Episode 16: Dr. Sara Tanza

Dr. Sara Tanza

Listen to Episode 16.

In our latest episode, Jec interviews Dr. Sara Tanza, who founded Pelvic Potential, a physical therapy clinic in Santa Cruz, California. She visits with Jec about the challenges around pelvic strength and mobility. It’s all tied to our ability to connect clearly through our seat with our horses. Tightness, asymmetry, and weakness in the pelvic area may all become impediments to seamless riding.

Also, we introduce Gender Gyrations, upcoming conversations around gender bias and dysfunction in our horse communities.

With thanks to Lucerne Farms, Redmond Equine, Patagonia WorkWear, Horse & Rider Books, and Kate’s Real Food for their generous sponsorships.

Listen to Episode 16.

Contact us here if you would like to share an anecdote or experience around Gender Gyrations. Want to remain anonymous? No problem, just let us know.

Posted in Health, Podcast, Rider Fitness and tagged , , , .

One Comment

  1. Since Maddy was willing to share, I have a story as well. Did you all know there is a disc between the two wings of your pelvic bones? It is just like the discs in your spine and can degenerate over time. I’m sure you’ve guessed that I learned this by experience. I had quite a bit of pain in my hips in 2019, one especially, and it was impacting my riding. When I finally gave in and sought medical advice (I do like being wimpy about these things), both my physician and I suspected arthritis or, as he likes to call it, age-appropriate arthritis (grr). X-ray gave a different answer: degenerating pubic symphysis.

    As Dr. Tanza was speaking, I heard all the things that I learned at PT. That was cut short by Covid, and shortly after that my horse went into rehab. Thus, as I get back to riding, I have a year of working on my pelvic region so that I can confidently ride and stay correctly centered. While I know many people point to yoga as a means of exercise, my seven plus years with Pilates has shown me that Pilates and Riding go together like whatever your favorite combination of best things might be. ESPECIALLY, if you have a private instructor as I do, and they take the time to understand the mechanics of riding. Paige even came to the barn to see how it all works. Since it turned out the PT was essentially Pilates (one of the therapists was also a Pilates instructor) and the focus was on hip bridges, clamshells, and everything hip flexor, we continued to focus there and it has meant that I am without pain. Same routine for the shoulder break a few years prior where the orthopedist said that, “at my age” I likely wouldn’t get full range of motion. Pilates was the answer then.

    Don’t know about men but for the ladies — be aware of this result of aging and get ahead of the curve. Listen to this podcast and take head about your pelvic strength so you can ride until YOU decide to stop. And seriously, consider Pilates from a professional instructor as a way to help you maintain strength throughout your body. https://www.pilatesfoundation.com/pilates/the-history-of-pilates/

    Oh, and there is a way to do Pilates FOR your horse too. It’s focused on core strength and they have a way big core! There is a new book coming out next month from Trafalger Square Books called “Pilates for Horses: A Mind-Body Conditioning Program for Strength, Mobility, and Performance.” It’s by someone who knows both bodies. Or, the one I use is, “Activate Your Horse’s Core: Unmounted Exercises for Dynamic Mobility, Strength, and Balance.” Expensive, but includes a DVD and is barn ready (laminated). Have fun exploring!

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