Question for Experienced Drivers

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MiniHunterHorseFan

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My mom has a question for those of you who are experienced drivers. She wanted to know the proper way to sit while driving in an easy entry cart. She has been driving for about a month and a half and recently has been having middle back pain and thought perhaps she wasn't sitting right while driving. She would appreciate anyone's feedback.
 

Alex

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IMO Most people were taught similarly, but people have kinda there own ways on posture.

Are you specifying just sitting or hands, feet etc? You want to sit up as tall as you can, with a tad of arch to your back. For people not used to haveing there back straight ( as you would in riding) it takes time to get used to it, and for you back muscles. I try to sit somewhat straight whenever I sit down, and it has seemed to help tons.


How was she sitting?
 
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Field-of-Dreams

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My back hurts when I drive no matter which cart I use- show cart, Easy Enter or the wooden road cart. The road cart has a higher back, so I can lean against it if I need to.

Lucy
 

hobbyhorse23

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Proper posture generally speaking is to have your head up and looking in the direction of travel, your shoulders back and down, your spine erect but not tense, and your hips square on the seat in whatever position is comfortable for you. Your arms should be parallel to your sides with your elbows at right angles and your hands held up to form a straight line from there to the bit. Keep your legs together for a lady-like (not truck driver) appearance and place one foot flat on the floor and one against the raised part of the floorboards so you can brace well. Feel free to switch which foot is forward as needed on turns.

The unfortunate thing about driving is that it is awfully hard on your back. Good suspension helps a lot and it's important to find both a well-padded seat and one whose proportions fit the driver in question. You shouldn't be leaning on the seatback unless you have to as it will effect the balance of the cart and it also tends to give your kidneys a royal drubbing when the horse gets trotting. Sit a little more forward on the seat so the seatback isn't pressing into your spine, keep your hips loose and absorbent of movement as if you were riding and breathe from the belly with the abdominal muscles taut to help keep your spine supported internally. If you're trail driving over rough ground you might also switch to open tugs instead of wrap straps and pay special attention to making sure your cart is balanced so it floats correctly. I've found that and a sliding backband saddle make a big difference! Be sure you're using breeching if you go to open tugs.

Easy entry carts are a rough ride with those seat springs and there's not that much to be done about it generally beyond the things I mention above. If you can get a cart with torsion axles or air bag suspension, do it! There's an incredible difference in the amount of jarring. Otherwise, use your joints and muscular support system as a dynamic suspension system of it's own to absorb the rattling and get out and stretch frequently on long drives.

Good luck!

Leia
 

whitney

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Not sure if they even make them but what about a THICK pad for the seat?

For those not used to keeping their shoulders back my old dressage instructor had me wear a brace (the kind the doctor gives you when you break your shoulder blade) all day everyday for about a month. However NOT when your riding/driving. It retrains your muscles.... start for an hour a day and increase slowly.
 

ruffian

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One thing that might help is the angle of the cart. If it's too flat or too high it may be putting more wear on the back. The best thing to do is have a handy MASSEUSE!!!


Houghton carts are about the only show carts that don't give me a backache. My EE isn't too bad, but the shafts have to be up just a tad.
 

Keri

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I would try and drive on smooth roads, get an extra padded seat and see if you can get an extra good set of suspensions for your cart. My back generally doesn't hurt. But when I got on bumpy roads, there's not a whole lot that can help. Maybe a back support brace would help too???
 

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