13 June 2022 – Thurcroft Hall – Thomas Equestrian Symmetry Types and Tests
Jo Swain recommended that I see Andy as I was having some issues with sitting evenly in the saddle (as complimentary to my standard physio for my knees/ankle). So Chris and I trucked up to Sheffield with Nash for the clinic on 13 June.
The blurb….. “With 32 years Chartered Physiotherapy experience Andy has spent the last 20 years assessing over 14,000 riders, ranging from elite Olympic athletes to complete amateur novices riding in all disciplines. From these assessments, Andy has identified three different types of pelvic asymmetry and correction that have a profound effect on both rider and horse performance, this forms the basis of the Testt® process. We provide one-to-one Testt® assessment clinics nationally, offering an on-horse analysis of your riding and the identification of your specific Testt® asymmetry type. Andy provides a comprehensive Physiotherapy based solution to correcting your pelvic asymmetry issues, as well as a rehabilitation plan to enable you to maintain this correction, thus improving your ridden performance and the movement of the horse.”
Andy watched me warm up on Nash in walk trot and canter on both reins, he then did some off-horse assessment exercises whilst Nash was walked around by a helper. He continued the session by using physio tape and applying it to various parts of my body: Across my lower back, along the outside of my thigh and finishing on the inside of my knee; across my back and along my arms to my wrists – he then added a red physio band over my wrists which I was to keep a degree of tension on; and finishing with “the seat belt” across my tummy and attaching to the cantle (I had to ride sitting trot with this one on). I could feel the benefit and could see and feel Nash was much straighter – especially in the canter.
Andy determined I was a “Type 1” pattern meaning the right side of my pelvis is underactive and my left side is overactive. We then had another off-horse session on the physio bed where I was shown the exercises I needed to do 15 minutes before each ride in order to “activate/switch on” the muscles – this is not strengthening but activation. Activation of the Gluteus Medius is essential before I ride – it is critical in lateral stability (e.g. to stop the seat dropping to the outside on a circle or corner). Gleut Med also provides the connection switch to help activate the other stability muscles located around the pelvis and trunk – without Gleut Med activating these other muscles cannot engage fully. This fits 100% with what Kate Ribbins (my excellent physio in Lutterworth) has said. The exercises for me are: 1. Rider Clam Shell; 2. Sitting Serpentine; 3. Rider Lateral Push Standing – all three exercises are to be completed using the physio band. I was also given access to the TrackActive Physio app (shown in the pics below).