Biomechanics and my belly button.

April 29, 2018


Belly button active, not that I can find it amongst the winter belly flab but I definitely felt it working today.

One amazing training session. Love it when the trainer takes a biomechanically view. Really makes my brain cells tick and more importantly makes me ride better


My Beautiful TB always amazes me how he can be slow yet sharp all at the same time. Certainly makes you keep your wits about you.


Today we thought more about way of going and where we get stuck. I often end up kicking and nothing happens or less desirable we feel like we are peddling backwards. We also worked on why we get so stuck on one rein compared the other.

We started off with just simple circles asking Alfie to cover a bit more ground and seek forward.

Then we introduced some bend and release to encourage him to find his own path forward and at the same time try to get him to lengthen his frame so he wasn’t so ‘sucked in’. I use that term lightly he isn’t behind the vertical but he does find it hard to lower the poll and lengthen the neck muscles out in front of him whilst maintaining his own self balance.


Sorry Alfie, time for you to hold yourself and less of me holding now we want to move on up


Once we got the half halts on our side we asked for bend and release again on the inside and then as we straightened the neck pushed the stride on and back with ease. Achieving less stuck and more positive motion in the trot. I have to admit it felt awesome. No more kicking and going nowhere.

The little leg aids start to mean and achieve collected activity.

As we move onto the canter we hit a little bit of a comfort wall. But now I know more of why I feel pushed forward and jiggled about.

Canter has never been very comfy on the very odd occasion I have watched videos back and thought, yes I actually sat still. This is rare I normally watch videos of the canter behind a hand peeking through the fingers like you watch a horror scene


Today the biomechanics was obvious in all paces and described by our trainer with amazing accuracy and simplicity.

The right rein is so much stodgier and Alfie will use his shoulder in preference to his hind legs for weight.

A completely different horse on the left rein, once you have him relaxed and straight the ground cover is offered with ease.


We also worked on me for the canter. I react and fling myself forward but with the biomechanics in my mind it was easier to think of allowing him space to lift his withers.

Obviously Alfie went into super intelligent mode and offered canter when I wasn’t intentionally asking for it then he punished me when I tipped and asked.


My normal posture is hands down so today we tried to get them out in front of me.

It helped to think about allowing the wither room to raise and on the left rein keeping a little more inside bend also helped.

Alfie understand where he needed to go travel forward to and not come up and hollow. This also helped feel like I was filling his shape into the outside rein without pulling it back.

The increased inside bend also helped me get the feeling of him not looking to the outside as I take too much rein.

So much to relearn So much I can do better. Gosh my brain I have to admit was super pooped after our session


My homework Balance Balance Balance and get that feeling of Alfie lifting up the right shoulder and not falling onto it when he struggles.

We finished off with a little bit of leg yielding well let’s say we attempted a little bit of leg yielding. Alfie had other ideas and returned to sludge mode.

Interesting though as again left hind worked easily with the crossing.

Right hind wanted to stay to the side or behind in preference to crossing actively in front

Left to right the shoulder needs to move over, it got stuck.

Right to left shoulder was happily placed over but the back end didn’t want to follow.


Excited to follow this session up in a few weeks’ time and add in some more pole work at home

Action plan prep for Trailblazers: Straightness, balance, Impulsion.



Here is a video summary of our session for you to have a look at



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By Gaelann East
The Wacky Racers Dressage Team
England UK

© 2017 Gaelann East

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