Are you right or left handed? Which way do you habitually throw the contents of a shovel or pitchfork – to the right or to the left? This will give you a hint of which way you are twisted through your torso. Now, which circle is easier and which harder for you and your horse to ride? Which canter lead is easier or harder for you to get and to ride? Is there a connection among these things for you? Tell me what your answers are. 🙂
When standing next to a counter or a table and you think you’re standing square to it, look down your body and notice if your hips are equidistant to the edge of the counter top or table top. Check your feet. Are they equidistant to the edge? Do the toes point in the same (straight forward) direction or are they pointed in or out? Are they they same? Are they in line with the hips – are they offset the same as the hips or in the other direction? Look at your thighs – what about them. Try to get an idea about your chest. You should be able to tell if your chest is equidistant to the edge of the counter top.
Be aware that you could have several twists going on: the feet, thighs, hips, lower rib cage, upper rib cage, and shoulders all could be going different directions. Then there’s your head. Which way is it twisted? Look in the mirror or have a friend look at you. Imagine a plumb line in front of your face. Does it bisect your forehead, nose, mouth, chin, and the V in your neck where your clavicles (collarbones) come together?
When sitting, which way do you cross your legs at the knee – right over left or left over right? Do you sit on one foot? Do you realize what this does to your riding? Both of these maneuvers hike one hip higher than the other. Can you guess or figure out which hip is going to be higher? What does this do to your riding? If you sit on your left foot, that’s going to hike your right hip. Can you feel your right sitz bone when you ride or do you have trouble with that? Does your horse have trouble with turning right or doing left-lead canter departs if your right hip is high?
Which leg do you like to stand on and which one do you rest? What does this do to your hips? Are they level when you do this?
Do you habitually lean on one elbow versus the other? How do you hold the phone? With which hand? Does your head tilt? Do you try to hold the phone with your shoulder? What does this do to your overall balance? What’s trying to compensate? What collapses and what stretches? How do all these things affect your riding?
Do you carry a purse or laptop on one shoulder? Do you hike that shoulder up or cave in on that side (away from the weight) to hold the strap on? How does this imbalance affect your ribcage? Your pelvis? Your riding?
If you clasp your hands, which thumb is on top? What happens if you switch all your fingers so the other thumb is on top?