SO, week two and what will we try this week?
Hopefully you will continue to progress through week one, going from the beginners to advanced stirring exercises and start working on week 2 as well. Remember this is not JUST about working your other hand, it is about working the whole of your body and mind to become more symmetrical. Here are this weeks OHx’s….have FUN
WEEK 2 – Brushing movements
Beginners: Try using your knife in your OH, eating meals and spreading stuff on bread/toast…if you use Treat Training/Clicker Training for your horse make sure you work from BOTH sides and treat horse with different hand on each side!
Medium: Try brushing your teeth….ALSO make sure you groom your horse using a different hand on each side!
Advanced: Try brushing your hair….CAN you use your horses mane/tail brush with both hands?
NOTE: As you are working through weeks 1 & 2 of these exercises try to think about your body….your body changes your mind and your mind helps change your body.
a) When you sit on the sofa with your legs up do you always sit just one way? Sit the other way too now and then
b) When putting your coffee or tea bag into your cup do you always use your normal hand? Use your other hand for this now…and pouring the kettle!!!
c) When standing do you always rest ONE leg? Try resting the other leg or even better try to stand straight with both legs locked, shoulders straight and neck balanced….can you feel any asymmetry in your legs/hips/pelvis/spine/shoulders/neck/head? Once you realise you are crooked you can start thinking about standing straighter and straighter. This also works when you start checking out how you WALK!!
Our horses and ourselves are all asymmetrical, this is quite normal, we all have one dominant hand and foot and horses have a dominant hoof/leg too, you can see it when you watch them graze and feel it when we ride as it’s always easier to do circles or turn one way than the other unless the horse and rider have done some symmetry training.
During the year I do quite a lot of symmetry training with my own horses and students but in the Winter I have less opportunity to work with them so I work on myself more and this is what I call my ‘Other Hand Exercises’ .
SO…what are OHE’s? They are simple things I do to help use my other hand, muscles and whole body to make me more symmetrical and this helps when I ride to keep me and my horses more symmetrical too. I am right handed so I work on my left hand, my husband is left handed so he works on his right hand although funnily enough most left handed people are more adept at this due to the nature of our ‘right handed world’ 😉
I work slowly and as consistently as I can, doing a few small tasks first and building up on it as and when I feel I can progress. I will be putting up tasks weekly and hope you join in with me to help your own symmetry. Remember to go slowly and not to over do it as you can strain muscles (just like your horse can), do what you normally do with your ‘normal’ hand and put in a wee bit of the OH when you can and remember to keep having fun with it.
WEEK 1 – Stirring with a spoon
Beginners: stir your tea/coffee.
Medium: stir your tea/coffee and try your horses/dogs feed.
Advanced: stir tea/coffee, horses feed, and also when you cook or bake.
NOTE: Today, whilst stirring the horses feed I realised that with my ‘normal’ hand I stand straight BUT when I work with my OH I lean a bit….having now realised this I am making sure I stand straighter when working with my OH. Amazing how, when you become aware of things, how much you notice and it reminded me of a saying I learned a long time ago…hope this
one helps you too.