Forget Social Distancing Susan Harris Gets Close and Personal with Rider BioMechanics

Rider BioMechanics and Balance Play a Major Roll in a Balanced Riding Position

Laura Kelland-May, host of the “Rider Position Fix-it Show” on the Jumping Instructors Network recently welcomed Susan E. Harris as co-host.  The live broadcast, from Facebook, has become a fan favorite and international clinician and rider biomechanic specialist Susan E. Harris was on hand to provide her expertise. Kelland-May had to ask Susan for a return visit because as Kelland-May says, “the viewers were asking questions and Susan wanted to make sure that there was enough time for the answers.”

The “Rider Position Fix-it Show” founded by Laura Kelland-May and Randi Thompson, Jumping Instructors Network creator and co-host, began as a way to share exercises and tips for professional trainers and instructors.  Kelland May says, “it has blossomed into a live broadcast bringing together international trainers who genuinely love what they do and welcome an opportunity to share their insights.”

Topics discussed during the broadcast included:

  • The Hollow Back. How does it impact the connection between horse and rider?

During this discussion Susan explained how the history of the hollow back came in to play as well how the actual hip anatomy between men and women can cause a hollow back in females more than males. Strong core muscles play an intregal part of correcting a concave back as well as tension in other parts of the riders body. Susan went on to explain that a riding with a hollow back can also lead to other riding issues, a “hollow back is not a good idea not only for your own back ... but also for your horse”. The reason is because when you hollow your back your back, it mechanically tightens up your hip joints. This then sends tension to other places in your body which has the domino effect to your horse feeling that tension and you as a rider can not follow their movements smoothly.

  • It's all about the head position. Where are your riders looking and does that matter?

Susan summed up the importance of your eyes by saying, “Eyes up is really essential. If you can't think of any other thing, either breathe or eyes up or both if you can. It is probably the thing that will save your bacon the most often.” Susan shared some valuable exercises on riding focus and how you can train your eyes to be “soft eyes”, that is, focusing on your jump, for example, but still be aware of what is around you.

  • How to create a jumping positon that looks good and works?

During this portion of the broadcast we had an excellent visual as Susan outlined a balanced riding positon. A soft following release and correctly placed over the riders lower leg. Simple exercises that identifies how to get riders stablized were shared and discussed.

The moderator for “The Rider Position Fix-it Show”, Kelland May, fielded questions from viewers, which were answered in detail from Susan E. Harris.

To watch the full episode visit Laura Kelland May’s YouTube Channel or watch the replay on Jumping Instructors Network.

Susan E. Harris is a renowned horse person, artist, riding instructor and international clinician who conducts Centered Riding© clinics and Anatomy in Motion demonstrations. She is author and illustrator of “Horse, Gaits, Balance and Movement”, “Horsemanship in Pictures”, “Grooming to Win”, The US Pony Club “Manual of Horsemanship” and many more. Susan apprenticed with Sally Swift the founder of “Centered Riding”© and also teaches clinic in Centered Riding© and Anatomy in Motion.

LAURA KELLAND MAY, Equestrian Canadian Sr. Hunter, Jumper, Equitation and Hack judge and Steward and a Competition Coach Specialist, is available for clinics and interviews. She is the producer of “The Rider Position Fix-it Show” (Wednesdays 1:00 PM EST), “Jumping Instructors Live Show” (Fridays 1:00 PM EST)  and the “Jay Duke Show” (Mondays 7:30 PM EST) on the Jumping Instructors Network on Facebook. Kelland May is joined by co-host Randi Thompson, the founder of the Jumping Instructors Network.

Name: Laura Kelland May
Phone: 613-304-7013
Email: lkellandmay@gmail.com

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