Straight toward a better ride
I want to thank physical therapist John Macy for sharing “Straighten Up and Ride Right” (EQUUS 447). He has given me the long-wanted explanation of why so many of us ride out of balance. For the past 26 years I have ridden with a lowered right shoulder. Two-pointing over uneven terrain on competitive trail rides always seemed awkward for me. You would think as an athletic person that I could have figured out the reason for the lowered shoulder, but it took this article to help me.
Macy explains our physical asymmetry in an incredibly simple and clear way, and he has given me the tools to correct myself. Already, I am finding his four-point correction suggestion feeling normal and comfortable. He was very right that at first changing my hip, lower back, sternum and head position was painful. However, that quickly became comfortable. It already seems so easy to drive the car, sit on a chair, and walk with my shoulders level!
I can’t wait until spring when I can safely get my horses out on the trails. I am confident that my anxious Morgan mare will be happier with my new position, and my gaited gelding will also be able to slide into his faster gait more easily. I also suspect that my saddles will remain centered. My horses are going to be as happy as I am. Jeanne Cole Glenfield, New York saw that he was standing with his three children next to my pasture fence. One of the horses, which belonged to my boarder, was grazing next to the fence, and my neighbor was just in the process of lifting his toddler over the fence to set her on the loose horse’s back. I am not exaggerating at all.
I approached and warned him not to do that, and he pulled the child away before actually making contact with the horse. He said that he was going to hold onto the child. While I was explaining to him the unpredictability of horses, the horse continued to graze along the fence line. Suddenly, the horse reached out and grabbed the man’s pant leg--perhaps out of curiosity or playfulness. My neighbor quickly pulled away and asked why the horse had done that. I pointed out that it was an example of how unpredictable horses can be. I also explained that the horse could easily have bitten one of the kids, too, out of the same sense of playfulness.
I never had a problem of this sort with this neighbor again. As a matter of fact, his kids used to hit their various play balls into my pasture and reach in if it was close enough. That never happened again. Instead, I would toss the balls back into their yard when I found them. I considered myself very lucky that nothing serious happened because I know that I could have been sued.
I now live in a rural area, but I have no expectation that I’m safe from another incident of this sort. Most people these days do not have a realistic understanding of horses. Joan Fleming Rochester, Washington