PAN AM Modern Pentathlon Footwork

pan am modern pentathlon          The pentathlon has always had an intentional military story-line.  The ancient Olympic combination of five sports mirrored their current-day battlefield experiences and techniques. The athletes were soldiers who trained in discus, javelin, long jump, running–in-armour and wrestling. Each sport, with its unique footwork, prepared them in strength and agility for the wars they fought on the ground.  Long ago, the pentathlon winner was celebrated as “the winner of all the games.”

The modern pentathlon – with its five new sports – also has a military tale to tell. A liaison officer was once sent by Napoleon into enemy territory to deliver a message.  This military courier’s horse was shot down; he needed to defend himself with his sword and his pistol. He swam across a raging river and finally – heroically – arrived at his destination by foot.  The disciplines of horsemanship, fencing, shooting, swimming and running reflect this reconstructed battle. Rife with symbolism, the pentathlon embodies pursuit and escape, facing and defying danger.  The significance of ‘feet crossing the finish line to deliver the message’ does just that.

Footnote:  The requirements of war continue to change; the cavalry now rides in tanks. Sport no longer plays a key role in training. Nor do battle experiences inspire combinations of sports for competition.  And yet, the pentathlon models and inspires the modern-day military.  Idealism in soldiering has been revived. The pentathlon’s inherent demands of courage, co-ordination, physical fitness, self-discipline and flexibility in ever-changing circumstances frame a mindset for military leadership training on contemporary battlefields. (1)

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/modern-pentathlon

http://www.northyorkshiresport.co.uk/get-into-sport/sports/equestrian

http://www.champs21.com/pentathlon:-the-olympic-event-of-five-sports-1127

http://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/lde/DCL/dcl_Second_Place_Essay_2006_2007.pdf (1)

www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA468972

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM

PAN AM Equestrian Footwork

pan am equestrian      Over 2000 years ago, the Greek philosopher and cavalry leader Xenaphon wrote the earliest treatise on Classical Horsemanship.  In it he stated:

I do not approve of a seat which is though the man were on a chair, but rather as though he were standing upright with his legs apart.  Thus he would get a better grip with his thighs on the horse. His foot and leg from the knee down should hang loosely a supple leg would yield… without at all disturbing the thigh.

His definition of the correct position on a horse is what riders still strive for today.  (1)

Footwork – Then and Now:

          “he were standing upright with his legs apart

Standing on the balls of feet in the stirrups during a trot or a jump is called a ‘two point stand’.  Weight naturally falls into the heels, core muscles tighten, hips and knees bend slightly and ankles relax. The stirrups are the rider’s “ground”.

          “Thus he would get a better grip with his thighs on the horse.”

Standing in the stirrups forces the rider to develop secure, tight legs slightly behind the girth of the horse.

          “His foot and leg from the knee down should hang loosely…”

Sitting in the saddle during a walk is a novice rider’s way to build muscle memory of balance. Novices learn to stretch legs, drop body weight into heels, ride lightly on balls of feet, and add gentle pressure on one side to direct the horse. Expert horsemen continue to use the least amount of effort to get the desired effect.

          “a supple leg would yield…”

With every step, the rider’s joints flex just as the horse’s joints flex.  He does what the horse does, and he uses his body to direct what he wants the horse to do in his.

          “without at all disturbing the thigh.”

The rider’s feet are set up for weight to be distributed properly, enabling his legs to “stick” to the horse. The balls of his feet in the stirrups align his lower legs to lie against the horse’s sides providing the basis of support for the rider’s whole body.

Go to – http://www.toronto2015.org/schedule

Resources: 

http://www.toronto2015.org/equestrian

http://www.chestnutridgedressage.com/whatisdressage.htm (1)

http://www.equinespot.com/how-to-ride-a-horse.html

http://equitationstation.tumblr.com/post/23559718458/weighted-heels-4-easy-tips-tricks-to-better

http://www.parelli.com/horse-riding.html

http://www.horsechannel.com/english-horse-training/master-two-point-position.aspx

http://horselistening.com/2014/01/03/why-you-dont-need-to-force-your-heels-down-in-horseback-riding/

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)

TRAINING – COMPETITION – PODIUM