Applied Posture Riding - riding with core muscle,

  • If Your Core Fails You What Else Is Failing You?

    If your core is failing to function properly then it is likely other parts of your body are also failing you.

    Horse Riders have been instructed to "Use your core" Strengthen your core"  "More core" Bring in that core" over and over again. If you are one of the many hundreds of riders who have heard this and still don't know how then you may well be suffering from a postural body breakdown.  Core hold

    So What is a Postural Body Breakdown? 

    Well, this is another one of my interpretations and common sense diagnoses. 

     A postural body breakdown is when the seven most common postural muscles fail you and refuse to do their part of the work to carry you around and keep you in good alignment. 

    The arch collapses, the knee cap moves out of alignment, the hip loses strength, the core fails, the pelvis stiffens up, the shoulder blades become uneven and the neck pokes forward.

    These are the seven most common areas the body lets go with age, with habits, with poor movements, with a lack of stretching and with poor biomechanics.  Past and current injuries also have a big influence on these seven body parts.

    Pain is a primary inhibitor of the core muscle. This is commonly known by Drs and Physios. It is not known by the general public and even most fitness coaches do not know this. The failure of the core often leads to other body parts failing too.

    Now how does this affect your riding?Rider Biomechanics 1websize

    If your core fails you your body has no structural stability. The biomechanical alignment from your feet up is not correct and this creates abnormal stresses and tension in areas producing pain, inflammation, and more failure.

    Your ability to ride is compromised. If your feet failure you and collapse as you weight bear on them then the whole body will be out of alignment Now we don't weight bear as much when we ride so why do you care about your feet.

    Well, you don't ride all day and you will not magically become biomechanically aligned int he saddle if you are not out of the saddle.

    Your instructor can tell you all day long to bring in your core and it still will not happen unless you adjust the failures in your body.

    As A physiotherapist treating common repetitive injuries I have discovered over many years there are seven common body areas that I seem to keep retraining. In each person, it has affected their daily life, their work their rest and their skills as a sports person. Horse riders seem to think more riding is the key.  In my experience NO.


    Each area must be independently isolated, woken up to be re-engaged as part of a biomechanical movement pattern.before and after APR websize

    I start everybody with the foot arch muscle then the knee, the hip, the pelvic tilt, the core crunch, the shoulder retractors and the neck.

    I teach this as a movement pattern in my membership program.

    As in the photo riding with a chicken, neck upsets the whole outline of the image. This is the result of weakness between the shoulder blades as well as weak core muscles.



    If you are having problems and need some help. Have a look at my online mentoring program

    Online Mentoring Program

    This is step by step program to train you to ride with good core strength and function.

    Contact me for more information I can help you change the way you ride.




  • Lower Back Pain and Horse Riders


    When I wrote the Applied Posture Riding program I wrote it with the intention to train any rider to ride better. The core exercises are brilliant for horse riders, but as it has turned out, this program has become the most valuable program for horse riders suffering lower back pains. Many 4820068 spinehorse riders are seeking a program that incorporates core exercises as well as horse riding knowledge.

    Basically, my program teaches horse riders "How To Ride A Horse". The exercises are all core-based and designed to teach horse riders all about the horse riding posture.  Well,  it has become evident that horse riders suffering back pain have been the biggest buyers of my program. I think this is because horse riders with back pain are finding it very difficult to find information and advice that helps them stay riding and doesn't just tell them to give it away and find something else.

    Many horse riders consult with an expert who understands lower back pains but not horse riding. I was told to give it up and I get emails from so many that are told to do the same "Give Up Riding" I don't think so!!!

    Lower Back Pain can be Managed

    I get many emails from riders all over the world asking for help and advice about their back pain and their muscle and posture pains. Many horse riders can't get past a block they have with pain or balance problems or confidence due to weakness. I find riding instructors and health professionals cannot help with these issues.

    Lower back pain seems to be the biggest bogie for horse riders and it is very sad for a rider to be told to give up their passion. The disc is the most common structure injured that affects horse riders forever. If you are one of these riders, they have some hope you can get control back over your body, your pain, and your dreams.

    The first question I ask is "What have you been told?" Many people get the run around with the question and don't actually know what is wrong. I think if you can walk around and go to work and do some exercises then you can train yourself to ride again. I can direct you in asking better questions. In many riders I deal with it is simple as prescribing a back brace, correct core exercises, and of course proper management around the stables.

    The riders I deal with are not going to stop what they are already doing. In many cases I am just changing how they do what they do, to be safer and less harmful to their body. When it comes to getting back in the saddle I do suggest a quiet horse and in many cases save jumping or eventing for the future.

    But any person can get on and ride and be safe. Riding is actually good for lower back pain, caring for a horse is the harmful part. So as a generic program for lower back pain management I suggest a back brace immediately. I suggest wearing as you need at first and then slowly reduce it. I totally recommend core exercises. I can't express enough the importance of correct core exercises.

    This is the story of a lady who returned to riding after following my program.

    I would like to tell you about a lady I helped here in SA get back to riding after one of the worst back injuries I have seen. She had multi-level disc protrusions and a slip at one level. She had severe nerve pain and minimal flexibility. Her Dr. told her never to go near a horse let alone ride again. She contacted me in desperation and wanted me to teach her how to ride again. Well, she was going to ride anyway so I said I would help.

     First up we designed a simple exercise program for flexibility and fitness and had her walking and moving better. We looked at what she could do and she had to promise to stay away from any lifting, twisting, or carrying anything.

    She was not allowed to feed up, rug up or saddle a horse, she could supervise.Back Brace jpg I prescribed a back bracewhich gave her great pain control. While wearing the back brace I taught her core crunches and core exercises. Slowly pain eased, core function improved and she started riding at the walk only. I suggested she have a helper saddle and bridle her horse and not to have anything to do with the care of the horse, but she could get on and ride, of course slowly and safely.

    She followed the program and has had great success. She is back competing at country hack shows on her old faithful and loving it. She is back instructing and enjoying her passion. She is of course still following the rules, her back is still damaged and will still give her pain, but with knowledge and management, she is living her passion.

    I did hear from her husband she had had a nasty fall and ruptured her cruciate ligament. She fell off the ride-on lawnmower!!!!!. The Dr. didn't warn her of this!

    Anyway, my point is if you have the passion to ride and you get the right advice you can follow your passion and achieve your dreams. 

    I am a rider coach if you have a problem and I can help I will. Just ask! I have suffered lower back pain and I know how to manage it.

    For more information look at my  Applied Posture Riding Membership Program.

    Good luck and enjoy your riding Annette Willson