|Warning: Bellies may look larger than they actually are. I have winter gloves in my pockets. I swear!|
I am not really "fat". I am six months pregnant and I weigh more now than I have in my entire life. Since the weight has been added gradually over the past half year, I have not really noticed the difference, except that my legs burn after climbing a flight of stairs. I guess that I will have super strong legs by the time the baby comes!
A few days ago, my Dad asked if Harley has noticed that I weigh more. It is impossible to know for sure, but I think that he has noticed. He doesn't do anything different when I mount up or walk around, but when we move to trot, his way of going has a changed a bit. My horse seems to be raising his back and creating a supportive bridge to carry me more dramatically than I have noticed in the past. I think that he could be doing this in response to carrying more weight than he is used to, even though he has also experienced the change gradually. Besides being good for his back and abdominal muscles, this gives me a very smooth ride. I am completely in love with posting trot. It feels like the only thing that I can do right now that qualifies as exercise and doesn't make me feel like I need to run to the restroom.
My posture could also be influencing Harley's lovely roundness under saddle. Since I am managing a front-heavy body, I cannot cheat in the saddle. I must be centered laterally and leaning forward is not really an option. Even if I choose to ride in half-seat for some variety, I mostly stand up straight. Leaning too far back is also somewhat prevented by my current body shape. Since leaning back hollows the lower back this is not advised for the rider or the pregnant woman. A soft, flat lower back allows me to move with my horse and keeps my back from hurting when I am moving around on my own two feet.
Throughout my daily activities, I have noticed that my pelvis tries to tip forward, now that I have a growing belly. I gently re-center my pelvis to neutral when I am walking down the hall at work or moving around my classroom teaching a lesson. So far, I have not experienced lower back pain, although I did have some in my upper back between my shoulder blades (related to being pregnant, not riding).
Thank you very much neutral pelvis work. Who knew that training my riding position would benefit this stage of my life from the ground?
|Speaking of "fat", check out my hardkeeper. Isn't he looking great this winter?|