Thursday, February 25, 2010

"Pythagoras" The Equicizer In The Netherlands

Pythagoras!!
by Anna & Ina Zeinstra

For almost two years now the Equicizer has been in use in the Netherlands. As far as we know, there is only one Equicizer in our country. When Pythagoras, named after a famous Trakehner stallion, arrived at Schiphol Airport, people were quite amazed about a horse in a box. Not a sight you see every day.



We (family Hoogsteen and Anna Zeinstra) use Pythagoras for our workshops ‘Sitting and Balance’. In these workshops various attributes are used, like balls, balance articles, and balance crutches as Hipsimo™ (http://www.hipsimo.nl), wooden carriage horses (http://encke.info/index.html) etc. and the Equicizer, of course. The workshops are for adults and children who want to learn riding, or who want to maintain a more solid seat and more balance. With different exercises we teach people how to sit in the right way and how to find their balance, which is very important for riding. Pythagoras is very helpful for this, because people can find out their imperfections without having to cope with a horse which has its own ideas. People can feel what is happening and have the time to adjust to the right feeling and body position.

When we give workshops we also use mirrors, so that a course member sitting on Pythagoras can see what he or she is doing with his or her body.

When, for instance, people lean forward too much, they are so used to the posture that they think they are sitting straight. When they see in the mirrors that they have to lean backwards, that feeling is very strange for them. Without the mirrors it would be very difficult for an instructor to make clear that they are not sitting straight.
We also put springs between the reins and the bit. With these springs people learn not only the feeling for a light based connection when they move on the Equicizer, but they also can see how much pressure they put on the reins, which can be very confronting.
A lot of things can really be improved by sitting on Pythagoras. Some people find it very difficult to go up and down in trotting. Practicing on Pythagoras teaches them that they don’t need to push themselves up with their feet and legs. They should let themselves be lifted from the saddle by the horse.
Pythagoras teaches people to follow the movement of the horse. You don’t need to push the horse or make the movement yourself. By following the movement of the horse the movement made by the hands is very important. A lot of people try to follow the movement of the horse’s head, however, they only do it in the wrong way. Trying to follow the movement in canter we sometimes use a helper who makes Pythagoras move, then the rider can follow the movement. If the rider is in the wrong rhythm or if he stops following the movement, it isn’t possible for the helper to move the horse. That is very clearly experienced and felt. Also people learn to understand how the light seat for jumping should be, a lot of people open the angle between the upper leg and the under leg. That is not right, this angle should be smaller.

We also put springs between the reins and the bit. With these springs people learn not only the feeling for a light based connection when they move on the Equicizer, but they also can see how much pressure they put on the reins, which can be very confronting.
A lot of things can really be improved by sitting on Pythagoras. Some people find it very difficult to go up and down in trotting. Practicing on Pythagoras teaches them that they don’t need to push themselves up with their feet and legs. They should let themselves be lifted from the saddle by the horse.
Pythagoras teaches people to follow the movement of the horse. You don’t need to push the horse or make the movement yourself. By following the movement of the horse the movement made by the hands is very important. A lot of people try to follow the movement of the horse’s head, however, they only do it in the wrong way. Trying to follow the movement in canter we sometimes use a helper who makes Pythagoras move, then the rider can follow the movement. If the rider is in the wrong rhythm or if he stops following the movement, it isn’t possible for the helper to move the horse. That is very clearly experienced and felt. Also people learn to understand how the light seat for jumping should be, a lot of people open the angle between the upper leg and the under leg. That is not right, this angle should be smaller.

Anna & Ina Zeinstra
Instructie, training en advies
Hooiveldssteeg 10
9755 PW Onnen
06-51959892
Email:info@annazeinstra.nl
www.annazeinstra.nl
www.hipsimo.nl

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