A rider who is functionally strong and balanced will create a strong and balanced horse. As riders, we don’t think of it as science, but strength is a biomechanical process, and correct posture is a requirement for our bodies to move as they were designed.Kathlyn Hossack, Athletic therapist/Kinesiologist.
I read this the other day and it struck a chord with me. Then the next day the online Eldergym class was …Perfect Posture! A serendipity? I think so. I know that my posture on my horse is of primary importance. Sitting properly is how I can be effective on my horse. I am a dressage rider so I must sit upright and have my shoulders, hips and ankles lined up . It should look like I would land standing if the horse was taken out from under me. In other disciplines like the hunter and jumpers (see photos below) it is necessary to be up out of the saddle and perching forward but not for dressage.
The other important aspect of perfect posture is I must be balanced right to left on the horse. If I am leaning left then my horse will go to the left to keep his own balance.
In the right position I can be effective with all of my aids; aids to go forward, to collect, to extend, to go left or to go right. Below is a photo of Biasini and me taken by Susan Stickle in 2018 competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington Florida. My posture is ok but not perfect.
Below is a photo of prefect posture. Straight and upright but not tight . Able to give the most effective aids. This is my coach Belinda Trussell competing for Canada on her horse Tattoo at the World Equestrian Games in 2018.
I am always working on getting my posture better. I have a slight curvature of the spine so it may never be perfect but I am working with the Eldergym classes to get it as close as I can. When I sit up and strive for perfect posture everything goes better in the ride.