“How are you going to get your horse fit?”

I was asked this question when I bought my horse and was planning on hunting it 3 months after settling him into his new home.

“How are you going to get him fit?”  ….. How would I get a human fit I thought.  I would keep a training diary and write a regime, covering all the areas of fitness – increased endurance, increased strength, increased core work/ flexibility/ agility.  I would use the heart rate as a gauge as to how fit the animal was and in what zones I was working him.  On looking into this I realised horses and humans are animals and whilst having the obvious differences they are essential muscle, fat, bones, organs and water.  They need the same dietary requirements of protein, fats and carbohydrates for the same things – carbs for energy, protein/ amino acids to build muscle, water to hydrate and keep the cells and lubricated and the body juices flowing.  Food sources are different obviously, we need to eat meat to get our best source of protein (although it is debatable that we possibly eat too much meat).  But we can learn a lot about ourselves from our furry neighbours and we can translate on to them a lot as well.  Too much starch/sugar makes us both gain weight, but can in the process make us all “fizzy”or over excited.  Hyperactive children most of the time could be sorted out with diet – more vegetables and less processed food.  It is very real with a horse – because they can be out of control when over excited.

So on the exercise – how do I know how puffed he is – the perceived rate of exertion with humansScreen Shot 2015-12-04 at 16.48.11 is about talking to the client and seeing how fatigued they are.  I can look at his demeanour or how much puffing he is doing, but to really know I need a Heart Rate monitor, then I can see when he is getting anxious, when he is tired, what he looks like when he is concerned – I can learn my horse much quicker.
So I spoke to Polar, we use their equipment in the gym.  They have two different types of monitor, a belt like us – but this is actually quite hard to use with a girth and saddle oScreen Shot 2015-12-10 at 14.34.14r even a lunge roller.  So they have devised a system with just sensors which you poke under the girth, which is also tricky because of the wires.  The belt is cleaner, but it bridges away from the rib cage which is not round but kind of rectangular at the underneath.  Anyway I have definitely learnt a bScreen Shot 2015-12-10 at 14.34.30it from using the equipment so far and can now make my training more meaningful and more specific, the biggest thing i learnt was the flight and fight instinct of these animals – one can be walking along and all of a sudden the HR shoots up – he is in flight m
ode and ready to run from the lion!!  I think our inter
retation can be interesting between a horse being excited and loving something like careering around with its friends and in fact a horse being terrified – they run when running away in a herd.

So when the Heart rate was graphed it was fascinating there were huge spikes.  Anyway the point was that there are despite what people in each field would like to believe incredible similarities training a horse to training a human, in dietary requirements, not in  dietary source – being that we are carnivores and horses are not, but also in exercise requirements and not in the “how” – that took some thinking – but in the need to engage the core and lift the abs and use the glutes.

All very similar.

 

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Common Colds and Flu

cold copy

So the common cold has been dealt with in various ways – but are we in fact prolonging the illness by taking many of these medications and would we do better to simply adhere to a more natural approach?

See the guide below – the reality is sleep is the most important – but that involves taking a day off!

General Measures for coping with acute illness or infection

Gait Analysis Testing

Gait Analysis Testing

Emma has just finished assessing motion – she has added to her Biomechanics Coaching screening with “Gait AnaScreen Shot 2015-12-10 at 14.29.43lysis” testing .  Now we can be more thorough in testing the body both statically and in movement, and so get a bigger picture of the route causes of problems.

Testing is about looking at issues from all angles – ruling out possible causes to coming up with a plan of attack for either resolving discomfort or releasing the individual potential for top level performance.  It is about searching for perfection – finding the most perfect way a person can move or function within the limitations of their body, their lifestyle, their creation and their ambition.

Intrinsic Biomechanics Screening looks at the function of the joints and the ability of the body to produce life and sport actions from a static perspective – what the ability is.

Gait Analysis specialises in the lower body and looks at the flow of the body in movement.  If there is a lock up in any part of the chain then motion will not be as fluid as it could be.

The obvious place to look is at the feet – and all too often we use cushioning to alter this.  That is fine as a short term solution when there is an injury but it is not a long term fix.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 14.30.20The question is – why does the foot not land straight? – not that – it is not landing straight so lets chock it up.  We can see it is not straight.

But is it coming from the bottom of the leg or is it coming from the top of the leg?  If the hip is not sitting in neutral are the strings (muscles) down the leg not out of kilter and in the wrong tension so therefore will pull the knee and foot out of alignment?

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We still see person after person with issues.  That are left until there is a major problem such as a knee injury or lower back pain.  Not enough emphasis is put on correct posture and straightness in our children at school.  This is where wear and tear begins.

Green Clay Poultice – the merits?

Green Clay Poultice – the merits?

Have we gone too far in the direction of medicines and drugs – is this the right approach to take as much medication as we do.

Our body is very clever and it reacts to situations.  If we twist a joint and cause a slight injury or tear our bodies response is to send “repairing nutrients” in the form of white blood cells to the area in fluid to immobilise and start the recovery journey.  When we take medication we stop this process – we cause away the “goodies” and artificially slow the process down.  Would it be better to keep the “goodies” in the injury and removes the discomfort by poulticing the area.  Our skin is not made of plastic it is porous and so by poulticing we can remove fluid and toxins through the skin and help to speed recovery up.

Take a look at the French Clay for all site – for more info

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Sunday Times …. endorses Biomechanics Coaching and GOOD POSTURE as a necessity

“In every exercise if you don’t start from a good postural position you won’t achieve optimum strength, you may use the wrong muscles and eventually something in your body will give” … 

The Sunday Times on 1st Nov 2015 endorses the necessity to have correct posture before getting in to an exercise regime and in order to correct injury and rehab in a better more productive way.Sunday TImes mag

It is everywhere – the recent Horse and Hound has an article saying the same thing reinforcing many of my comments on the Biospheric Performance Equestrian page about our posture and how it effects our horses back and posture too. 

In brief if you can’t read this article it says there is little point in training without looking at posture and doing a proper postural assessment because you firstly won’t achieve the results you desire and second eventually you will hurt yourself.

Jess achieves her first 3km Open water Swim

Swimming Lake Llangorse.  In her words – Jess’s story.

As for the swim, well it was really weedy and I just wasn’t used to that and at the beginScreen Shot 2015-09-29 at 09.26.28ning I was really frightened.

This was one historic lake, not only is there a Crannog there, but the lake was famed in Welsh folk lore and has an Afanc (lake monster) as well as being a site of special scientific interest and there are many giant pike living in that lake (a cheerful thought when swimming)
There were four marker buoys and the course was rectangular so you went up the long side of the rectangle first sScreen Shot 2015-09-29 at 09.25.50wam along the short side and then another long side
The first side of the rectangle was hell.  But then by the time I got to the second long side I was getting used to the conditions and was calming down.  Visibility was tough so both my buddy and I lost a bit of time with that.
Thanks to all my work with you my head had now got into the right place, I knew it would be a challenge but I knew I could do it and by that time I just thought forget time, forget everyone else I am just going to enjoy being in this special lake in this special place – the weather was spectacularly gorgeous by the way.  So I pushed on round, I got cramp loads and Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 09.26.51pushed on through that and slogged my way though the full 3km and when I got my time it was just under 2 hours like 1 hour 57 and a half which is not bad because I did 3k in the pool in 1 hour 49 and it was much harder and much further in the lake.   I am pleased with it overall and all the work I’ve done with you I think made a big difference to me both in getting head together but also not going bonkers the day before and coping with the cramp by not panicking and pushing through.
Jess xx

Emma Working on Running Techniques with Shane Benzie of Running Reborn

Screen EW 1Working with Shane Benzie last week end, from Running Reborn, on Running Techniques, looking at the active Biomechanics of running.  By logging data on movement we can see areas of weakness and we can track progress better.  Coupled with really looking and working on the Intrinsic Biomechanics we can get much better results for our clients.

For more info get in touch with Emma