Thursday, November 27, 2008


As I observe partners in motion, I am constantly amazed by how important the allowing is after the asking. When an aid is well executed, it becomes a momentary "intrusion" in the underlying flow of activity. The goal is how to ask with minimal interference. The incentive or reward for the follower is to be allowed to execute the request with minimal interference.

Shearing Patterns

At this point in my life, I have the remarkable good fortune of a healthy body that allows me to feel and experience riding/dancing with very little interference. When physical items show up, they always present an opportunity for me to learn more about the form. For a period of time, every now and then I would feel a twinge in the middle of my spine. Over the years of getting bucked off, jerked on while leading, knocked over, etc., I didn't feel it was unreasonable to be experiencing some changes in my spine. The question was what modality to use to investigate the issue--I chose cranial sacral work. Why? It appeared logical to first look at the wave action in my spinal chord system to identify if I had any energy blocks or misalignments. If all was well then I could progress onto looking at something bigger such as the bone system. It turned out there was a tweak in the flow of that particular area in my spine--a slight misalignment. When the area was invited to realign, I felt like a four lane highway was reopened in my body's vertical axis. Of course, there were a few other trouble areas on the left and right side of my body that I had developed as asymmetrical use patterns. It was interesting to trace their histories from past injuries and how the body protected, compensated, and proceeded to hold onto the pattern even after the body had healed. The body's ability to protect is fantastic, but it also needs to be dismantled as it has served its purpose.
I have always mistakenly thought of the body in two planes--left and right. With this experience, I need to add in thinking of the body as having a top and bottom plane as well. Core stabilization protects and unites these planes. Years of horses spooking, jumping forward etc. created whiplash-like moments in my vertical spine. By engaging my core, it minimizes the shearing action from top to bottom. Similar to lifting a box off the ground properly. When a rider asks a horse to move off properly, there is a momentary engagement by the rider's core to ask and follow--this action actually protects the body from shearing while following the forward thrusting action of the horse.