How Our Ribs Play A Role In Dressage Posture

Learn how to improve your dressage posture, by understanding the connection your ribs play in the saddle.

Our core isn’t just about our abs; it includes all the muscles that help stabilize our ribs and pelvis.

Now, I like to visualize my pelvis like a round bowl of water, and when I am sitting square and balanced in the saddle, that bowl of water is flat with no spills.

This requires me to sit evenly and square on both my seat bones.

I then consider my ribcage area in the same way.

Imagine another bowl of water, again making sure it is flat and not tipped backward or too far forward.

3d render medical illustration of the ribcage - front viewCan you then line up the two bowls of water directly above each other so they are evenly balanced and stable?

This requires creating your neutral spine and bringing your rib cage over the top of your hips so that they are in a straight line.

For some, this requires shortening the body’s front while lengthening the back. For others, it may be the opposite.

When we get ourselves into this balanced position, the body can transmit force and efficiently absorb the horse’s movement.

Often, in many riders, the ribcage tips backward.  They tend to ‘pop’ their ribs up too much by pulling their shoulders back to far.

This causes water to tip out the back, creating a hollow back. We need to create independence through ribs and shoulders to prevent this.

The key is figuring out how your two bowls stack up.

Start at your pelvis and get it in a neutral position while sitting on a chair. Then, focus on lining up your two bowls of water. Do this beside a mirror to get the visuals happening.

Once you have created this balance and correctly aligned the body, the correct muscles can do their job.

As a rider, this allows you to become more elastic and supple within this alignment.

It is an art!

Try practising lining up your bowls (ribs and pelvis) when you are sitting at your desk and driving your car. The more and more you practice this, the easier it will become upon the horse, and you will master this art by making it second nature to you.

Figure out what your movement patterns are and what your natural tendency is.

Do you tip forward or lean back?

Whatever your go-to is off the horse will also be your tendency in the saddle. So, becoming aware of this is key to your growth as a rider.

Inside the dressage rider training program, I detail postural alignment and give you all the tools and exercises to help improve your balance and posture.

Get yourself started today by downloading our free guide here.



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