When I've been riding Phantom lately I'm spending a lot of time working on myself. She responds really well to me riding from my body, so it's kind of fun to experiment a bit and see happens when I change something up.
I'm not feeling super strong in my core these days. It could be because I'm riding in the treeless saddle, which is a bit wider than ideal for me. It could also be because when I ride Cisco I'm not thinking overly much about myself, and just focusing on, well, mostly pace and steering. So at least half of the time that I spend in the saddle I'm not riding as well as I would like to be.
While I was puttering about the interweb earlier this week, I came across a couple of things that I think might help me during my time in the saddle, at least on Phantom. Neither of these are completely new to me, but I think I might put some money into trying them.
First is trying some Franklin Balls. It looks like I can get a pair for about $35 locally. They are squishy balls that you put under your seat bones and can ride a walk, sitting trot and canter with them. They lift you up a bit in the saddle which opens your hip angle a bit, which is something that I struggle with. My concern with them is that because I ride in a treeless saddle, they might place too much pressure on the horses back. With a treed saddle this wouldn't be a problem. If I try them I would probably use them as a part of my warm-up for max 5 minutes, but that might be enough to get my hips to open up.
Second is the Equicube. Well, sort of.
The Equicube is a chunk of rubber that has handles set at 45 degrees on the sides. You hold the cube in front of you with your reins through your ride. You can't fuss with your hands, and it's easy to see when your hands are not level. And it apparently is very effective in making you use your core because it weighs 4.3 lbs.
It doesn't appear to be sold anywhere in Canada. I put one in my cart on the website based out of the US, and it came to $127, which is about $170 CDN. And I don't think that the shipping rate was actually the shipping rate to Canada, so it's probably even more $$$$.
But someone made their own. And posted (sorta) directions. So I'm going to try to make one. It should cost around $50, depending on if my dad has the drill bit we would need or not. If not, the bit is about an additional $15.
We'll see how it goes! Hopefully I will have a new torture device to play with after this weekend.