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RE: A LEG OR TWO UP (long)

Hi Karen.
My personal opinion and experience (both riding and rehab) regarding 
soreness in riding (or anything for that matter) is very dependent on 
efficiency.  If a rider is highly efficient the body does not have to work 
so hard and thus less soreness.  However if the rider is inefficient, ie, 
collapses to one side or is unsymmetrical, the body works harder and thus 
is more susceptible to becoming sore (r) or lay claim to structural 
As far as stretching goes, whereever in your body you feel sore you need to 
direct your awareness to...why is it sore?  But in general:  adductor, 
quad/hip flexor, calf, rotatore paraspinal muscles and glute/hams 
stretches.  If you want more specific stretches, email me privately.
Another good suggestion is to GET A MASSAGE!  Being a massage therapist 
myself, I think we overlook ourselves and what we are doing TO the horses 
rather than just treating the horses thinking that it is their independent 
problem.  Massage therapy is a great learning/awareness tool for the 
Last suggestion is to stregthen the muscles which are sore: back, abs, 
quads, and hams.  Riding is a very isometric exercise that makes the 
muscles work without having them move throughout their range of motion. 
 (See massage) :-)
So, in summary to better the chance of NOT getting sore:
ride better, get a massage, stretch, and strengthen!
-----Original Message-----
From:	Karen J Zelinsky []
Sent:	Tuesday, July 07, 1998 8:20 AM
Subject:	A LEG OR TWO UP

Hey ya'll!

Enough of these petty discussions regarding horse nutrition, trailer
safety, electrolytes, rules and regs, selenium, emergencies, etc.  I am
introducing the REAL ISSUE . . .  riders'  legs!!  People count too,
right?  Why just the other day I finally got on my good 'ol gal bareback
and wow - after eons of not riding, these old legs got pretty sore/tight
quickly.  You know, the adductors and whatever muscles.  Well, for many
years, in fact, eons back, I have had bow legs, i.e., knees don't touch,
until, one day I had neuromusclur work done on them and voila -
temporarily the bones moved into straighter alignment).  The woman who
performed the muscle work said (maybe jokingly?) ... in your last life
you may have been a Mongul - or whichever bunch did the wild horse-riding
scene - Hun?).  Then, yesterday, noticed a friend who had been riding all
his life had the same leg conformation.  Hmmmm.  And me, being an equine
masseuse doing lots of show horses  I notice interesting leg shapes on
riders - many with non-straight legs.  Does anyone have any info to
contribute to my momentary obsession - riders' legs?  How are YOUR legs
affected by your horse addiction?  What are good stretching excercises?
How often do you have to ride to keep them in non-stress mode?  I have
heard from human masseuses that riders are some of the worst in the back
department, and also that riding is so therapeutic for the back,
depending on the horse and riding technique used, but there's also legs
involved in riding - and other parts of our bodies, I am curious and want
to know.  (Maybe Deb Bennet can do charts on rider conformation and
suitability to different horse types!)   I have read postings regarding
backs and footsie problems so far - so, I might be opening another
Pandora's box, but I can't wait to hear from people about anatomy
functional preoblems, non-problems. Example - there must be different
problems for different riding styles, different horse builds, rider
builds.  Rider anatomy.  Another piece of the puzzle.  Sorry, I did run
on and on and on.  Still with me?

Okay, what do you think?  Thanks!

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