Correcting the Riders Position

Please address rider asymmetry for example, all my horses have always been short on the right side due, in large part, to my own position and asymmetry which places them to the right regardless of the direction we are going in. What are the main issues causing this imbalance and how do I, the rider, correct my own position?

This is an important question. The first thing is for you to be aware of your position. Since you know all of your horses are twisted to the right, you must be very tight and collapsing your right side. The second goal is to reprogram yourself to correct the imbalance.

Take a video of yourself riding normally in both directions at the walk, trot and canter. The best angle to analyze your postion is from behind up the long side. Once you visually see what you are feeling, you can begin to correct the error. If you collapse to the right, check your leg position, is it in alignment, i.e.shoulder, hip and heel in a straight line? Is your heel down, legs relaxed, not gripping? Lifted in your sternum centered equally over both seatbones? Once correct, walk in both directions thinking about lengthening from your right hip to the shoulder, growing your upper body upward, always remaining centered in the saddle.

You will need someone on the ground telling you when you are not straight. Bring awareness into each step and breathe. By taking it very slow, and concentrating on your body, you will soon come into balance with your horse and ride correctly. When you are feeling more correct, take another video and analyze the differences.

Even better, video the collapsed postion and then slowly correct it with the excercises above and watch the video in slow motion. This will help you become very clear with your postion.

An excellent reference book to assist you is called Balance in Movement by Susanne von Dietze.