I tried finding the Bubble Gum Exercise which was published in Eclectic Horseman but they no longer have it. Could someone please explain it for me?
The reason I am interested is I read somewhere that we shape the horses body by the configuration of our own bodies. I was thinking about the muscles the horse uses to raise his back and then thought about my own posture. I have recently had physio for a tight psoas muscle which affected my ability to bring my heel back under my hip when riding. It occurred to me that when we ride we are supposed to use all of the same muscles as the horse in order to have a 'good seat'. I would like to explore how 'raising my neck' will improve my riding.
Thinking about this, it clears a lot of things up, including the pictures I have seen of Nuno Oliveria riding. He looks like he is looking down but he's just pushing bubble gum to the ceiling. My instructor would be yelling 'keep your eyes up, lift your chin.' Have also learn about the position of his hands. It is so much easier when things come together and make sense.
Nuno was doing no such thing, Patch. You need to learn not to over-interpret things. Nuno was not my student, obviously. He had a bad back, always a hollow lower back, and he had that because of his own beliefs and approach. We do not follow that approach, even though we do admire a lot of what Oliviera believed and accomplished.
The bubble gum exercise is one which was invented and which is taught by me. You need, in my opinion, to pay attention to that and to all that Sally Swift teaches in 'Centered Riding'. Nuno would have benefited from this and it would have solved some problems for him, but as I said, he was never my student.
You also need to read Nuno's opus, bearing in mind that most of his books are very badly translated; so that if you read French, you should obtain them in French and read them in French. Anyone really interested in Nuno should also obtain Michael Henriquet's book of his correspondence with Nuno Oliviera -- there are many insights there, first that tell you what Nuno's understanding actually was, and second that should warn anybody not to read any other book by Henriquet. Cheers -- Dr. Deb
I actually discovered this this afternoon by watching a Will Faerber video 'Understanding Nuno Oliveira'. He said that it was better to watch early videos of Nuno and that his posture had deteriorated in the later years. He also recommended Michael Henriquet's book of his correspondence with Nuno Oliviera.