I am a bit odd perhaps, but I like to set myself challenges from time to time. I also try to make sure I can do whatever I advise my clients to do. So, this summer I decided to work on my symmetry a bit more. To say that I am one sided would be a massive understatement; I am totally incapable of doing anything useful with my Left hand – despite playing the violin for years – and struggle with getting my Left/Right instructions correct.
My mission through the summer has been to work on 3 things; co-ordination, strength and symmetry of movement. I chose 1 daily ‘exercise’ – from the list I gave you a few months ago, and made myself do it the wrong way round for an increasing proportion of the time. Initially it was almost impossible and surprisingly exhausting. I felt so uncoordinated, really weak, and so aware of my one sidedness. I nearly gave up. But as the months have gone by and I have persevered, I have realised that I am no longer so weak and the whole movement feels so natural that there have been a few times now where I forget which is my ‘normal’ side.
So which one did I tackle? Sweeping the stables. Simple as that.
I am now better at leading with my right leg and left hand, so I am not always rotating the same way. This means I am not always fixing my pelvis the same way, using my oblique abdominals and shoulder stabilisers on the same diagonal, and then transferring these to the horse. I am more coordinated and in control of my left arm, and generally feel more balanced.
This may well just benefit me when it comes to manual activities like mucking out and gardening. Not that this is a bad thing, because for horse riders/owners a lot of physical problems can stem from the repetitive nature of these manual jobs. Making the body more symmetrical and balanced when carrying these out will allow for loads to be better distributed throughout the body, and for the body to be better able to cope.
But, I hope – and think that it has already happened – that I am using myself more symmetrically when I work Lizzie on the flat. I particularly want to make myself more symmetrical when it comes to lateral work, and I hope that the diagonal nature of my sweeping will transfer to the diagonal nature of lateral work.
I hope this inspires you to have a go as well. There is a good list on the 1st post about symmetry from earlier in the year, and if you have any good ideas yourself please let me know and we can share them.
Until next time,