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Phips Lesson Debrief

Hi Phips,

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17th October 2023

Session Summery

So good to meet you yesterday and see your lovely family of horses and humans, you did brilliantly at taking on the information and placing it into action, you obviously know what you are feeling and can make your body respond to requests, lots of riders wouldn't be able to make those changes so quickly so well done.

So just a basic debrief of yesterday to help you remember what we worked on and then below will follow some exercises that will help you pin point the areas of the body to get the improvement even quicker.

On initial assessment your left to right balance was really good, there was little evidence of you collapsing, dropping or unbalancing to one side, the only real difference between the two sides was that the left hip angle was much more closed than the right, this gave you the feeling that your thigh and leg were further forwards on the left side and also that the left hip didn't seem to move as well.

The areas of your body where you mentioned weren't feeling great all pointed to the same source of something not being fully balanced in the pelvis so this is why we took the stirrups away. You length of stirrup at the start gave me the feeling of you being blocked so I wanted to see how much ROM (range of movement) was actually there.

When we took the stirrups away you had a good degree of movement, but had mentioned you felt you had lacked stability when you dropped your stirrups before, I believe this is due to a weakness in the core, the deep core is essential for stability and balance, and so when we remove the brains ability to lock ourselves in with the hips the core has to do it's job, if it s misaligned or weak then this is hard and the feeling instability comes into play.

Therefore a lot of your exercises are going to be based around the core, when we have the strength in the core to support ourselves our hips can release the need too "hold" and their ROM increases even more which is what we want.

Without stirrups there were key areas that needed focus:

- core alignment and central line switch on, making sure you ribcage was neutral and not jutting forwards to help support your deep core

- inner thigh connection, especially when it is your outside leg to help support the outside shoulder and your horses balance

- ribcage rotation around the corners, twisting from the waste and growing tall as you turn to help maintain even balance and also support through your body 

- allowing the pelvis to stay mobile whilst riding through the turns and bends, especially the inside hip

When we got these three areas working together your ability channel the energy and also stay open was fabulous and he really responded, especially on circles.

Key exercises to help you focus on these were alternating between squares, circles and diamonds, this means you aren't reliant on the walls for straightness but you have to also remember to turn your ribcage and support through the corners.

When you took the stirrups we dropped the 6 holes! I think that's a record for me in one go!! But immediately your pelvis was able to free up his back and you matched his movement so much more, he responded to this by listening more and giving you a bigger stride.

Rising trot was then the next focus, working on creating a rise that was less "up down" and more forwards and back with the pelvis, taking the hips to the hands and keeping an awareness of a bent elbow in the trot so you didn't drop the connection when he started to carry himself.

Using the inside of thigh to support you you were able to lift his energy and again channel it through, this resulted in a longer bigger stride. The key here was your right side, now that we had unlocked the hips it started to show through what was happening, your left side was over holding whilst your right side in hip and hand was too loose, by engaging the inner thigh of the right leg and being more aware of a bent elbow in the right hand he was bale to really balance himself as were you.

This is going to require you to practice some balance work to get the right side working on stability.

Followed are some sessions I'd recommend, any questions give me a shout

Well done cracking first session


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