Do you rely on muscle memory to mount your horse without thinking about all the steps involved? Do you use muscle memory to post the trot or navigate a course?
In this episode, I explain why muscle memory is NOT helping you ride better. In fact, thinking about muscle memory can interfere with your ability to ride well.
But don't worry! I explain what to do instead of relying on muscle memory. And how this different approach can give you a better chance of staying balanced on your horse even in challenging situations.
Want to feel more flexible and confident in body and mind? My new online group coaching program, "Easy Flexibility and Powerful Confidence" is opening soon! I'm looking for a small group of heart-centered horse people to join us at a DISCOUNTED PRICE.
Take advantage of our lower price during this inaugural launch. For complete details, visit https://www.marydebono.com/powerful.
Thank you so much for being here. I can’t wait to talk...
“I wish I had more confidence when I ride.”
I hear that over and over.
Riders constantly wish they had more confidence in the saddle.
As if confidence were a trait that some people were born with, like green eyes.
Or something you could order on Amazon.
Want confidence? It’s available with Prime shipping. Get it by tomorrow evening!
Well, I have good news.
You don’t need confidence to ride well.
You need to feel resourceful.
Feeling resourceful means that you have the *skills* to handle whatever challenges come up.
And those are skills you can learn.
So, let’s stop wishing for confidence.
Instead, focus on developing the movement and mindset skills to help you feel RESOURCEFUL with your horse.
When you have a balanced, secure seat on your horse, your feelings of safety will increase.
And you’ll be more likely to stay with your horse if he...
Have you ever wondered if your horse is happy in his work?
Does responding to your cues make your horse feel good? Or is he simply conditioned to respond to your aids?
In other words, what’s your horse’s motivation for working with you?
Many equestrians never ask these questions. And that makes me wonder if they’ve ever questioned how they motivate themselves.
But you’re different.
You know that asking the right questions can transform your riding.
And your life.
And ensure that your horse has a happy life too.
So, let’s ask a few helpful questions.
Imagine that your garage is a mess. It’s completely disorganized. There are piles of dusty stuff EVERYWHERE.
There are things in there that you haven’t look at in YEARS.
You know you’d feel better if you swept and organized it, but it seems like So. Much. Work.
How do you convince yourself to clean out your garage?
Go grab two polo wraps, standing bandages or even a couple of hand towels out of your linen closet.
Then lie down on the floor and join Mary in a short, super effective exercise to activate your deep core muscles.
You'll learn how to both relax your back AND get stronger and more coordinated all at the same time!
As always, do only what's easy, comfortable and safe for you to do. Less is more!
If you'd like to improve even further, go grab Mary's FREE rider masterclass. You'll learn how to have a more balanced, independent seat - effortlessly. Don't delay. Your horse is waiting for you!
***Important note about the video: Please be gentle! Your pressure should be VERY LIGHT and the movements should be subtle "suggestions." Never use force. Keep your hands and shoulders soft and relaxed.***
Don’t you love when something good comes out of something bad?
A number of years ago, my client Suzanne had a bay Morgan gelding with a suspensory injury.
Despite several months of veterinary care, farrier attention and TLC, the 12-year-old gelding was still off.
What ended up helping the horse was surprising.
Here’s what happened.
Suzanne asked me to give her horse, whose name is Bravo, a hands-on session.
I knew that helping the Morgan move more easily through his rib cage could alleviate stress on his front legs.
Less strain on his fore legs meant that he’d have a better chance of recovering from his suspensory injury.
But we had a small problem. Bravo wouldn’t...
“Damn it! Just give me your leg!” Hearing these harsh words, I snapped my head around. Just as I suspected, a farrier was holding onto the hind hoof of a horse who was trying to break free of the man’s grasp.
The farrier, Joe*, had been patient with the big chestnut Warmblood. But Joe’s patience – and his back – were wearing thin. He had completed the trimming job, but he told the gelding’s owner that the horse needed stretching exercises to improve his ability to extend his legs. Joe picked up the chestnut’s leg again, and began to stretch it behind the horse. This time the gelding pulled it away from Joe violently.
Someone’s going to get hurt”, I thought. Both the horse and Joe were in danger of sustaining an injury. I caught the owner’s eye. My face must have conveyed my dismay, because she suddenly asked Joe to stop.
The woman thanked Joe, putting a check into his large, calloused hand. As he got into...
A young woman named Terra was suffering from pain and tension in her upper back, shoulders and neck. She often felt hunched over and uncomfortable.
How I helped her may surprise you.
Since Terra is an equestrian, I invited her to sit in her saddle.
I asked her if she felt balanced and level. Was her weight evenly distributed over both seat bones? Terra replied that she felt that she was sitting with a little more weight on her right seat bone, and she wanted to shift more weight onto her left side to even herself out.
But looking at Terra, I could see that her weight was already concentrated on her left side, not her right. Check out the photo above to see for yourself.
Do you see how Terra’s right ribs are scrunched together? This makes the right side of Terra’s torso shorter than her left side. Can you see how her uneven rib cage has thrown her weight onto the left side of her pelvis? To confirm, I...