Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Back" in Horse & Rider

I just discovered that The Rider's Pain-Free Back is featured in March's Horse & Rider magazine.

They feature a nice overview of the book, with specific references to sections that can help alleviate back pain. There is also an excerpt of the "Spider Crawl," one of the easier, more useful stretching exercises.

I'm thrilled. Doing the exercises has been very helpful to me. They take very little time, and I'm not sore after I ride or do groundwork. I'm hoping that they can be as beneficial to others, too.

I've been working Theo regularly lately. We've been doing some riding and a lot of fun groundwork. I really like working him at liberty. He's learning to free lunge in a large arena, to bow, and to come when he's called.

Yesterday, we worked with another horse in the arena and though he wasn't perfect, he wasn't horrible. I have grand plans of doing liberty groundwork and tack-free riding with him to show people that Percherons aren't just big clunky work horses. Theo is light, nimble, sure-footed, and sooo willing. He's such a joy to work with.

I grew up showing hunters. But I have to admit that "show ring riding" holds very little appeal to me anymore.

Walk... trot... walk... canter... walk... reverse... walk... trot... walk... canter... walk... Come into the center and line up... Back...Stand.

I figure if I'm bored to tears with the drill, my horse is probably wishing he were in a coma.

I found Stacey Westfall's amazing 2006 tack-free reining demonstration truly inspiring. Lately, I've been studying the things that Frederic and J.F. Pignon, Klaus von Hempfling, and others are doing with their horses. I am having a ball working on developing the connection and communication required to work together with my horse. And I am convinced that my horse is enjoying our time together far more than he would if I were simply "working" him.

I'm grateful to the exercises in Dr. Warson's book that are keeping my 40-something back strong enough for me to play around with my 2,000 pound, 19 hand boy. Here's hoping that the Horse & Rider exposure will help other backs as well.