I know I’m dating myself here, but this past Saturday I was reminded of the classic Wendy’s commercial from the eighties with the “Where’s the beef?” line. To me the more memorable line is when the old lady complaining to her friends at the fast-food counter finally mutters, “I don’t think there’s anybody back there.”
As I got dressed to ride Saturday morning, I listened to one of my favorite YouTube instructors, Natasha Althoff, discussing how to get rid of rounded shoulders. I have had in-person instructors tell me “shoulders back!” enough times that I knew I struggled with this, but Natasha was the first to tell me it’s not about my shoulders. It’s about my two seat bones.
“By focusing on feeling your seat bones, your shoulders will naturally go into the right position,” she demonstrated.
Natasha further explained that as she sat up properly she could feel her seat bones connect with her horse’s back, whereas when she slouched her seat bones raised and lost connection. I tried it in my chair at home realized how right she was.
When I saddled Sportie up that morning and started our ride off sitting properly, concentrating on my seat position instead of my shoulders, I instantly noticed Sportie eyeing me and giving me his ears much more than usual. Whenever I lost concentration and slumped even slightly, both Sportie and I could feel the lost seat bone connection. His attitude quickly changed to “I don’t think there’s anybody back there. Ride’s over!” and he tried to veer off towards the gate. I connected my seat bones once again, physically telling him, “Oh, I’m here all right!”
His ears once again flicked back to me and we straightened out, back on track and well-connected. And, as Natasha promised, my shoulders stayed back.