Monday, May 28, 2012

Debbie Sams: Rounded Shoulders, Collapsed Chest

Part 6 in the “Deep Seat” series

The root of this problem is often that the rider has her hips tilted backward and chest collapsed. The shoulders just add to the fetal position (Illus. 19). When an adult female rider’s shoulders are rounded, you will notice that her bra strap often falls down over her shoulder and she is continually putting it back.

Illus. 19 and 20

Adjust the hips as needed — When a rider is slouching, she is often leaning back too far with her hips. If this is the case, she should bring the hips into a more upright position.

Lift chest — Imagine that there is a mushroom growing up under your rib cage, as illustrated in Sally Swift’s book Centered Riding.

Shoulders back — Pull the shoulders back after you have lifted your chest. A useful image for this problem is to imagine that someone is poking his finger in between your shoulder blades (Illus. 20).

Pull your shoulder blades together — This will straighten slouching shoulders.
Read Part 1 (Sticking to Your Horse with a Deep Seat) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 2 (Deep Seat versus Light Seat) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 3 (Deep Seat Problem and Solution) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 4 (Arched Back — Problems and Solutions) in the "Deep Seat" series
Read Part 5 (Torso Leaning Forward — Collapsed Chest) in the "Deep Seat" series

Debbie Sams teaches English and Western riding with an emphasis on dressage. At her Springer's Stables in Broadalbin, New York, she also teaches drill team and vaulting. Her farm gives pony parties and holds horse camps for scouts and local community college and elementary school youth programs, as well as for the Sacandaga Bible Conference and Retreat Center. Debbie has been teaching drama and drill team on horseback since 1979; in 1985 she became a Certified Horsemanship Association Instructor. She is the author of 101 Drill Team Exercises and has also put her horse knowledge to work in writing for such publications as Practical Horseman, Equus, and the Northeast Horseman’s Journal.

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