left side had opened up a lot more, and the leg was more below you. A great sign as already showing we had brought that side into the brains proprioception.
Finishing off with some fun with a hula hoop, I would use a hula hoop to build your canter muscles, especially the mind body connection of being able to hula in both directions as this replicates each lead leg movement. The key is to keep the ribcage still and move the hips.
Use these as your daily doses : https://www.megparkinson.com/wholerider?wix-vod-comp-id=comp-l7xrow6p
For longer sessions:
Balance Board, work through these slowly and daily.
As always let me know if you have any questions