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Barrel Horse Pose

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

When we mimic a barrel horse sale ad picture we are square, centered and standing strong. This is where we build and stem a lot movements from.

How to do:

1. From flat tire, push up

2. Evenly weight all fours

3. Feel the core lifting the backbone

4. Feel hands and knees pressing away

Don't do:

1. Rock back on knees and feet

2. Drop back or tilt pelvis down

3. Sink into hands and lock elbows

4. Forget to breath or engage muscles

This is the beginning pose we will build some movements on top of. We find our center of gravity and strength here before we start finding ways to challenge balancing and activating different parts of our body. It is the 'beginning' of the Work-Out portion of the exercise. We can master this if we think of it more as an active posture verses a frozen pose. Imagine being on your back and pressing the ceiling away from you with your hands and knees. We should feel the same muscles activating to keep pushing the floor away from us. Here we can really start to visualize and apply our circulating breath that comes in through the nose, down low to the belly and fills our lungs then goes out through the mouth. We can also start to evaluate how our alignment is. Are our shoulders to wrists straight and supported? Are our hips and knees working together? Is our back supported by our abdominals? Is our head in line with our tail bone? This is a great perceptive posture to visit often.

Ride and Apply:

While we don’t actually do this pose on a horse, we are better riders when our mind is quieter, our body is less in pain. Doing this pose in an activated (isometric-type) stance we immediately start prepping our body for the circulation and proprioception it needs to move with fluidity and function. The more function, and space to be fluid that we give our spine and lower back, the more fluid we can be in the saddle.

Try it:

Try to set up your phone or mirror on this one. Evaluating where you naturally out of habit, want to rest your weight (forward/back/ or to one side) or in one hip) can give your feedback on your posture when you ride. How you default in posture, and how you default in correcting posture will tell you a lot about how you correct movement in the saddle. When you do have to correct any alignment/movement or posture try to do it from the inside out. Breathing in then out, engaging the core first and then lengthening everything from there is a healthier pattern.

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