Hard work makes the core work?

After hurting my back on the weekend, I went to the physiotherapist on Monday (which started my week of being late to get home, a trend that started last Friday…) and it became clear that my back was quite strong and takes over the work from my abs.

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Too much of this??

Apparently my core is weak? (Which seemed absolutely ludicrous to me, like do you know how many push ups I can do!?) but clearly my back is doing the job of my abs and letting them off the hook.

My back felt better yesterday, so my one trainer generously allowed me to try her saddle on Oats and I rode him in my dressage lesson with Karen. I told her I had been struggling with my back muscles, and wanted to do some core work–and then kind of regretted it, it was TOUGH.

And fun?!

But mostly tough.

The saddle felt really weird, and I felt like I was tipping backwards…We worked on posting trot with a very exaggerated lean back to ‘engage’ my core/lower abdomen muscles, and then sitting, and then canter w/o stirrups. The canter actually felt really good–Oats was pissy at first, and then we did more canter and it felt downright lovely w/o stirrups! We worked on a funny exercise, lifting your legs off the horse out to the side, and and then letting them ‘hang down’ to the side. At the canter! Ahahaha.

We then did some lateral work and I tell you, trying to do that with the borrowed saddle was…interesting. My feet kept flying out in front of me and I was tipping backwards!? I felt rather unstable, which was amusing since our canter-no-stirrups work was so great and solid.

It was a good ride, and I am hoping I can borrow the saddle and that it works out okay today for my jump lesson.

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