There are one set of muscles which have direct connections to your abdomen, pelvis and the ability to rotate your thigh – The Psoas muscles. The way they are intricately embroiled around our pelvic region is symbolic of their importance to our riding and ability to absorb the movement of our horse effectively.
1) psoas major 2) psoas minor 3) iliac us 4) iliopsoas
Click on the photo to be taken to the page about Psoas Muscles
A contracted Psoas muscle tilts the pelvis forwards and pulls the rider’s seat up and out of the forwards flow of movement. This is one of the causes of the incorrect hollow or ‘braced’ back.
Discovering these muscles is an absolute must for any rider with Dressage ambition and a yearning to improve their dressage seat. For those of us who sit all day working at a computer, or driving, our Psoas muscles will inevitably be tight and contracted. If they remain tight and contracted for long enough they will think that this is the norm leaving us with no alternative but to bounce in the saddle from a stiff lower back.
The most important exercises we can do off the horse, to help us on the horse, are those which release tension in the Psoas, which have to be soft and supple to enable you to respond to the movement of your horse. My advice is to set about discovering these muscles for yourself.
A really simple exercise you can do is illustrated here …
Once you have discovered these muscles … but more importantly once you have released these muscles … you will soften your diaphragm; enable correct breathing; be able to sit on your horse better; calm yourself, and your horse. Your abdominals, inner thighs seem to automatically become toned the moment the Psoas are released and the lower back lengthened.
I am not an expert in these matters, but there is plenty of information on line from those that are – worth having a browse!
Like this post? Try THE BOOK …