Book Review: Wendy Murdoch’s 50 5-Minute Fixes To Improve Your Riding
Have you ever had an annoying little glitch in your riding that hampers your performance success? Maybe the rider is bothering her horse without even realizing it. Slumped shoulders, stiff neck , floppy elbows, inconsistent contact? Many nagging bad habits are unconscious habits, only to be noticed when brought to the rider’s attention by an instructor. Wendy Murdoch has identified problems of position and posture that may prevent a rider from achieving her goals, and she’s devised some ways to fix them.
In 50 5-Minute Fixes, Murdoch offers constructive techniques designed to directly address specific problems of physical alignment. Murdoch’s goal is for her techniques to “re-wire” new habits in the brain, so that the bad habits that are causing frustration in the rider’s performance are replaced.
Murdoch’s exercises are arranged in sections by body category: grouped for head/neck, chest/upper back, pelvis/lower back, arms, legs, wrists/hands, ankles/feet. Murdoch’s belief is that once the rider is aware of a problem, she can consciously re-train that particular body area. Many of the “fixes” can be achieved with no assistant or training aid, although some do require these. Some “fixes” are mounted, others are not. All the techniques require the rider to slow down and employ the “do less” principle. The idea is that by going slowly, “doing less” and not “trying harder,” the rider can notice more about how the right way feels versus how the wrong way feels. With frequent short practice, the body develops a habit of the “right way” and the rider feels and performs better!
Each month of 2012, the Mid-South Horse Review will offer a “Murdoch Minute,” a specific exercise to help improve rider’s position and performance.
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