Yes, at some point we all feel as though we suck at riding. Some more frequently then other. (Uh, that would be me.) However, that’s not the sucking that I’m talking about. I want you to pretend that you’re sucking a lozenge when you’re riding.

(Disclaimer: Please don’t use a real lozenge when riding. Accidents happen and God forbid you choke on it. You may however practice unmounted with a real honest to God lozenge. I like peppermint. Hmm, so do horses. Let’s share and learn at the same time!)

Why would I do that? Because according to Mary Wanless it engages our core (suck harder!), stills our pelvis (think half-halt) and shifts the horse’s hind legs underneath. Believe me it works. I was experimenting with my position on the wiggly horse and decided to try sucking. Immediately his walk stride shortened, more collection was evident and when I sucked harder we went into a square halt. On the bit! Fiddling with the reins NOT necessary. Just suck!

I can only imagine the spam I’m going to get because of this post.

Duck butt

So, how many of you have duck butt? Me. Guilty, guilty, guilty. Some of it’s natural conformation, some previous hunter/jumper training. Regardless, I haven’t been able to conquer duck butt (a.k.a. hollowed lower back or arched back).

Listening to “sit on your back pockets!” hasn’t helped either. It was more like “sit on your back waistband!” At least that’s how dramatic it felt to me. In my previous duck butt position I thought I was sitting up straight. Un-huh, I was throwing my shoulders back, my stomach out and my seat bones back towards the horse’s butt. The fix, “waistband back” filled out my lower back, engaged my core more and placed my seat bones in the downward pointing, neutral position.

It works. Hmm, maybe I should rephrase that. I work very, very hard at keeping my waistband back. I can feel it after each ride too. My muscles are being called upon to hold this new position and I’m sore. It’s a good sore but still…

I hope that you’ve found this series helpful. I know that it’s changed my position dramatically.