Updated: Oct 8, 2020
If the spine is aligned, then the rest will be fine. -K.R.
How to do:
1. From campfire, breath in & reach around
2. Stretch evenly then let breath out
3. Lift out of the hip past top of the head
4.Gently arch head around & arms around
Crank and crack back, backwards
Let focus and posture shift down
Tightly hold breath in
Isolate stretch in hips or shoulders
This back stretch can be carefully done to serve circulating the vast and intricate structures of our upper-body. Breath in this stretch is vital here. Each time you reach around you should able to reach a little further or a little easier. This is because you are circulating the area as well as recalibrating the proprioception. As you are reaching back you are talking to the spine with the mobility of the stretch, and the breath of the stretch is talking to the circulation of the blood and soft tissue. When a vessel, organ, or other piece of anatomy is lacking blood circulation, it is as risk for injury for two reasons. The first is that blood flow and tissue circulation lubricates the area to keep moving and gliding around. When the circulation is taken away, so is all the lubricating fluid. Secondly, when the fluid is restricted, and cannot bring essential healing properties to the area in need. It is really important to do this one often and gently, preferably in combination with seeing a chiropractor.
Ride and Apply:
This posture helps mobilize what we can sometimes freeze when we ride. Occasionally our riding technique or the task at hand leaves us no choice to be stable, so we have to momentarily freeze. There is a happy medium of having a spine be stable and active simultaneously. Sitting on a horse at full speed and yanking him to a stop to either halt or turn sets us up to jam up our skeleton and his. But if we can work on our athleticism to carefully prep both our bodies to dissipate the torque that comes with fast deceleration and rate change. We can also learn to manage balance better with more minimal/micro adjustment with how we articulate the spinal movements. A healthy, aligned, flexible spine helps us articulate movement with more control, which will translate to our horses tolerance from both a training and physical tolerance capacity.
Go back through some of your recorded runs. Try to remember if there have been times that you or your horse made a run with a sore back or consequently made a run that caused a sore back. Reflect on why you think this happened. Recall on how you attempted to fix the problem. Consider having a baseline of problem solving that starts in the physical place first and graduates up to a training place last. Addressing problems physically without drugs in a whole body or spine specific perspective can offer solutions instead of quick-fixes or guessing games. Stretching, muscle assessing, massaging, chiropractic's and exercise can show a lot more feedback for what our back and horse's back needs.