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The Trot up....For riders when can we pull riders for being lame?

The trot up and vetting is seen across many of our elite sports to ensure the horse is not injured and is in a fit state to compete in things such as Eventing and Endurance riding. In this, the vet looks for any sign or symptom of injury for the welfare of the horse.

After reading an article today about the fine line between muscular imbalances and lameness in horses it has really got me thinking. We check out the horses and do everything for their welfare but do we actually look at our riders as they trot up too? or are we just looking at the fashion show which is now on parade?

When we work with riders, we look at riders' movement, both on and off the horse. When we screen and watch movement, many movement dysfunctions (either from injury or compensation or muscle imbalance) show up. But do we ever stop that rider from competing as they are not fit? No, not like we would if it was the horse that has shown to be lame. It is our responsibility as riders to make sure we are at our best for our horses and are not limping, compensating or continuing to ride with known imbalances.

In our performance enhancement programme, we screen our riders for any compensation on AND off the horse. This is vital to ensure they are able to perform to the best of their ability and are not hindering the performance of their horse.

Here are 5 things we do in our performance enhancement programmes that must do for anyone working at an elite level or pathway.

  1. Old injury compensation/guarding screening

  2. Brain-based movement Left vs right compensation body wide

  3. Body control under stress-states training

  4. Breathing mechanics

  5. Lymphatics- ensuring the body is working and healing optimally

We need to educate and encourage riders to take responsibility and really ensure we are doing our best for riders and their horses. When we start working with elite riders they struggle to pass number 1!

Don't let yourself or your rider be the lame one when they trot up and be allowed to let the horse down.

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