Equestrian Challenge

Now that I’m back horse riding again, I thought I’d take the opportunity to start re-looking at all my dressage / flatwork books / horsey magazines etc. for some inspiration about what I can do when I’m out hacking and my head is cranked around to the left (thanks to dystonia for that!).

The first thought that strikes me is why do people say that the magazine print industry is in decline? A random sample of the rubbish in our kitchen includes 5 copies of “Horse and Hound”, 4 copies of “Horse and Rider” and the same again for “Your Horse” magazine. A lone copy of “The Economist” shows that I do have other interests and the pile of various Sci-fi mags tells you why my husband prefers to sit in the car when I to go to the stables.

The next thought which slowly trundles along is, why don’t I look like Sylvia Loch when I ride? She looks amazing. I reckon I’ve spent about £10M (just feels like it) and I can still look like a sack of potatoes going round a 20m circle on a bad day.

So, a challenge to any fellow equestrian enthusiasts out there … What can I do that will ensure my riding doesn’t get stale, bearing in mind I can only do anything ‘more complicated’ on the left rein?

To date, I’ve been riding a 17.3 un-co-ordinated, long legged horse and I will be down-sizing, probably for the summer, onto a bombproof, 14.3, chunky pony whilst my neck gets straightened out.

I’ll be posting progress (on not) here.

Happy riding.


About Dystonia Girl

Horse rider who loves to blog and do lots of other things too. Lives with, but is not defined by, a rare neurological condition called Dystonia.
This entry was posted in Dystonia, Horse Riding and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Equestrian Challenge

  1. Hello 🙂 I just came across your blog. I have a great interest in everything to do with biomechanics but never taught anyone with dystonia so will be looking out for your posts!

    • Hi
      Thanks for contacting me. Happy to talk if I can assist or if you have questions. In spite of my ‘problems’ I want to get back in to competing, even at the most basic level, so if you have any tips, they will be received positively!
      Best wishes

      • Hello, I will keep an eye on your posts and try to add anything that might be helpful. It’s tricky to write very general tips when you probably would benefit most from individualised advice but as a rule, a horse needs all-round development regardless the rider’s limitations. Only that way you will get the most of your pony. Can you work with your pony in-hand (as in classical groundwork: shoulder-in, leg yield but with you on the ground) on both reins? Groundwork can be learnt fairly quickly and is a fantastic way to straighten your horse and give yourself a better ride as a result.

        You can do all schooling out hacking, you can also work on your position, your feel and effectiveness of your seat.
        If you really want to try competing and are up for a challenge you can try my virtual coaching programme free of charge for 2 weeks, here are details: http://issuu.com/aspireeq/docs/aspiree-academy/1
        If you find it helpful, all I ask in return is some online feedback 🙂
        All the best,

      • Thanks for that. Food for thought. Prior to dystonia worsening early this year, I was doing a lot of leg yielding, shoulder in etc (both sides). Dystonia reached a point where it was taking so much effort to keep my head straight, I just couldn’t cope with giving the aids to ask the horse to move, hence the change of tack (bad pun, not intended). The pony I’ll be riding isn’t mine and will get lots of other work, so I’m hoping that my brief left rein only exercises, won’t do too much harm. I’ve never had to do this kind of thing before as its been drummed in over the years to work both sides of the horse evenly. Thanks again.

      • It’s a pleasure and you are welcome to take me up on the offer any time.
        It sounds like it should work well for the pony, I hope it will for you too.
        All the best,

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