👇🏼Is this an important muscle for us riders❓👇🏼
The short answer is YES!
🔹 The muscle in the picture here is the ‘gluteus medius’ which has an important role in keeping your pelvis evenly balanced in the saddle. You can see how it attaches from the top of your pelvis to your side bone which gives its role in rotating the hip and bringing the leg away from the centre of your body (or the rib cage of your horse!)
🔺 When it is weak it can lead to compensation in your lower back and shoulders. When riding it can cause your pelvis to be unstable and shift to one side, also known as ‘collapsing at the hip’, especially if one side is weaker than the other. (Seen in second picture on the left)
It is therefore important to keep both sides equally strong as it secures the pelvis in a stable position in the saddle, enabling you to keep your body symmetrical. It also helps single leg movements - vital for those leg aids! Plus your horse will fill the difference in the saddle pressure which will aid their movements as well. (Balanced rider seen in second picture on the right)
If you are not sure this is happening when you are riding or if you are weak in this muscle ask yourself: - do your shoulders tilt when riding? - Or do you find one hand stronger in the contact? - Or do you find it harder to apply leg aids on one side? If you have said yes to any of these questions, the likelihood is that you are probably weaker on one side than the other.
The best thing though is that it is fixable! Follow the video on Rider Elite's YouTube page for some great exercises on how to strengthen this muscle up and to help you start to create stability in the saddle. The link is here https://youtu.be/lHKjSpYbhNU