When is a zipper not a zipper? When it’s a training aid for the dressage rider! And where did I learn this? From my Florida coach Lou Denizard! If you follow this blog you will have already learned that Lou is always coming up with “outside of the box” training ideas. So here is the zipper.
We have had some quite cool weather in Florida this winter and I have been able to wear a nice fleece lined vest that fastens in front with a white zipper. Lou caught on to the white zipper the first time I wore the vest. In dressage arenas there are always mirrors at one end of the arena so you can see yourself and your horse as you ride toward the mirrors.
“Look at your white zipper,” Lou said. ” You have to keep that zipper straight!” I was surprised to find how often my zipper would be off to the right or to the left a bit or not quite straight. When I did keep it straight everything went much better. Here are some photos with the positions a bit exaggerated to give you the idea.
Whoops! My left hip is collapsed.
Now my right hip is collapsed!Here I am twisting my torso.But here I am straight and the zipper confirms that!You don’t have a garment with a white zipper? No worries. I think some white tape could serve as well. Once you have the visual you can keep it in your mind and even without the white zipper or tape you will look at yourself as you ride and know if you are ‘off ‘. Soon it will become ingrained in your ‘feel’ as you ride.
Good luck and if you to try it let me know how it goes.
*Special thanks to my horse Biasini for being a patient model in these photos.*