This 5 part presentation follows on from the Analysing Movement module which should be studied first as preparation and clarification. The content of this session is a 3.5 hour webinar representing a practice session using images, film and discussion. It's purpose was to consolidate learning of the Analysing Movement lecture series. Every Horse Saddle Rider Lab teaching session incorporates horse, saddle and rider concepts. The learning objective for the webinar teaching session was to help the group to ‘see’ load in horses and their riders and how that might impact on saddle design. Master Saddler, Karen Lewis, joined us for the whole session and gave her many perspectives on saddle construction, fitting and rider matters.
The session opened with checking understanding of planes of motion and the terminology required to precisely describe the exact location of where an arrow on an image of a horse indicated. Next, the group were then sent off to find food cans with which to feel on their own biceps and triceps the difference between concentric, eccentric and isometric muscle actions, adding the effects of gravity to alter muscle action and stability.
Next, a very close and considered look at a series of images of horse saddle rider combinations to practice determining the likely muscle action involved in the scene. An amusing video of Olympian event rider, Mark Todd, getting an effortless very high leg-up onto a horse, contrasting this with a much lesser skilled rider performing the same move, stimulated discussion about core strength, posture and the role that alignment and neurology plays in efficient movement.
Muscle functional axes and recruitment for efficient posture was then explored with a very careful look at the equine spinal support muscles separately from the limb muscles and how a horse’s posture could change radically with just one session of targeted bodywork.
Next was a study of equine back movement using a film of a horse on a treadmill in real time and in slow motion From this the group was asked to brainstorm the back and scapular movement that saddle function should accommodate according to the movement of the horse’s back and scapulae and the ideas were stated by the group in the webinar ‘chat’ collated at the end. The video shows a short and edited excerpt of this very enjoyable exercise with a creative 'anything goes' theme to stimulate thought. You too can have a go at this as you watch the video.
The final phase was rider postural evaluation from the ground and the group were impressive at spotting the finer details of rider dysfunctional asymmetry in three different case studies, frequently extrapolating this to successfully predicting the difficulties the rider would have when on board their horses.
This session worked extremely well as a webinar since the course group, having completed two online modules and two practical teaching days, could focus on analysing movement at very close range over the course of an entire working day as they worked their way through the variety of observational exercises. Once again, feedback for the delivery of the session was very encouraging and despite a long day at their desks, all had found the session very enjoyable as they interacted throughout.
The next session is Muscle Conditioning - Optimisation & Challenges which also runs as a webinar.
Webinar Replay 1
Webinar Replay 2
Webinar Replay 3
Webinar Replay 4
Webinar replay 5