Release your PSOAS MUSCLES and discover your dressage seat

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.

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 …

Psoas Dressage

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!

8 Responses

  1. Very interesting! Its these muscles that no longer work/work incorrectly since my spine op, which explains why I bounce in the saddle (not helped by my horse having quite a bouncy trot!).

  2. Excellent article and questionnaire. Question 3, does my seat follow or block.! Guess which one!

    1. Hi Darlane, I’m so sorry for the delay, I’ve had some issues with layout and as with all things Dressage it needs to be right, so I am probably looking at six to eight weeks before launch. I am having the website redesigned and you will be able to pre-order in a few weeks. Thanks so much for the enquiry, I have so many people waiting for the book. In the meantime, if there is anything I can help you with, drop me an email. Px.

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