This weekend me and my horse Lotus attended a “Body Check”. The aim is to give you as a rider a holistic view of both your own and your horse’s body and movements. And moreover, to provide you with tools how to work with both your seat and position, and the horse’s movement qualities. In this way, rider and horse get the best possibilities to communicate and perform optimally together.

It is Cajsa Ericsson, who is a physiotherapist on both human and horse, and Mari Zetterqvist Blokhuis who is riding teacher and seat influencer that have developed this concept.
The week before we left, I had to fill in a questionnaire about myself and my horse Lotus, including history of both of us like for instance our level of education, how we train and what the rider’s goals are. Moreover, the rider needs to fill in particular problems in the training, as well as injuries in the past.

 

It was a really great day when my friend Mel and I loaded Lotus and went to Stigsbergs Gård near Bålsta. The trip went very well since there was no traffic and we arrived just in time.
The session started with physical testing of our balance, strength and mobility. Cajsa investigated our possible symmetries, which are very useful to define. We discussed how the different exercises felt and I gained a new insight that I am very unbalanced in my ankles and must start training to become more stable.

Then we unloaded Lotus and brought him into the riding hall. Cajsa examined Lotus and looked at how he was moving and using his body. I got good advice on how to massage him for increased mobility. Then we saddled and I started to ride. Mari corrected my seat so that I got deeper into the saddle and Cajsa corrected how I used my legs.
I continued to ride and had the feeling that I got deeper and deeper into the saddle, and Lotus began to move very relaxed and rhythmic. Lotus and myself gained a refined communication and I really felt like one with Lotus. It was an almost a spiritual experience!
Then we started cantering and Cajsa told me to turn my eyes upwards when we start cantering, and when performing transition back to trot. What a difference it made since I could be much quieter with my body and signals.

Thank you Cajsa and Mari for superb coaching and good hands-on tips that I can work on. Now I have a plan for the spring to really work with myself to find my position in the saddle. I now look forward to the . written summary so that I can be reminded of what I should practice. Unfortunately, it is easy to forget…

Charlotta Mantell