Hi, I was wondering if there is any exercises I can do to help me to stop slipping to the right. I am 15 years old and my instructor says I lean to the right and my back could possibly be twisted even though it causes me no pain what so ever. Although sometimes she says it improves if I focus on it when I’m riding more regularly (as at the moment I’ve only been riding once a week). My saddle does slip that way and has done with my first pony(Charlie) before I got Lace, but when Charlie had his back done everything was fine.
Recently my pony(Lace) looked abit stiff through her back legs so we were told her back should be looked at (which is properly true as we’ve had her since July and she hasn’t had it done since spring.)
Is there any exercises I can do to help make myself straighter. As I am very reluctant to have my back done (even though it may be the best thing.) I am terrified of being sick which I have heard many people are and I have also heard that some people are very rough when sorting the problem and cause other issues.
As I am in no pain, I would really prefer to try exercises to see if it helps. And really focus on it (to see if I can control/stop slipping) to help and see if any improvement are made. My back causes no pain at all and it isn’t a problem for me.
When I was 10, I fell off and hit my hip on a piece of wood and couldn’t properly walk on it for a few weeks. (I can’t fully remember which hip but I think it was my right.)
My pony is having her back done soon (while I’m at school so I wouldn’t be able to be looked at) and I don’t want to make it sore again when I start riding her. She may just be feeling sore as she had been galloping round the field bucking and leaping about (as she isn’t being ridden very regularly at the moment.) I don’t know if this helps, but we compete through the Pony Club doing a variety of activities but mainly jumping.
Many thanks, a reply would be much appreciative.
Answer from Rhiannon Bradford:
Thank you Mollie, lots of questions here. Three main potential issues, you, your saddle or your horse or a combination of these.
Saddle slip in the research is often put down to a hind limb lameness or it can come about due to muscle asymmetry because of pain or underlying issues which may require veterinary assessment of your horse. Saddle issues including incorrect fitting/balance, unequal flocking, twisted tree or asymmetric stirrups may all contribute or cause you to lean when riding. If suspected, a thorough assessment of it in isolation on your horse and with you riding should be carried out by a reputable master saddler.
Finally, it is unfortunately impossible to give you specific exercises without a detailed assessment as there can be many reasons for you to lean ie; back or hip problems, specific muscle tightness/weakness, lack of strength in one lower limb or your core.”
I really hope this helps you to find the solution.
Rhiannon Bradford MSc MCSP ACPAT
Updates – reply from questioner:
Thank you. Just to inform you as you said one of the most common causes could be lameness, although she doesn’t look lame.
When she’s ridden with other people the saddle doesn’t slip.
But when I ride other ponies/horses the saddles tend to to slip. So would it be my problem?
I’m having her backed checked this week, so would any problems they find be sorted or the ones you said confined?
Do you think it’s my issue rather than my ponies?
When the saddle fitter(who is professional), fitted out her saddle, she added extra padding on of the sides to help prevent me from slipping. This was in August, but we’ve just noticed her being slightly stiff now in early Feb. Could this be a reason?
Thank you very much for your reply.
Further reply from Rhiannon Bradford:
Given your information;
If your saddle doesn’t slip on your horse if someone else is riding her and when you ride other people’s horses the saddle slips then this would strongly imply that the problem may well be coming from you.
If someone is checking your horse then hopefully whoever is checking your horse will give it a full and thorough examination to determine that she is sound and not in any pain. Just bear in mind that one ‘back person’ is not the same as another and their qualifications and assessment will vary massively between individuals. Please do your homework on whoever you are using. If you would like one of our professional team to assess please let me know.
Similarly if you would like one of our team to assess you when riding plus look at you and your horse individually to assess the entire partnership (you and your horse) then we can do this. We are all fully qualified human physiotherapists with transferral of our knowledge into the Veterinary field with a Masters degree. We are all very capable of helping you to coordinate both you and your horse. I have to say on your first email about treatment you mentioned getting sick with treatment. I’m not sure where this has come from but I can assure you this will not happen and would not be painful. We have many many years of experience and I wouldn’t imagine we’d still be in business if we had that effect! ? I do believe you shouldn’t always believe what you hear from other people!! ?
The office number is 01432 890490
The saddle adjustment may be a red herring and may not necessarily be relevant at this stage. The saddle however just needs to be right for both you and your horse and both of you can change over time.
I do hope this is helpful Mollie.