Here's your own page where we'll record all things that we do so you can access at any time
1st session 28th June 2023
Sally 28th June
Such a good session to begin with, you have a really nice ability to feel responses from your horse and this is a great skill to have as your feed back can be instant, your hands are quiet and you have a sense to your riding of calm softness which I really like.
When you watch the video back you will see we are working on the basics of a balanced seat to begin with, my aim as a coach is to get you in your own self carriage where your horse can then find their own balance underneath you, and I get the feeling where you've been told to correct and tried to help your horse you've ended up over correcting and in this case becoming less balanced. Unfortunately when we do this the issue we are trying to "fix" tends to create new issues when we don't focus on maintaining balance within our position.
I say this because in the process of rebalancing there will be moments where she gives you a "yes" but there will also be moments where it doesn't feel perfect as you both remind your own balance where you aren't reliant on one another to hold each other up. As a coach in these moments what I'm looking for is the simple things like a balanced stride, a subtle shift in weight over to all four legs and a want to take the neck out because she feels balanced enough to do so.
Over time she will feel confident in being able to self manage her own balance and these responses will become more regular and she will feel then able to increase her level of balance through her bend.
As you pointed out pretty early you feel she tells you she'd rather you have a little more weight into your pubic bone, this is because the way you naturally want to hold yourself in your saddle is a bit too much on your seat bones, so to search for that feeling of a little more weight into your pubic bone is key for you at the moment to help your pelvis maintain a neutral alignment so that you can move in a more efficient way as well as so that your weight is better distributed across her back front to back, when you see yourself in the video you will see the moments that you feel like you are "leaning forwards" you are over the centre of her point of balance and when you sink back into the seat bones you find your way behind her balance and this sends her through her shoulders and into the floor a bit.
To help with your pelvic mobility I would highly recommend staring every session without your stirrups as this helps you to find your balance and your legs to drop more into the balanced position. No stirrups in the walk help you to also feel left and right changes when working through the bend.
Coupled with the pelvis the ribcage alignment is key to your own balance, as you know from your pilates you have a tendency to drop the upper part of your ribcage backwards and pop your lower breast bone forwards, this sits your ribcage behind the movement, so focusing on realigning your ribcage so it is above your pelvis with your breast bone pointing downwards is key here as this not only places you over yours and hers central point of balance but also engages your deep core to give you more of a secure support from your centre.
To work on this there are a few resources I'm going to guide you towards
A class focussing on this alignment:
Head to https://www.megparkinson.com/coreandcontact and then go to the video named How the core plays a part in good movement and good riding
Once you've done this you can then play with the daily dose classes on this page as they are short so easier to fit onto your day but still working on this.
Audio lessons to begin with:
AL 1 - Are you sitting comfortably
AL 30 - Are you sitting comfortably part 2
Keeping the legs evenly long is one of the things we started to work on, theres a tendency to allow your body to be shaped by what is happening below, and what I mean by this is as you feel correcting needing to be made the Levis and length of leg contorts to try and rectify this, unfortunately this creates an imbalance. So starting to get the feeling of lengthening through the legs and allowing the opening of the muscles of the pelvis is really key.
We then, towards the end started to look at the rotation of your thigh alignment against the saddle, and how we want to get more internal rotation of the thigh to bring the calf off her side so your leg pressure can be much more selective.
This Podcast will also address this https://www.megparkinson.com/podcast/episode/3bdb1baf/e52-lets-talk-about-thigh-positioning-in-the-rider
To complete the homework section I would highly recommend you invest in a balance board, don't spend more than £20 on one, take a look at this one as I think it's one of the best, and head to the Balance Board section here, doing 5 minutes a day on this will massively help your left side come back onto the map and rebalance your proprioception of your body, this will help you to make quicker corrections and feel able to find neutrality much more consistently onboard.
After thinking about what you can do whilst you are riding I fell onto this schooling idea for you to work on whilst you are thinking about the position that we worked on, theres a few versions of this to keep it interesting, but I'd highly recommend setting up your arena with his to help both of you find balance and focus too.
Any questions let me know