Skipping? along or prancing on the spot ?
What comes first- the horse or the rider?
Balancing in the movement of the horse, you ride your horse from the centre – you must be centred and evenly distributed over the saddle.
As well as going with the flow and the rise and swing of the back, timing your aids with the movement of the horse
What always amazes me when teaching is how much the horse mirrors the rider and how much the rider can influence the horse.
With a slight shift in balance or a release at the right moment to encourage the horse to lift, swing, step through or balance his weight a bit more, the options are endless.
This is why it is so important to learn the feel of the footfalls to know when a hoof lands or lifts, takes off or is in the air.
These are the differences that will help or hinder the horse.
To hold it in balance, keep it even, by encouraging the use of his legs evenly or to give it direction in travel.
Focus on upper body rotation, lifting and relaxing the shoulders, being aware to sit in the centre of the horse, feeling that the spine and the ribs are rotated in the direction of travel and feel the lift of the back …. like someone lifted the saddle up placed a cushion underneath it.
Thinking about the lower body when shifting the riders weight or stepping into the stirrups or releasing the step into the stirrup, soften the riders joints to let the swing come up and through.
Channelling the direction of the movement, depending what you want to achieve; forward, up, backwards or sideways.
Think of your legs like they are the horses legs, an extension to them and the same way as we run forward, prance on the spot, skipping or dreaming of walking down the catwalk with swinging hips and pointed toes… and with a grin on our face!
For me, it always helps having an image in my head about what I would like to achieve and what this movement or moment should feel like and what to do about conversing with my horse to make it understandable, to balance more behind lifting and opening the shoulder and place the front legs – it is a style of communication. With balance poise, release and understanding.
Don’t forget to breathe!
Hold and release your breath and encourage the horse to breathe when the tension and concentration levels rise.
This is my favourite, how often do I catch myself in concentration and find i am NOT breathing?!
Then when I then let go, all of a sudden the horse underneath me lets go and breathes softly away or sometimes like a little angry dragon with a snort of one big breath, often followed by a collapse through the wither and a small tantrum.
Now this is a sign and I know I have hit the difficult scale and we both need to concentrate
I need to keep my poise and cool and then encourage my little dragon to try again.
And then you notice the similarities in my students’ horses,some of them get quite vocal and let you know when it is time for a break, a release or a change of subject.
But most horses get a softer look on the faces and enjoy their work.
And I love it when my students try something new and ride one-handed, realising they have hips that can open and give direction, they start looking where they are going and because they are a bit out of their comfort zone, the rider becomes a little nicer to their horse and softer.
Go with the flow swing along. Enjoy the ride.
If you want to know more about how I can help you, send me a PM or call me on 0408882730, and let’s find out what you’re goals are.