Centaur Biomechanics Rider Analysis Clinic – 5th June 2016
Ah, there’s nothing like a watching a close up, slo-mo video of your body wibbly-wobbling around in a skin tight jacket to make you realise you must be trying out a new equestrian adventure, and that you really must stick to that diet!
Today I attended the Centaur Biomechanics Rider Analysis clinic arranged by the riding club. Apart from the aforementioned, it was an amazing clinic, I didn’t know you could learn so much in 45 minutes!
The clinic was run by Russell Guire, who is the director of Centaur Biomechanics and the British Equestrian Federation’s Performance Analyst, and a very nice chap too.
After a brief warm up I donned said skin tight jacket. The jacket has various straight lines on it so that when you are videoed riding in the jacket you can see how straight you are riding. My saddle and Gus were also kitted out with some markers so that we could see how straight I was sitting on Gus. Russell then videoed us doing to some basic movements in all 3 paces and then we reviewed the videos.
Well the good news is I ride lovely and straight on the left rein, WOO HOO! Sadly not so much on the right, on the right rein I sit to the left and in general my upper body position could do with some work too……
Then we did a very interesting exercise, taking away the stirrups, turn down the centre line and then close your eyes and ride a straight line. When Russell asked me to open my eyes Gus was way over to the left of the centre line, showing how me sitting to the left affects how the horse goes. Wow, what a revelation! When we repeated the exercise it felt like I was riding to the right but actually this time we were much straighter, third time was a charm.
We then worked on some simple exercises to help me sit straight on the right rein and immediately I could feel the difference and I now know what it feels like when I am sitting square on the horse on the right rein and if I’m not what to do to straighten myself up.
After taking the stirrups back we dropped them a hole, putting my leg in a better position but after the short session without stirrups and learning how to sit evenly they felt the right length. We then continued with some more exercises to help me improve my position in trot and canter and to improve Gus’s straightness in the canter.
I thought it was an amazing session. It’s always great to remind yourself how much your own position and balance affects your horse’s way of going. So, in conclusion, I’m going to start every riding session without stirrups and ensure I’m sitting evenly, shorten my reins, bend my elbows and kick on!
When this finally comes out in the newsletter perhaps you would like to contact me and see if I stuck to it :@)