Your horse is your dance partner and if you have poor rider body position, you will step on your horse’s “toes.” When your horse is not performing, ask yourself …is it my horse or is it me? I see it time and time again, people are the road block to their horse’s performance improvement. A horse cannot move properly if the rider is not positioned properly. Because of this, I teach the rider how to ride. While many clinicians teach training techniques, I teach “people” techniques.
When you put solid pressure on the reins and your horse will lay on the bridle rein in your hand. The more you pull, the more your horse will brace or even pull back. With continually pulling on your horses’ mouth, your horse braces against your pulling, they stiffen their jaw, neck, shoulder and possibly ribcage, taking away any ability for lateral flexion. Without lateral flexion, you cannot have collection. In addition, a horse which stiffens their neck and shoulder can also bolt, rear and buck.When riders don’t get what they want from their horse, they apply more pressure. Horse doesn’t slow down when you pull on the reins, you pull harder. The solution is a give and take approach with a “less is more” philosophy. Instead of solid rein pressure, bounce the rein with your fingers. Take out the slack just until you feel resistance, then bounce your rein by wiggling your fingers. That is NOT a jerk, but a gentle bump. When you feel a change, let go and reward your horse. Same applies to your legs.
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