Easier Movement, Happier Horses

Are You Crooked? Tips for Overcoming Uneven Seat Bones

February 15, 2024 Mary Debono Season 1 Episode 60
Easier Movement, Happier Horses
Are You Crooked? Tips for Overcoming Uneven Seat Bones
Show Notes Transcript

Do you feel crooked in the saddle? You're not alone! In this episode of Easier Movement, Happier Horses, we'll dive into the problem of uneven seat bones.

This common issue isn't just about aesthetics. It can affect your riding ability, contribute to a lack of confidence, create physical discomfort, and even throw your horse off balance.

It’s an incredibly common problem for riders. 

And the thing is, you may be crooked even if you feel perfectly even!

But your HORSE feels your unevenness.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The surprising consequences: Discover how imbalances affect you and your horse, from postural stress to communication glitches. ‍
  • Keys to conquering crookedness: Slow down, embrace playful exploration, and use approaches like the Feldenkrais MethodⓇ to find your center - effortlessly.
  • Your free roadmap to a more balanced seat: The 3 videos from my free rider masterclass are a good foundation to help you become more aware and responsive in your seat.   Grab the free rider masterclass here. 💥

💥Grab the FREE rider masterclass videos here:  https://www.marydebono.com/rider

After you do all three videos from the rider masterclass, I invite you to explore this additional video to improve even more. (But please don't skip over the first 3 videos - they’re essential!)  You can find the fourth, bonus video here.  ⬅️

💥Want to improve even more? Sign up to be among the first to know when we open the doors to our online group coaching program, Move with Your Horse! 🐴 https://www.marydebono.com/joinhorse

Podcast show notes for THIS episode: https://www.marydebono.com/blog/h60

All information is for general educational purposes ONLY and doesn't constitute medical or veterinary advice. Please consult a qualified healthcare provider if you or your horse are unwell or injured. 



 

Hello, would you like to know what the most common rider problem is that I see? And I've been working with horses and riders for over 30 years and spent a lifetime riding myself. And I'm going to tell you that this is so common that a lot of people don't even know they're doing it. And this problem also will negatively impact your horse. So we want to make riding and all the activities that we do with our horses as healthy and enjoyable for both of us as possible.

So today you'll learn some strategy so that number one, you can be aware if you have this issue, you could be aware if it's impacting your horse, which if you have it, it is impacting your horse. I'm gonna tell you that right now, and you'll also learn how you can overcome, how you can change and no longer have this issue.

So my name is Mary Debono, and this is the Easier Movement, happier Horse podcast. And I'm so glad you're here. So let me first tell you what the issue is, like a little spoiler, if you will. The issue is most riders, most, most, most, I'm gonna say a great majority of riders are uneven on their seat bones.

And people have done studies on this. The studies were small, but they showed the overwhelming majority of people were uneven. And like I said, from my own experience, I can tell you that this is true no matter what discipline, no matter what level you are, whether you're a beginner or someone who's very advanced, and sometimes it's very obvious, sometimes a person will look crooked.

They'll, they'll have what people call collapsed hip. So in other words, one side of the rib cage is noticeably scrunched together. Then the other one, and you can see they're throwing their weight to one side, but other times it's not so obvious. It's not so obvious. When I was doing it before I got into the Feldenkrais method, I looked pretty straight on a horse.

I never had a trainer tell me that I looked crooked. And you know, when I was doing all the things and jumping and dressage and trail riding and everything, but it was causing problems, it was causing problems in my own body definitely, and in my horse. Okay? And so you can have something that you're uneven, but it's, it,

it's kind of, what's the word I'm looking for? Kind of like invisible. Like it's, it's a shift that you're doing like within your pelvis or something like that, that isn't very obvious to someone from the outside to see, okay? But your horse is feeling it. So let's talk about the impact about on this. So number one, this will impact your health and wellbeing.

So if you, for example, if you're sitting and you wanna purposely put more weight on one seat bone, now there's a whole other thing. We need a whole other, whole other episode, at least to get into how to shift your weight more onto one seat bone on the other. A lot of people don't do it. Well, okay, I'm gonna say that right now.

And for some people, they find it tricky to teach other people how to do it well. So I've developed a whole strategy around that. But just say, you know, how to put more weight on one seatbelt. Okay? So if you do that, so if you, if you're sitting, and you can safely do that. Now, if you do that,

like right now, I'm weighting my left seatbelt heavier on purpose. So if you really tune into how you're doing that, you'll find that you can create, if you do it unconsciously, you can create a whole bunch of stress and muscular tension up the whole side. And so I'll give you a scenario that a lot of people do, and they do this unconsciously,

okay? It's, they don't know they're doing it. But many, many people shorten, as we talked about a little earlier, one side of themselves. So in other words, maybe the right ribs are a little closer together, maybe the right side of the pelvis is up a little bit, okay? So basically the right side of their trunk is shorter than their left.

That's the most common situation I see. Occasionally it's the other way, and there's other variations you might be doing. But let's just say that's your habit. That was my habit, by the way, big time, okay? That even though when I was sitting on a horse, it wasn't obvious, but that's what I was doing, even in standing.

If I was standing up, I was doing that. So if you're doing that, so more weight will be thrown onto the left C bone. Oh, by the way, the studies I've seen on this, even though they're small studies, they have shown that for most people, the overwhelmingly majority of people are heavier on the left cone. And again,

that correlates with my experience in working with thousands of equestrians over the years. So again, if you shorten the right side of your trunk, right, you kinda lift your right side of your pelvis a little bit, just a little bit, right? You throw more weight onto the left seat bone, usually, not always, but usually, and that can create a whole host of problems up upstream and downstream.

Okay? You might find that one leg is shorter than the other. You might lose a stirrup. You might not have the same ability to internally or externally rotate from your hip joints, okay? It creates a lot of strain on the hips, for example. So it does all kinds of things to your own body, which over time can be very damaging to you as a,

as a person, and also will really negatively influence how you can ride, okay? So, 'cause obviously if you're, if you're, not only are you in balal, you know, out of balance in the saddle, right? Heavier on one side. But if you have these problems where, you know, one leg is shorter, maybe one shoulder is tighter,

there's issues up into the neck and shoulders very commonly with this, you know, pattern, that's a problem. Okay? You're gonna, you're gonna run into problems. You might have neck stiffness, shoulder problems, et cetera. So that's one thing. It's one thing. And, and again, you may not look very crooked, okay? This is what's kind of deceiving about it,

and you may not feel crooked at all. So, for example, in the study I read about, they had everyone sit evenly on their seat bones. I mean, they told 'em that they had pressure pads under them, and they said, sit evenly on your seat bones. So these were riders who thought they were sitting evenly, but 10 out of 12 were sitting heavier on their left seat bone,

for example, in that particular study. So your brain, if, if this is a habit you have, and I have found that virtually everyone has some kind of habitual pattern about how they weight their seat bones. Maybe it's just a minor discrepancy. Sometimes it's pretty, pretty big discrepancy. But you'll find that because it's such an ingrained habit, your brain has basically kind of neutralized it.

Like it's, it's normalized it. So it's like, okay, that's how it's, we are going to feel, we're gonna, we're gonna say we're even, we're gonna think this is, this is normal. That's why sometimes when you then learn how to become even it feels like you're heavier on the other cipo now, right? Because your brain had normalized the,

the imbalance, okay? Because it's like, has to tune out what's familiar, otherwise you drive yourself crazy. It's just like we tune out the, the sensation of wearing clothes, for example. Unless the fabric is, you know, novel, like it's something, maybe it's irritating you or you know, unusual that you know, but the normal, your familiar clothes,

your brain just tunes that out, that sensation, because otherwise you'd be just thinking about that all day. So your brain is so wonderful, it's so amazing because it has to filter all the sensory information you're getting. You're getting so much of it, bombarded with it all day long from all your senses. And it has to know how to filter out what's impor,

you know, only take in what's important. So sensation of wearing clothes, okay, that's not important after a while. So tunes that out. Same thing. If you have a particular habit, a movement habit, again, we, we all have them in different ways. Your brain will then say, well, we're just gonna assume that's normal and we're not gonna draw your attention to it.

So even if your trainer says, you know, you have your on one side, you're like, no, right? You feel fine. You feel even. So that's something that you really have to think about. Now, some people will just stick their hands under their seat bones, okay? Either palms up or palms down does a little bit different thing in the rotation of the arm.

But that is not always a good indicator. And I'm gonna tell you why. Now, sometimes you might feel, oh yeah, I am heavier on one side, but sometimes you don't because the very act of putting your hands under your seat bones changes what you do in your trunk, okay? So you may have gotten out of your pattern, your habit temporarily when you put your hands on your seatbelt.

So that may not be a good indicator. Now, a nice thing to do, and I do this with my clients and they, they don't mind, is I just say, sit on my hands. So like I'm behind them. And you could do this in a chair. It doesn't have to be on your horse, although I've done it with in both.

And you, and just be careful. They don't squish your hands too much. Like if you do it on a really hard chair, but you stick your hands under there, so you're behind them and they sit, they sit down on your hands, and then you can feel like, oh, yeah, but whether or not you do that, let tell you,

your horse is feeling if you are out of whack, if you're out of balance, okay? And think about this. So just say you're carrying a heavy load and you know, one side is going to, to weigh more than the other. Think of all the compensation you have to do to keep your own balance under that, right? That's number one.

So there could be issues with your horses. Not only just the back, but the neck, the hind end, the shoulders. I mean, like so many different parts. That's one reason, 'cause I saw this so often. That's one reason why I started insisting that when people wanted me to work with their horse, I also said, I have to work with you too.

So I do the Feldenkrais method for humans, and an approach called Debono Moves that I, that I originated for horses and other animals. So I'm like, you want me to do Debono Moves with your horse? I gotta do Feldenkrais with you, because otherwise I'm just like chasing symptoms with the horse. 'cause a lot of times we as riders are causing the problems with our horses.

Very, very common. So that's why in my programs, and this is a shout out to my move with your horse students, thank you for be, for being in the program. We do both. We, we work with the, the rider's movement. We work with the rider's mindset, and they learn how to do hands-on gentle, kind of like body work to improve their horses,

okay? You need all of it. I call it the body mind connection, which is, you know, your movement is kind of like the body, your mindsets, the mind and the connection is how you relate to your horse and how you can help your horse and then strengthen that connection and communication. But I digress back to you. So think about your horse dealing with this unbalanced load.

Now, what happens often is that it becomes kind of like a vicious cycle, because you might notice, oh, your horse's saddle is slipping a little bit to one side. That's not always the case, by the way. So don't use that as like, whether you're crooked or not. But it can do that. And then you might find that your horse's barrel is actually rotated,

and that might be an issue that originated with your horse. We, I don't know. I mean, it could have been, but I've also seen where the horse develops that barrel rotation, that unevenness in their own body because they've been compensating for an unbalanced rider. So it's really like a, it's really like this downward spiral that happens. So it's one of the things that I always say,

if you just said you can only help riders with one particular habit, it would be this one. Because that's how prevalent it's, it's like so many people do this and don't realize it. And I see how badly it affects the horses. And also think about when you are, you know, you're communicating with your horse through your seat, right? You are communicating.

So, so for example, if I increase my weight, I mean tiny bit more in one seat bone, just change that a little bit more, right? My horse is going to want to come under me, right? And so I use that as, as an aid. It's a incredibly effective aid when you can become really subtle and nuanced with it,

right? With using your weight aids. So it's something that just basically comes naturally to the horse to, to respond to that. Now, if you've been sitting crooked all along, and so one side is heavier than the other, what happens is then the horse learns to tune you out. Just like your nervous system. Your brain tunes out your familiar sensations,

like whether you're crooked or sensation wearing clothes or whatever. The horse learns to tune you out, which isn't what we want, is it? So that means your aids then have to be harsher. They have to be stronger. You can't have that incredible light communication where it just like you have a thought in your horse responds. You can't have that. 'cause your horse is learning.

You've taught your horse to tune you out, because when your horse tried to follow the feel under you, you corrected him. So I'll give you a story from my own life. Many years ago when I very first sat on my horse breeze, I mean, he wasn't my horse at the time. He belonged to this other person. And, you know,

and he had this bad reputation and all that. Anyway, I, I went in a round pen. I just put a halter on him, but I had a saddle and I rode him. And he was, he was a very anxious horse when I first knew him, very anxious. And so he was trotting around at a hundred miles an hour.

But one thing I I noticed right away was any tiny change in my seat bones, he responded. I mean, like, it was, he was amazing. It's like he would go this way, this way. I mean, I'm talking like little tiny changes in my seat bones. Like, I think it was like ounces of pressure, different. And I remember,

so his, his current owner at the time, she was standing outside the round pen. And I said, he's so amazing. He's so amazing. And she said, no, he's not. He's horrible. She said, he only turns in one direction. Now. I thought, ah, that tells me a little something about you. And then I did get to work with her,

and I knew, well, I noticed right away was that she was very heavy on one seatbelt. She didn't know it. Of course she wasn't doing that intentionally. But that's why Breeze, who was such a sensitive horse, was so responsive to me because it's like, and so quote unquote belligerent and stubborn with her because she was queuing him all the time.

Inadvertently. So how many times are we doing this? We don't know. I, I did this myself. So I'm not casting stones here. Before I luckily found the Feldenkrais method. I was very heavy on my left seat bone and I didn't know about it. And so I was doing that to all the horses I rode, you know, when I was younger.

So I'm not, again, not casting stones here, I'm just trying to bring awareness to this, okay? So, and the, the difficulties you might find with your horse don't necessarily have to be in turning or bending in one direction or the other. They often are, but they may not be. It could be that your horse doesn't wanna move forward willingly at all.

Like in any, you know, straight line or whatever, maybe your horse bolts or is spooky. Like there's all kinds of ways that the horse can basically trying to cope, trying to cope with this situation, with this uncomfortable situation. Okay? So it doesn't just have to be, you know, turning one way or the other is easier. Doesn't always have to be that,

right? And again, you might notice your saddle slipping a little or losing a stir up on one side, but maybe not. That's not, I don't see that in every case by any means. Okay, so let's talk about something else too. Now, how else this, this impacts you. So we want to move with our horses, right?

That's our whole thing, right? We want to have that coordination, that that synchronization with our horses, right? We're moving in harmony with them. We don't wanna feel like we're moving against them, right? So when you're unbalanced on your s like this, it's very difficult, if not impossible to really move with that kind of coordination. So, because your body is compensating for the imbalance,

so your horse is compensating, you're compensating, and you're basically bumping up against each other. So that takes away your ability to really move easily and in, in harmony with your horse. And again, it makes your aids have to be so much louder and stronger because you don't have that whispering ability that just a thought. And you could, you know,

communicate when, when you're more even. So that's number one. The other thing is, it's, it's a less secure seat. So if you think about it, when you really learn how to move your pelvis in these different ways and to be more even, and to just have this fluidity in your movement, then when a surprising movement happens, right?

Your horse suddenly, you know, jumps to the side because, you know, a leaf fell or, or there was a loud noise or whatever, you are able to just instantaneously move with your horse. I mean, at least you have a better chance of that happening, right? And it just happens organically. It's not like you have to plan for it because now your brain has all these options in how to move your pelvis and how to stay with your horse.

So I find that really, really crucial. So, you know, what I see over and over again when I ask people like, what, what are the, some of the things that their number one or two challenges that they're dealing with as riders? Hips is a big one, okay? And by the way, being unbalanced, like this is really hard on your hips.

So it often creates that, that tension in the hip joints. But the other thing they tell me is that there's a lot of anxiety around writing. They don't feel confident. They don't feel secure. So when you're, when you're, you know, uneven like this, your brain knows you're not that secure. So that anxiety is, is, you know,

is, is keeps getting perpetuated because you really aren't that secure because can you really go with the horse that easily? Probably not. So this is why I always say like, you know, we talk about mindset and I love, I have different, you know, I have different episodes I've done about confidence and things like that. And that's super important.

And I'll be diving into much more with mindset as well. That's important. But you have to have the physical resources to be confident to be safe with your horse. So again, this is why I go back to body, mind and connection with your horse. So you have to address this stuff. You have to address this on the physical level that you,

you know how to follow your horse. And so your nervous system then gets, feels more confident, feels safer. Your nervous system is tasked with keeping you safe. So your nervous system realizes, oh yeah, you know, she's got this, you know, she can do this. And then you start to develop your confidence. There's a little more to it than that,

but that's the basis of it. If you don't have that, it's gonna be difficult and it, it may very well be unsafe for you. So we wanna do everything we can to make being with your horse as safe and as fun as possible. And this will translate to your horse too, because, you know, horses know horses feel when you're uncomfortable and you're sending out those like warning signals to them so they,

you know, are responding to that. But if you do feel secure, then you're sending out welcoming signals and your horse will respond to that. Okay? So, so again, you won't, if you're unbalanced, you won't be able to really, you know, synchronize your movements with your horse. You won't be able to, you know, really regulate their speed,

their tempo, their direction, you know, all the things that we want to do, right? We want to just move as one. Isn't that what riding that, that blissful feeling with, with being with a horse is that feeling like you're moving as one. So we want that, we want that. So now let's talk about how you can get that.

So I'm a Feldenkrais method teacher. I've been teaching this for over 30 years. It is amazing stuff. And again, I've developed an approach that I do with the horses that's strongly based in the Feldenkrais method. It's called the Bono Moves. So you can learn how to help your horse as well. 'cause now you have to help your horse kinda get over dealing with you for those years or however long,

or the person who, who rode your horse before you. So, but let me give you some tips. So if you're not, if you're not currently in my program, move with your horse, which I'll be opening up, by the way, a new cohort of that. I'm super excited. So hope you join us. Number one thing is to recognize that this is something you learn your way out of.

You don't force your way out of, okay? You, you want to learn a different way of moving or way of and way of sitting. You don't wanna try to force yourself to sit evenly because if you do, you'll just create more restrictions, more tensions in your body. So even something like, and this is not a bad strategy, but some,

some trainers will just tell you, so say you're short on the right side, you have that collapsed hip going on. Maybe it's something like that that's more obvious. They'll tell you raise the arm on that side, right? And to, to lengthen them the right side of your, of your trunk. Now that's, it's not a bad strategy, but it doesn't go far enough in my opinion.

It may help in the short term, but from what I've seen is the person has not changed. They have not gotten any more options in how to move their pelvis and low back and hips. Okay? So maybe in the moment it kind of straighten them out. But again, it doesn't, in my opinion, it doesn't go far enough. So that's number one.

So it's not about just like pushing through it or trying to force your way there because like, even if I try to just say my pattern, like a lot of your patterns are, is sitting heavier on the left. And that used to be my pattern. If I just try to force myself to sit on the right, right? What am I doing?

Maybe I'm, I'm trying to pick up the left one. I'm like tightening down here. I can't follow my horse. I'm, I'm just creating a whole mess. So that's not good. So I would say number one is slow down, slow down and use much less effort. So for example, if you're riding your horse just at the walk, so slow down,

allow yourself to feel, when we use a lot of effort, a lot of tension in the body, we can't feel as much, right? We, we lose that sense. So we want to dev, especially as equestrians, you want to develop your feel. I mean that's like the, that's the hallmark of a skilled equestrian is to have great feel like that's how we communicate with our horses.

So that's number one is to recognize that this is about learning and exploring and being curious and not forcing. Okay? So keep that in mind. And you wanna slow down so you can feel more so you do less to feel more. Okay? And remember we learn by noticing differences. So when you notice a difference, celebrate it. Say, oh wow,

yes, I am sitting heavier on that C bone. Or maybe it's maybe the two C bones feel somewhat even, but you're like more to the inside of one or, and more to the outside of the other or some other variation. I mean, it's all very individual, right? So, but be, you know, celebrate when you notice a difference,

it's wonderful to notice a difference. 'cause that's how you learn. If you say, I don't feel anything, I don't feel anything different, that means you're probably not as tuned in as you could be. That you've somehow tuned out a lot of sensations. 'cause virtually everyone is gonna notice differences about something or other. So in their, in their movement,

we're not symmetrical beings, we're not, you know, even our structure is not symmetrical at birth. So, you know, it's not about trying to force yourself into some kind of structural symmetry. What we're looking for is functional symmetry. So having more options and getting out of our unconscious kind of, you know, those, those maladaptive movement habits that we've developed over time due to injuries or some other reason.

There's many, many reasons we develop them. A lot of times you start when we're very, very young. So that's, we wanna think about that. And you wanna really think about how you can release muscles rather than contract muscles. So let me explain. I bet you are already really good at tensing, right? I bet you're, you're a champion at tensing.

What you may not be so good at is releasing, fully releasing muscular contractions. And this is where the Feldenkrais method really, really shines. I mean, we, we pay a lot of attention to being, you know, to learning how to fully release muscles so that then they're available for their full power, if you think about it. So this is a very simple,

I'm I'm saying this example very simply, but if you just think about the length of a, of a muscle, a particular muscle, some muscle, and just say you always keep it, like a lot of people do, you know, somewhat tense, right? There's just that little bit of tension. What happens is then when you need to contract it for a movement you want to do,

right, it doesn't have the full ability to contract 'cause it's already partially contracted. So it's, it's, and plus it gets tired, it gets sore, you know, you develop all kinds of compensations. 'cause now that's kind of chy and all kinds of things. So in the Feldenkrais method, we place a lot of emphasis on learning how to really release the contraction.

So then the next time you want that muscle to work you, it's available for you, you, and then you have options and how to use it and how powerful and how fast, et cetera. But you have to slow down to be able to feel this. So we do a lot of this and I, and I, I teach this in,

in my classes of course, but just start playing with this. Like, so one way, one strategy that you can use is you can consciously tense and muscle. So you might wanna do this, maybe you could do it with a shoulder, like consciously bring your, you know, right shoulder up to your ear and then, you know, let it come down and really start to play with that.

Maybe then bring it a little forward and tense, you know, a little up and tense a little down and 10, you know, play around with variations. 'cause that's another thing. The brain learns by having novelty variations. So you want to do things differently. Again, this gets the attention of the nervous system. Remember we spoke about that earlier?

'cause we tune out what's familiar. So novelty, all kinds of variations are really, really important. Okay? So remember that. Now another thing I I wanna say is that my free Rider masterclass, it's three videos. If you haven't done them or you haven't done them in a while, please go do them. Okay? That will help you. It'll be the first step in helping you be,

it's not the only step, but it's a very good foundation for helping you notice if you're crooked on your horse. And these are done by the way, sitting in a chair. So you don't have, you won't be with your horse when you do them. You could do them in the comfort of your living room. But they're three short videos. They're like,

I don't know, 15 minutes each or something like that. And they're free. And you go to mary Debono dot com slash rider, I'll have the link of the show notes. So don't worry if you're driving, don't stop and try to write this down. So the, I would say do that first. Then the other thing I'm gonna give you is I,

I made another little video that actually will help you get even better, like help you a little bit more after the third video. So you have to do the three videos though. So kind of gonna take you on an honor system whether you did the three videos or not. But I will put a link to the last video that you can get as well.

And so that's like the fourth video. It's kinda like a bonus video because it can help you really. And for that you will need to, to actually, there's one part of it where it's helpful to be lying on your back. So for that, you'll need more than a chair. You'll need the floor. But again, you do these at home.

So that's, that's number number one is to think about how you can do different novel. And these are Feldenkrais lessons that are, can help you be more balanced on your horse. And then you can play around with them on your, a little bit, not the last video where you're lying on your back. Don't do that on your horse please. But the other ones,

the other ones you can really play with a little bit safely. If someone's holding your horse and you have bombproof horse, or another thing I recommend is that you could do them in a saddle, on a sturdy saddle stand that can hold your weight. That can be helpful to do. But you don't have to. People don't even do that. And be very mind,

be very, very careful you can do them on your horse. Because actually no horse is really bombproof and things happen. Chickens fall out of the sky is what I often say, because that happened to me once with my horse who was bombproof until the chicken fell out of the sky. Fell out of a tree, really? But we didn't know he was there.

Okay? So remember that. And the other thing is, when you're doing these videos, I wanna really emphasize not to imitate me. Don't even look at the video. They, they're videos because that's what people like. And maybe the position, maybe just sneeze a little clarification. So you can peek at the video, but please don't watch it as you're doing it.

So either turn away from it or close your eyes. And when you close your eyes, you can often feel more, but just listen and don't watch. 'cause what we're trying to develop here is actually your ability to feel right? You're developing your feel as well as being more, even when you do these Feldenkrais lessons. So if you're just watching and trying to imitate someone,

you're not gonna develop your feel. So you won't know how to improve in a way that's right for you. All this work is so individual, it's individual for your horse, it's individual for you. So please don't imitate anybody else. It's not about imitation, it's about developing your own feel, it's feeling and, and moving in a way that's right for you,

for your history, for your structure, for your, you know, history. I meant like history of injuries and things like that. So it's all very individual. Okay? So the other thing I wanna say is it's really important to create like, comfortable learning environments. So when you do these, you do them with a sense of play and curiosity.

And you never, ever do a movement or a position that's uncomfortable because your brain will just be like, oh my gosh, this is not good for us. We don't want that. We want your brain, your nervous system to feel safe, safe. So only do that if the movements are comfortable, it will be super counterproductive if you're pushing through pain.

And as always, I always encourage people to check in with their physician before beginning any movement program, including this one. Okay? So you are responsible for your own, you know, health and safety as you do this. So, so be very mindful of your comfort and do much less than you can do. It's not about going to your maximum matter of fact,

that, again, is counterproductive because your brain then will just feel okay. That's the most we can do. And I'll think about limits. We want to do small, easy movements that your brain says, wow, we can do, we can do more of this. We can, you know, it has that feeling of expansion gives you more choice,

more possibilities. I'm all about more possibilities here. Okay? So very, very important. All right, so let's just summarize real quick. This, this episode went longer than I expected. So you are let, let's just say the majority, the great majority of writers at, and by the way, every level I'm talking about, I've worked with some very,

very high level competitors and they were all uneven on their seat bones. So most riders, I'm gonna put it, and most humans I'm gonna say are uneven when they're sitting, okay? Now to varying degrees, okay? But, but many majority are. Okay? So that's number one. That could impact your, that health and wellbeing, you know,

the health of your spine, including your neck, your, and also your shoulders and back. You know, all, every part, your legs, your, your, your hip joints. Everything is affected when you're uneven for, you know, habitually, okay? Your evenness or unevenness directly impacts your horse's comfort directly impacts your horse's behavior and performance. Okay?

So please keep that in mind and that, you know, they, they sense your imbalance even if you don't, and they have to compensate for it, okay? And when you're unbalanced, you can't move with your horse clearly, you know, in a coordinated, synchronized way, your communication breaks down, right? You have to give louder aids, you might feel your horses being disobedient or,

you know, stiff or, or some other thing. So remember that if you try to just tense your way to balance, it will make it worse. Okay? So a lot of people are really into tensing their core, and there's a whole way of doing it. I have a whole program about that because there's a very particular way of learning how to activate those core muscles.

But a lot of people just think they go, you know, have to go around tensing themselves all the time. That will just exacerbate whatever maladaptive habit, you know, kind of inefficient or bad habit you have already. So, and it will shut down your feel, right? Just using a lot more muscle tension will just shut down your feel. So do a lot less and really play with,

you know, just at the walk, play with allowing, you know, yourself to feel, to slow down or even just at the halt. And, and also do this when you're not on your horse. Like, really notice when you sit on the sofa to watch Netflix, how are you sitting? Do you have a habit of being on one side,

you know, kind of scrunched into that side of the couch? Or, you know, when you sit having your cup of tea or coffee in the morning, how are you sitting when you're driving? I see this very often. There's an asymmetry when people are driving and it gets very, very habitual. So just notice, and again, it's not about forcing yourself to be straight there,

there's a whole strategy to do. But start with my writer, free writer masterclass. And the other thing I'm gonna say is really embrace curiosity and playfulness about this. If you get like, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I'm crooked, I'm screwing up my horse. You're just creating more tension, more anxiety, and your nervous system will be like,

oh my gosh, we gotta just not take in any new information right now. We just have to deal with what we're dealing with. You know, it's very counterproductive to learning and improving. So it's, it's not the end of the world. It's not the end of the world. You are like everyone else, and you're just going to, you know,

be a proactive horse person by saying, okay, let's explore this. Let's see what this Mary person has to offer on this and play with it. Okay? And feel free to reach out to me, by the way, Mary at mary Debono dot com. I love getting emails from people and they Tell me what they're dealing with, et cetera. It also gives me good suggestions for additional,

you know, videos that I'm making and podcasts, et cetera. Okay? So, you know, find your own way, like, in other words, really, you know, let go of the negative self-talk. Nobody needs that nonsense. And just think, okay, I'm going to tune into what I feel and how I feel myself and how I feel my horse.

And again, I have like, you know, many, many strategies about how you can learn how to do this in my move with your horse program. But just start by slowing down and doing smaller movements. Slow down and do less. And again, embrace curiosity. And then make sure you do those three videos in the writer masterclass again, even if you did them a while ago,

I would encourage you to do them again. And then I have that additional one that I'll, I'll provide a, a link to and, and you know how you can get that one as well. So I just wanna thank you, by the way, thank you for being here. Thank you for taking the time to listen and to want to improve and want to help yourself and your horse because you and your horse deserve to feel great together.

Thank you again so much. I look forward to seeing you the next episode. Bye for now.