Sometimes, being an Osteopath isn't all about standing in a clinic and treating people. Occasionally, we get to go out into the beautiful countryside and work too! Thanks to Cromwell GB for organising a great clinic on Saturday 13th April 2019,I managed to get out and demo how changing the biomechanics of horse riders can make a big difference to the horse's performance by addressing small asymmetries in their posture and joint mobility. The picture shows a great example of this: by assessing the contact surface between the rider's legs and the horse's side, you can see if there is a symmetrical pattern each side.
I was joined by the very clever Stephanie Bloom, a saddle fitter specialising in AH Saddles, and together we had attendees from the equestrian discipline of endurance along with several who weren't endurance riders. One rider even travelled from Surrey to Cambridgeshire to attend! It really did work very well to have a saddle balance check with Steph Bloom before the biomechanics session with myself, a fully qualified and very experienced osteopath, to work from a better starting point.
One of the tools I work with are Franklin balls, soft, air filled balls that create change to the nerves and fascia of the body, as well as doing some assessments and adjustments on my osteopathy treatment bench. This allows me to really offer a wide selection of corrections, all finely tuned so they are specific for riders. Steph mainly worked using Mattes and other shim pads (some riders had their own) to make sure that not only were the participants saddles in much better balance, but in a couple of cases that correction also stopped lateral slippage too.
Everyone enjoyed the relaxed format and being able to ask questions about the horse-saddle-rider interaction. One or two were able to answer their own questions about whether their saddle was helping or hindering, and know what to look for when on the hunt for one, and one lady has been fixed up with a fitting for an AH Saddle in her area after riding in one! Result!
If you'd like to take part in a similar clinic down the line please don't hesitate to contact me and between Steph and I, we will do our best to organise one in your area.