Many people don´t know how important it is to do stretching regularly. If you have a bad back or other muscular problems, it might be the solution to get back in the saddle.
I´ve been suffering from pain in my back and down the foot for around 3 years time. It started with my line dance course, and reached the top while we were training for a dancing competition. We actually won the price for the best Catalan style in Italy that year!
But after all the jumping and stumping I had to take a break. I went to all kind of doctors to figure out why my back had become so stiff and painful. Obviously when I told them about my activites on horseback they all assumed that this was the main reason. People that are not practising horseback riding don´t know what kind of impact it makes on the body. They just think that humping and bumping around on a horse is a very damaging activity for the back!
So I could´nt figure out weither it was caused by the line dancing or the horse riding. I decided to go to a physiotherapist that somebody recommended for me. He told me that I could continue to ride my horse, but avoid swimming! I laughed and said that swimming is not a big problem, since I´m allergic to chloro.
He teached me several ways to stretch the small muscles in the spinal column. These are the ones causing the pain and stiffness. I did as he said, and gosh I was in a bad shape talking about having a soft body… But after a month doing the same exercises three times a day, I actually reached my goal about hitting the knees with my forehead! Try it out yourself, and you´ll understand what I´m talking about….
Not only exercise – also stretching is important
This physiotherapist also told me that a lot of people only focus on training, and never on the stretching side of it. This part is actually more important for a person if he or she wants to arrive in a elastic state at the age of 100!
My conclusion is that my pains are gone, and I´m still riding! But I had to stop dancing, which is quite sad. Therefore I try to dance just a little bit now and then, if I happen to be in a Western style event or party. Here you see the last party I visited. I danced and got home with a fine back – thanks to my daily stretching program!