|The front of my kayak while out on Lake Natomas|
He rides... well something along the lines of a temperamental FEI horse with a bit of a spook and buck. Its a Surfski Epic V12. It's absolutely as cool as it sounds.
|17" wide 21' long, fast and wobbly!|
Last week I spent over an hour out on Folsom Lake paddling slowly and mindfully keeping my eyes focused ahead while talking my body through a rhythmic repeat of the motion. By the end of the hour of little travel I was sore. Interestingly, the next morning I felt loose as a goose. The next day I rode with my torso connected to my legs leaving my arms to do a different job. Both horses gave me significantly better pirouettes.
Robert on the other hand experienced something totally different. You see, about a month ago he said, "Can you teach me to ride?" After some discussion about what was involved we took a trip to the tack store, got him boots and helmet then introduced him to Destino. Five lessons later and he's sitting the trot riding around the ring. He learned how to use his core to pull his seat into the saddle and let the motion of the horse move his hips. While I was learning to use my torso to paddle, he glides on over to show me how he figured a way to get "deeper" in the seat of his kayak using the same muscles he did when riding.
I shouldn't be amazed anymore, but I still am that there is a fundamental posture or body use that gives us balance and control in just about every activity. In martial arts, the basic pose is the same as the classical seat. Balance in a kayak uses the same core muscles and similar biomechanics. We just can't escape being human and learning to balance ourselves not by forceful control with our arms, but inward focus and stability of our core.
Moral of the story- spend time off the horse, doing other activities that require balance and control to better develop those skills. Your horse will thank you.