I spent some of the weekend visiting with best friend N, and yesterday got to hop on her one-eyed wonder mare, Rea, and her mom’s mare, Ace.
While Rea rode a lot like Foster, Ace immediately called me out on my biggest conformational fault- my hollow lower back. A yoga instructor once told me (how’s that for a professional diagnosis) that I had lordosis of the spine – in horses we call it a dippy back, or sway back. In humans it looks like this:
All I know is that it’s something a couple instructors have caught on to, but tends to fade into the distance after a while. N’s mom worked with me to get me to “fill” my lower back to release the tension there, allowing my pelvis to swing and get Ace to relax and swing her back in return.
Some of the visualizations included putting a hand on my hollow back and trying to fill it up, or push against it with my muscles (which engaged core muscles I realized I haven’t used in some time!), imagining I was widening my lower back, or stretching my shirt in that area. All these were super helpful, and while it will definitely take some time to make a relaxed, non-hollow back muscle memory, gave me a lot to think about in the meantime.
What about you? What is a personal “conformation fault” that you deal with? How do you overcome it, or how does it affect your riding?