The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:05 am

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 91 posts ]  Go to page Previous 1 2 3 4 57 Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:39 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 15, 2007 2:40 pm
Posts: 4733
Location: Belgium
of course toes out is only really an issue when one has spurs :lol:

It' s riding with leather and iron which makes everything difficult and complicated :wink:

_________________
www.equusuniversalis.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:38 am 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
Josepha wrote:
of course toes out is only really an issue when one has spurs :lol:

It' s riding with leather and iron which makes everything difficult and complicated :wink:


Oh, Josepha, thank you for saying this! :-)

There is something very nice visually about the line of the leg with knee and toes pointed forward, but I've fretted about how it's physiologically problematic for people, especially on a wide-barreled horse.

When you open your hips naturally, your legs turn out (so your toe turns out as well a bit) -- while it's possible to keep your knees forward (in "neutral" rather than "turn out" in dancer parlance) it's MUCH harder in this position to keep your hips loose and open. I think this is one of the reasons why people tense up through their hips/pelvis -- and then into their core.

I also, after having a trainer put my foot repeatedly into the "right" position, could feel that it stretched the outer ligaments on the ankle badly -- again, physiologically incorrect -- and in my case, quite painful. The line from the hip to the knee, and then the knee to the ankle, should be continuous -- the amount of turnout in the hip the same as in the knee and the same as in the ankle. Otherwise you run the risk of straining tendons! After battling with this for a while, we finally found a midway point that still allowed me to open my hips but didn't have me essentially doing a second position plié with accompanying ninety degree turned out toes! We hit about a 45 degree angle, which seems to work really well, at least for my body.
:-)

This way, my calf muscles, adductors and hamstrings all become part of the communication -- feels more like a true hug on the horse's barrel than gripping like mad with mostly just the adductors.

But, as you point out, no pointy sharp things to dig into your horse's side removes the reason to try and do these contortions!

:-)

Best,
Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:00 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
Hmm, that is interesting about the toes. What about when you're just standing or walking normally and toe out? (That is what I do.) If I focus, I can walk and stand with my feet straight, and eventually it becomes habit (kind of), but I still tend to toe out -- even a lot. Is that indicative of something "out of place" in my stance or body? Or is it normal? Would it adversely affect my riding?

_________________
"Do you give the horse his strength?"
~Job 39:19a

www.cambriahorsemanship.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:09 am 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
Makana wrote:
Hmm, that is interesting about the toes. What about when you're just standing or walking normally and toe out? (That is what I do.) If I focus, I can walk and stand with my feet straight, and eventually it becomes habit (kind of), but I still tend to toe out -- even a lot. Is that indicative of something "out of place" in my stance or body? Or is it normal? Would it adversely affect my riding?


Hey Hannah!

That's a good question.

And I'm going to respond with a couple other questions... :wink:

When you're walking, is your whole leg turning out from the hip? Or are you turning out from the knee? Or from the ankle?

Here's what I was taught:

The best position for your leg while walking is to have your leg come straight from the center of the hip joint, straight through the knee joint, and straight through the foot. The line goes through the center of all of these, so your foot is actually lining up with your ankle through to your second toe (generally) rather than your big toe. (You can actually do this with your finger or even a pen -- you'll probably feel like your feet are slightly turned in!)

If you turn out when you walk, you are placing strains on your hips, the ligaments in your knees, and the ligaments/tendons in your ankles. If you're turning out from the hip, while there is still a strain, it's less of a strain than if it was simply emanating from your knee (your medial collateral ligament, the one on the inside of your knee would take most of the torque), or from your ankle, in which case case those medial ligaments will take most of the strain -- though your lateral (exterior side) ligaments can become weakened and/or shortened. In any case, the arches of your feet are likely to get a bit strained.

If you're turning out from your hip, this is probably the least potentially damaging of the three places, as the torque is spread out through the entire leg rather than stressing one particular joint. In my experience, though, most people who walk toes out are turning out from the ankle.

Once you've got your toes, knees, and hips lined up correctly, you then want to spend a little time watching how your weight hits the ground -- like horses, our heels should hit first (but softly, on the ball of the heel, not slapping down on the far back end of it) -- and then, in our case, we should roll through the foot through the step so we're pushing weight off the ball of the foot before we lift it.

I don't know that this would affect your riding directly, but I think it's worth working on for your joint health long term.

Just found a really interesting article on barefoot walking -- looks like our horses aren't the only ones that are in the midst of a barefoot revolution!

http://nymag.com/health/features/46213/

Hope this is helpful, Hannah.

Hugs,
Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:47 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:15 pm
Posts: 123
Location: the Minnesota prairie, USA
slightly off topic -- but --

glory be Leigh!!! Thank you for that link - I feel vindicated after years of people telling me I'm ruining my feet going barefoot!

Back on topic --
I finally got it when I was told to keep my feet and legs as if I would stand if the horse disappeared out from beneath me.. and for me that meant toeing out slightly. -- and keep the upper body vertical.
As long as my legs hang down without tension - with shortened stirrup length that meant knees pointing down more than I was used to. Less like chair seat more like remount seat -( that is a light 3 point I think?) But most important was to relax my hips so I wasn't perching on top of the saddle instead of relaxing into it. I was told "It shouldn't be hard work to stay in balance". Relax into position rather than force position .. that trainer had studied Centered Riding and other movement studies. Also - riding relaxed in the saddle takes away the body's influence on the horse. It's hard to drive a horse on his forehand for example.

She also told me that if I was relaxed and in balance I should find it easy to stay with the horse no matter what the horse did. Easy because forcing brings tension and tension pops you right out of the saddle. So - hard because relaxing down with gravity is actually hard to learn because you have to [i]let go[i] !!

I hope this isn't more information than you wanted -- written from a slightly different angle than other posts --


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:02 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
i know the story of the pointed toes hahahaha...i was told many times that they have to be straight. Each time i did that the horse start running very fast :-) and i got pissed on the instructor and told her to let it be if she don't wanted a bad horse in the group. hahaha
But still it has to be straight she said and did not wanted to listen. But i had already in my mind to quit riding up there and follow a course for driving. So i have done that...its now for many years ago..hahahaha...
i ride always with the toes out, when i walk it is the same. When i try to put them right i feel like out of balance and have to force my whole body, this give for the horse wrong information, so it is not strange that they wanna run if i try to put my toes right.
So i dont try it and don't put any energie in it. I sit as i sit who cares???


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:29 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6076
Location: Dresden, Germany
inge wrote:
i know the story of the pointed toes hahahaha...i was told many times that they have to be straight. Each time i did that the horse start running very fast :-)


Haha, for me it is the opposite: whenever I tried to turn my toes inwards, Titum stopped due to the strange tension in my body. And I could not sit like that in faster gaits as I can´t go with the horse´s movement anymore when I am tensed like this. I would really love to have a riding lesson from a good (preferably centered riding) instructor again. I only had lessons when I was between eleven and twelve years, and then one more lesson after years when I got Titum, but except for that I have only learned what my horses have taught me and done what felt comfortable - but I would love to improve my seat. Maybe one day Josepha will visit us? What about having the next AND summer meeting at my place? Then you all could teach Titum, Summy, Pia and me all he wonderful things you are doing. And the horses can teach you and go for nice walks and rides with you in return. :)


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 2:39 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
Thank you, Leigh! I THINK I turn out from the hips... it's difficult to tell, but that seems to be where the turn is coming from. I used to focus a lot more on rotating my leg in from the hip (not the knee) and the toed-out thing went away. I remember reading somewhere that you suggested to turn your leg in, lift your leg straight in front with pointed toes (like a dancer), and rotate the leg in from the hip. Is that correct? And are there other ways of helping correct the posture?

Thank you! I love learning about this... someday I may like to get into dance, it's just so interesting, practical, beautiful and artistic all at once...

_________________
"Do you give the horse his strength?"
~Job 39:19a

www.cambriahorsemanship.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 6:17 am 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
Hey Hannah, you're so welcome! It's fun to think about.

I think you should definitely try dance classes at some point! Big fun, and I think you'd have a knack. 23 (And for work like this, a good modern or ballet class would help with this -- jazz, tap, hip hop less so -- in my experience they tend to spend less time on technique.)

And yes, doing the exercise where you're pointing your toe and rotating from the hip is great -- you can do this standing up, with your leg coming straight out in front of you (standing with your feet shoulder width apart), and you can also do it sitting or lying down. (Or all three!)

In terms of becoming more conscious of your posture, pilates and yoga both would be helpful, and/or martial arts -- the biggest step is to build awareness of how your body is moving.

Check out youtube and search "modern dance class warmups" -- there are a whole series of videos with some good exercises you can try.

And, just to expand your brain a little bit ;-) here are two dance concepts/disciplines that I think are fascinating to think about in terms of working and playing with horses:

1. Laban Movement Analysis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laban_Movement_Analysis
http://www.xoe.com/LisaSandlos/lma.html
I did some looking and it's harder to find basic info on this on the web than I'd hoped, but it's a way of analyzing and codifying movement -- quality, direction, weight, etc. I studied this in college -- very intriguing.

2. Contact Improv
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_improvisation
I think this is what we do (or can do!) with our horses, metaphorically, and at times, literally.

Quote:
Contact Improvisation is a moving massage. It is a dance that fine tunes your senses and wakes up your ability to listen and respond to what is happening in the moment. If you could do Aikido, surf, wrestle and dance at the same time, you would have an idea of what Contact Improvisation feels like. What makes Contact different from other dance is that partners are often moving in and out of physical contact while rolling, spiraling, springing and falling. They find ways to "enjoy the ride" and improvise while mutually supporting and following each others movements. The dancing is unpredictable and inspired by the physical and energetic contact the partners share.

From: http://www.contactimprov.net/about.html

Quote:
In the end, the secret of contact's flourishing lies in its ability to remain in the moment, without expectations for the future or attempts to recapture the past. Many practitioners have described its curious Taoist quality, the suspension of will required to respond to a partner in a spontaneous way.

From: http://www.villagevoice.com/2002-12-03/news/on-balance/

And does this sound at all like AND?
Quote:
First, I am not so sure that we want a ?unified methodology to guide our movements?. My understanding is that in the early years of birthing this form, there were lengthy, heated discussions on whether or not to standardize it. It was decided not to.
It was left open, with one operative- to take care of yourself, first.

I am drawn to the openness of the form. Forms are created to serve a purpose.
When they are open they can change according to our changing needs. When they are closed they can become self perpetuating and cease to serve, even become oppressive. Theoretically, anyone can develop their own understanding of C.I. and share it with others. That creates a rich pot of possibilities and plenty of room to keep evolving. C.I. is still a very young form. Developmentally, it is in a time of experimentation and discovery. It’s been fascinating to travel and dance with many many people, to note what is common and what is distinct in their practices.
I’ve come to consider the open format and the missive, to care for myself, profound. It’s puts me in charge of my experience, insists I be responsible
(often kicking and screaming) to the fears, prejudices, defenses, insecurities, etc.
that I’ve accumulated, that obscure joy.

And yes, I’ve yearned for more unification with others in the form.
Many times I’ve been at a loss to find a connection with someone. Frustrated, confused, wondering what the hell it is they think we’re doing! But, slowly over the years, C.I. has taught me to open to the process of trusting in and exploring our differences. It is altering how I perceive unification. I’m hungry to know more about our differences of perception and what they can teach us about humanness,
our ultimate unification.
I’d like C.I. ‘swap meets’ to come into vogue. Meetings to swap, show/tell/exchange our unique perspectives, methodologies, skills, rants, raves.... stir up that pot, see what we’ve got, celebrate what we can teach/learn. Play hard, deep in our curiosity.
With practice, investigative exchange could become our unifying methodology.
The more we share the more we have in common.
C.I. is the improvisation of sharing who we are. There are no rules.
Only the responsibility to being and the curiosity to be together.

From: http://www.contactimprov.net/stuart-dialog.html

Hope you enjoy!

Hugs,
Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:26 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
You can also "cheat" and get those rubber inserts for the stirrup irons that are slightly wedged. This helped me lots with the toe out issue and it was not so pronounced that it caused any pain for me. It did get my leg in a better position and more relaxed and also put my weight evenly in the stirrup.

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:01 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
Thank you SO much, Leigh!! You're such a wonderful wealth of information. 23 :applause: I will look at those websites.

And, yes, the dancing... I'll be going to college next fall and so hope to maybe with a few "fun classes" start dance/gymnastics/figure skating -- things I used to do when I was little and then stopped (much to my current despair!). How long have you been dancing? (Haha, not to get this TOO off-topic!)

_________________
"Do you give the horse his strength?"
~Job 39:19a

www.cambriahorsemanship.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 5:23 pm 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
I'm always up for off topic! 29 (My nickname in undergraduate school was "Meandering Melander"...with good reason!) 29

I danced seriously for about 25 years, professionally for about 12, and then spent another handful of years doing movement theater.

I haven't been taking class regularly for a while -- need to change this, as I miss it dreadfully! And I'm flabby! 28 I'm working right now on trying to help get a dance/exercise studio open at a resource center down the street from my house so I can get some classes going there (figure if it's a few seconds from my door and I've agreed to teach that will force me to make time for it!). 23

And I've been getting more and more intrigued with the idea of contact improv with my horses -- the longer I do AND and the more our awareness of movement, movement quality, and each other grows, the more it feels like a dance partnering to me. I'd really love to get back into dancing shape as I'm getting Circe prepped to be ridden -- I have fantasies of exploring how we move with each other when I'm on her that aren't bound by the "butt in the saddle, leg in one position" traditions of riding...

Where are you thinking about for college Hannah? How exciting! What an amazing experience. And I so think you should explore other movement disciplines while you're there -- I can guarantee you that it will deepen your understanding of riding. (And fun classes are important! And you already know this because of all of your independent learning, but studies have shown that up to 80% of real "learning" at universities come with all of the things students do that aren't totally academic -- it's called "contextual learning" -- being in community, exploring things outside what they normally do, extra-curricular activities, etc.)

And so this isn't completely, egregiously, off topic...I haven't taken centered riding lessons (would love to at some point) but I have read some of Sally Swift's work, and it feels very dance-like to me.

23

Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:22 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:10 am
Posts: 3688
Location: Pacific Northwest U.S.
Morgan wrote:
You can also "cheat" and get those rubber inserts for the stirrup irons that are slightly wedged. This helped me lots with the toe out issue and it was not so pronounced that it caused any pain for me. It did get my leg in a better position and more relaxed and also put my weight evenly in the stirrup.


It's no more cheating than wearing shoes that fit, that differ from the run of the mill.

I often lent my double offsets (Stuebben, as far as I know is the only company that makes them, or at any rate sells them in the U.S.) to beginners because they could far more easily relax into the heel down, toe out position. They both slant down to the rear, and have the stirrup leather hole in the top offset to the outside, so the inside end of the tread drops.

There is a passage in Sally Swift's first book, discussing foot and lower leg position where she clearly describes this position, heel down, toe out slightly (you can't point your toe out with your heel up without rolling onto the inside edge of the ball of your foot) that she refers to creating a brace for the lower leg. Yes, that's her word. Brace.

I was recently accused elsewhere (Not AND) of advocating and entire school of riding method where one "braces" the body (absolute nonsense) because I discussed how this position removes, for jumping and faster cross country work, the natural wobbliness of the lower leg (ankle specifically) under stress.

There's nothing especially new in this. In fact, it's been around for quite some time. 70 years to my knowledge, when it showed up the first time at the 36 Olympics being used, along with the forward seat, used by the Italian team that swept the stadium jumping events. It did cause bent noses among two nations horse people, but the rest of the world interested in jumping quickly adopted it. The U.S. not only adopted it, and the seat it came with, but invited the developer, Sr Caprilli to the U.S. Others in the U.S. saw and learned. A Russian ex-pat, Vladimir Littauer was responsible for it spreading quickly in the U.S. and of course to other nations as well, as he wrote extensively on this subject.

Caprilli, sadly, died, I believe in one of our major U.S. cities, in a fall with a horse on a wet cobble stone street, about a year after arriving here. I try to remember that when I grouse about putting on a hard hat for more active types of riding.

Not enough emphasis has been placed on this issue of stirrup, foot, ankle, lower leg position I fear. It's such a given in the jumping arena that it's assumed riders learned it as children, and it's automatic at the point they come to competition.

I have seen this lack of attention to it result in some relaxing of this standard, and I have seen some riders in Eventing, where there seems to still be a belief one must brace with feet forward over big jumps (a false assumption based on a lack of awareness of both horse and human rider biomechanics). And there are too many fatalities and injuries in this sport.

I do wish, if they are going to do it, (I am not a proponent of eventing personally) I do wish they would revisit this issue. I sent young women, and a few young men to compete for some years in Eventing (called Three Day back then), with never a fall. Not one. Because I was a stubborn task master when it came to this exercise and discipline of leg-ankle-foot.

And no one that learns it has ever complained that it is stiff or tense. In fact it is a way to relax into a safe comfortable and secure position.

If one looks at the mechanics of the lower leg it starts to become obvious.

Sprains to the ankle rarely involved ligaments on the inside of the ankle and foot. It's the outside that is weak and not built to absorb shock. One can engage the tendon of the massive calf and tendon combination to absorb a huge amount of shock, IF the heel is down. If not, that shock can go either way of center, to one side or the other. If it goes to the ouside and the ankle folds so that ligaments (bone to bone connectors) are put understress stability is lost (one wobbles, and strains, and ultimately sprains).

If one googles the term 'pronation,' and reads what experts on this subject say, they discuss how our foot naturally comes down with slight pronation to the outside, and rolles not over the full ball of the foot, so much as the part behind the big toe. This slight angle would tend, I profess logically, to cause staying off the weaker outside of the ankle and letting the stronger inside of the ankle absorb the shock and provide strength to the stride through to it's finish.

On horseback that would translate as allowing the the ankle to flex toward it's stronger side, built to limit the range of motion BEFORE ligaments are over stretched and strained.

If you look at pictures of the structure and do a simple experiment it becomes more obvious that rolling the ankle out, you put put those ligaments under high stress, while rolling it in, relaxes them and the bone structure itself now engages the achilles tendon and it's associated large calf muscle as a shock absorber.

You may see this at http://www.eorthopod.com/images/Content ... dons04.jpg where one can study both this view and others, and read descriptions of how this joint works.

Image

And here is the experiment. I don't recommend it if you have weak or injured ankles or lower leg. Supporting yourself, and in bare or stockinged feet, stand with feet about a foot apart, and roll your ankle joints outward...do this carefully and slowly and stop if you feel too much strain. Note that there is no solid stopping point. If you continued the roll you would "sprain an ankle." Don't push that far.

Now go the opposite direction. Note that there is a distinct sense that the range of motion will run out and the ankle will be supported without spraining.

http://www.northcoastfootcare.com/footcare-info/ankle-sprains.html

I think of those thin bands of ligaments that tear more easily as the fine motor control devices, while the heavy ligaments on the inside to the fibula and the large tendon to the achillies are the stout foundation weight bearers.

Those that study to train athletes, or teach exercise mechanics know perfectly well, as do physical therapists, that joints, while free to move in one direction have limited range in another. And it's this arrangement and similar that makes this possible. You cannot safely hold your weight under stress with just the outside ligaments.

The lower leg was built to absorb shock, a lot of it. And the suspension of the upper body and thighs on the tendon and ligament complex through the knee and hip is another shock absorbing system, though not nearly as strong as the calves, and achilles tendons. Until you look at the thigh, and the huge quadriceps bundle. Those below the hip, and the gluteous maximus above open and close the hip. They need all the stability they can get, to be able to follow the horse's movement. Thus, immobilizing the lower leg into as solid a platform as possible aids in riding over jumps.

Things we think are true about the foot and ankle turn out, when you take them apart, to be not so. I think it can be seen how both pronation, and rotation of the ankle joint through the lateral-median line works, here:
[url]
http://www.northcoastfootcare.com/footc ... atomy.html[/url]

Put them together in a certain configuration and you have a very stable platform to jump from, or rather to absorb the forces involved in the horse jumping while staying with the horse, and much more easily controlling one's connection of one's one balance with the horse's balance.

There are other mechanics that go with the bent knee, the bent hip, and the flexed ankle, rolled inward to the point of it's immobility. Here is where individuals will discover their own unique body responses.

Most will feel, when the toe is turned out, a change in the thigh, knee, and calf along it's posterior inner quarter. The feeling is one of more closeness. Not pinching, but simply closer and more unified as one surface. One can, even with shortened stirrups get a very real feel of lengthening the "leg" line, going deeper around the horse.

There is also a distinct feeling, of one cultivates the vertical line, so that heel, hip, shoulder and ear align, that should the horse evaporate, one would drop to a balanced stable position on the earth.

If one studies the top jumpers, one will find that not only can they open and close their body hinges for following the horse's center of gravity under the effects of forces of overcoming inertia (we all it balance -- meaning the dynamic of retaining it under force)
but they do so with an almost still leg. It is as though their knee has a pin running through it, through the horse, and out the other knee.

The leg is still against the horse and saddle.

Well you fall off if it isn't? No, but you will have to make all kinds of adjustments to maintain your seat if your leg can swing about freely in a jump.

It's stillness, both forward and back, of the platform of support (foot and ankle, and lower leg making up that platform) in relation to a vertical line that provides the base one needs to maintain over the extreme forces of the horse's jump.

The sensation that people who try this ankle foot configuration for the first time experience as strain or tension is nothing more than the new stretching of the tendons and goes away as the tendon and muscle accommodate and relax.

Relaxation of a muscle and tendon combination is aided by stretching it first.

As you age, and you will 29 you'll find more and more that if you don't stretch you will stiffen. And you will become tense. Muscles must be used, tensed and released, if one is to remain strong, flexible, and capable of relaxation.

Heels down, please. Toe out just a bit. The roll of the ankle joint tells you how far. Not some arbitrary instructors degrees of angle.

Thanks for reading this far. This kind of stuff can be deadly dry and boring when it would be so much more fun to be with your horse. Go.

Me, I'm going to go feed and exercise Altea now.

Donald

_________________
Love is Trust, trust is All
~~~~~~~~~
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:34 am 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
Quote:
I danced seriously for about 25 years , professionally for about 12, and then spent another handful of years doing movement theater.


Hahahahahaha!

Apparently our new smilies have number values -- that should be "twenty-five" not 25!!!!
Donald, I found your post really interesting. Thanks for sharing.

You wrote:
Quote:
If you look at pictures of the structure and do a simple experiment it becomes more obvious that rolling the ankle out, you put put those ligaments under high stress, while rolling it in, relaxes them and the bone structure itself now engages the achilles tendon and it's associated large calf muscle as a shock absorber.


Yes, pronation works these muscles (I'm sitting here flexing my ankle and rotating it! 23). And I can definitely see how this could create a solid base (or brace!) for the leg if you're jumping or responding to a spook. I think this is a great tool!! I will happily add it to my proverbial kit.

However, from my world of dance training, I would caution riders from using this ankle rotation on a regular basis or for extended periods of time. Pronation is a strain on both interior and exterior ligaments and surrounding muscles if its done repetitively and/or with tension, or with weight landing on it. (I can feel the strain in my exterior ligaments just sitting here working my ankle in this way -- they feel pinched.)

Over pronation (or "rolling in" at the ankles, in common dance parlance) is one of the things that can keep physical therapists in business! 23 it can lead to foot pain and knee pain, shin splints, achilles tendinitis, posterior tibial tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis.

http://www.ourhealthnetwork.com/conditi ... nation.asp

Here's a great visual of pronation (rolling in) and supination (rolling out) while standing:

http://www.dancehere.com/danceadvantage-sickling/

I love this woman's description of how her dance teacher helped her to adjust her ankle rotation correctly while standing:
Quote:
An image which my dance teacher used to help us remember not to pronate while standing was to imagine a little mouse family all snug in their beds under your arch. Allow the foot to roll in and the little mice will be awfully squished and have to wriggle out.


Physiologically, it is much better for us to flex our ankles in a neutral position.



And when I ride, a deep flex of the ankle, with the toe pointing slightly out, following the turnout of the hip as I open them to hug the horse's barrel, gives me really good stability for almost everything we do. But -- as I said, I can totally see using that pronated/flexed ankle to build stabiity for big and/or unexpected movement is a great tool to have in the kit!

Thanks, Donald.

23

Best,
Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Centered Riding
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Donald, thank you.
I will reread this again to make sure I have fully understood it.

As for my tread, they were really cheap and I have seen them at a few shops. They are not branded at all so maybe are made locally?

The one's I have are like a door stop with the lower end on the inside and have a grip across the tread. They fit any standard iron.

The reason I first bought them is that I had a lot of trouble keeping my lower leg back and heels down and still feel secure. This meant that the correct length of stirrup was longer tthan the length I was riding in but my feet always felt just about to slip out and I was constantly fidgeting with them and not relaxed, The extra height they gave me to the outside immediately felt secure and it was one less thing my brain had to think about. My leg was relaxed and now it was moving with the movement of the horse and not mine.

I think this is okay for the health of my ankle. It feels a natural position.

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 91 posts ]  Go to page Previous 1 2 3 4 57 Next

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited Color scheme created with Colorize It.