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String of pearls

It is always hard to feel where your own body is when you are riding, and since most of us are crooked without us even noticing, we have to learn to become aware of our own bodies.

One of the best ways to teach our bodies what to do, is to make use of imagery. It is much easier to imagine some picture, rather than going through all the technical, often boring, details of the correct anatomical terms. Not every rider is an anatomy geek (like me) so not every rider wants to have an anatomy lesson in order to ride.

We all aim to sit upright and in balance on a horse, and one of the pictures we can use to attain that, is to imagine our vertebrae strung together like a string of pearls. This image has various benefits: we know what a string of pearls look like, we know a string of pearls is not fixed, we can imagine that the string of pearls can collapse and we can imagine that a string of pearls can sway in any direction.

The use of the string of pearls as our vertebrae can then help us to stay in a more upright position, we can imagine what would happen to the string of pearls when we turn around a corner, we can also imagine what would happen to the string of pearls when they collapse, and how to stretch our spine in order for the string of pearls to stay in an upright position.

Riding should not be more difficult than it already is, we should just use our gift of imagination in more creative ways.