This weekend I have been attending a course designed to give us the knowledge on the similarities between walking and riding. The course was at Trollspeilet and Pelle and his brother, Torodd were the instructors. Both of our instructors have an educaution in human physiology, and Torodd is working as a physiotherapist at a huge training facility. They got a lot of knowledge between them as to how our body works, how it affects both us and the horse when we are riding.
On saturday we started off with general physiology and how we walk. Most of us who were attending this course know each other from before and we all know we got some things to work at, and many of us struggle with the same problems. After going through some of the theory we went out to the arena to have some practice First we were told to walk around while they corrected us. My main problem while walking is the same problem I have while riding. I have to get my pelvis in the correct position. At the moment I'm no where near strong enough to keep it in place without too much of an effort. This is something I have been working on for quite some time while in the saddle. Its really weird working at the same problem while walking. Another problem I got is that my feet are facing too much inwards, so I also have to focus on walking straight with my feet. This first exercise was just walking straight forward in our own tempo, just trying to adjust to the new movement.
The next exercise was standing straight in bearing, then shift the weight on to one leg, then lift the other by just lifting the pelvis on one side. We were walking around, in bearing, with straight knees and just lifting the pelvis to go forward. This was a fun exercise and you really had to work to get loose enough in the hips and keep the pelvis in place.
After a few rounds in the arena we decided to "take a break" and have a riding lesson before the next walking session. While riding we were working on the same things as we did while walking and i was surprised of how much easier it was now that I had more control over the movement in the hips.
During the next sessions we walked, ran and sprinted uphill. None of us were in any good shape, but it was fun when you got the technique right. This is easier on the joints and very effective training.
In the end of the course we talked about nutrition and exercise. Not that much I haven't heard before, but one thing he said and it is very true. It is very important for a rider to exercise other than only riding. While riding we are mostly using the core muscles, if we get tired it always affects the core muscles before the others. So after this I'm going to try to train in other ways than just riding, perhaps some intervals?