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Spanish Mare, Pippsway Classical Natural Horsemanship Wellington, Somerset near Devon

Pip has been teaching me that if we want our horses to have ‘self carriage’ then we must do the same. The ‘independent seat’ that we all strive for can only be achieved if we can control our body parts in isolation. As with all things trying to do this without the added element of the horse is far easier to start with. When I first started tipping my pelvis my shoulders would automatically slump forwards slightly. Only after a day or so of trying am I able to tilt my pelvis whilst at the same time elevate my rib cage which automatically brings my shoulders back. Holding this position for any amount of time even in a still, seated position is rather challenging!

In the past I had heard Pip mention the importance of engaging our back muscles… soon as I tilted my pelvis, engaged my core and lifted my ribcage I could feel the large latissimus dorsi muscles in my back engage automatically. I’m getting used to it and it feels like a much stronger posture than I'm used to having. My entire back supporting me! I've suffered with lower back problems on and off and I’m realising now that poor posture and weak core muscles were the likely culprits!

A pet hate of mine is seeing riders hands going up and down with their body movement. Whether I am riding bitless or with a bit, this movement is going to be at best irritating to my horse and at worst be causing him pain either in his mouth or on his head! As the only way to avoid this is to have an independent seat I am determined to achieve this!

So I’m happily practising all these things during the day whilst working on my computer, driving and walking my dog. Given how I am now finding other things more manageable, that when I first came to Pippsway made my brain ache, I’m confident that soon enough moving my body in this way will become much easier!

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