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It’s Hard to Get Back on the Horse When Your Back is Out of Whack

There’s a scene at the start of the movie, “Gone with the Wind” where Scarlett O’Hara, played by Vivien Leigh, pouts to two gentlemen callers that she doesn’t want to hear about a potential civil war by saying, “War, war, war…”

When it comes to riding a horse, that same cadence can be given to an issue of utmost importance: seat, seat, seat.

And now I’d like to one more: back, back, back.

Anyone who’s ever had to call a chiropractor after a particularly grueling day in the saddle knows what I’m talking about.

And if that sounds familiar, then do I have the book for you.

Rider & Horse Back To Back

Rider & Horse Back To Back by Susanne von Dietze with Isabelle von Neumann-Cosel, has a subtitle that says, Establishing a Mobile, Stable Core in the Saddle, but it really should be, “A guide to taking care of your back if you ride horses.”

I picked it up to thumb through it and within two minutes I was saying, “Ohhhhh. I didn’t know that!”

Such as:

  • Do you clench your jaw? If so, a relaxed seat is impossible.
  • Why mounting blocks are a good idea for riding a horse.
  • Riders with long pelvic bones have difficulty sitting on a horse with short, quick movements. And riders with short pelvic bones often have trouble riding a horse with long, slow strides.
  • Do you ride hunter-jumper? Landing after a jump puts the most amount of strain on the back of both horse and rider.
  • Taking up the reins is a move that has a lot of influence on your back.

Rider & Horse Back To Back is $29.95 for 184 pages of instruction, photos and graphs that show you how to stabilize your back while riding a horse. The book gives examples of back care exercises and stretches, as well as explores rider position from head to toe.

If you’ve never had a back injury, this book will help you with prevention, and if you HAVE had a back injury, this book could help you ride again.

The book explains how a rider’s back–in constant motion when seated on a horse–becomes one of the main channels of communication between horse and rider.  Through anatomical lessons and exercises, it also teaches riders how to build stability by positioning their backs in the center of the horse and improve mobility and control of the back in motion.

And last but not least, Rider & Horse Back To Back offers a detailed training plan for achieving a more effective riding position that deepens your connection to your horse.

Your back is worth it.

Categories: MyHorse Books.

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2 Responses

  1. Are the exercises, tips, and positions just for dressage riders? Or will they work for hunter/jumper riders in a jump saddle?
    Love your column!
    Thanks!

  2. Hi, Karen!

    Thanks for the compliment! And I think these exercises would work just fine in a jump saddle–I do them in my Australian saddle, and it’s got those poleys.

    Give it a try, and let me know. On a side note, I would imagine someone who jumps would especially need back care from all that landing impact.

    Good luck, and thanks for writing!

    -Amy

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