Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Biomechanics and Pilates Clinic 6/12/11

Today was the start of something fantastic. The first of many Biomechanics clinics was held today at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center. Taught by Susan Peacock and Kendel Pink it was an amazingly educational experience.

Everyone was on time which is always a great way to start a clinic. :) Everyone got settled with a mat, a medicine ball and a shavings bag. Susan Peacock started with an explanation of how our body relates to the horses body. She explained that by directing the horse correctly with our body we could make it easier for the horse to understand and do what we wanted.

Then we got down to work, Kendel Pink spent the next 2 hours working on our breathing, and giving us exercises to determine where our strengths and weaknesses were. I particularly like the exercise called 'dead bug' which helped me identify my back line while keeping my abs engaged.

After many giggles, grunts and groans we had each learned something new about how our bodies want to behave. I learned that continuing to breathe as the exercises got harder was challenging and that my chest is extremely tight, so I am working on opening it by letting my shoulder blades slide into place on my back. Everyone stood up shook themselves out and after a short lunch break we got into the riding portion of the day.

Everyone started in the arena halted and had Susan and Kendel help them find their neutral pelvis and stable leg position. Then came the hard part. Remembering everything we just learned now apply it to riding a square. Stay lifted, breath, twist your rib cage without loosing your center of gravity, now straighten. Every stride became an isometric workout, you could see the difference in the horses as the rider became straighter and more balanced.

Everyone loved their lessons. Each rider came away with something concrete they could work on, both on and off the horse.

My lesson was phenomenal, I rode Prinz who is still a little unsteady in the connection at times. He was so solid for my entire ride I wanted to jump up and down for joy. You can watch my ride here: Erin's Biomechanics Lesson

By the end of the day everyone wanted to know how soon Susan and Kendel could come back, no one could get enough. The next clinic is scheduled for October 8th and 9th of 2011. Contact me if you would like to come. :)