This morning saw me in the arena working with a new rider and her horse who had ridden over from a neighbouring farm for a lesson.
As she began working with her horse, I realised that we needed to go back to basics, before we could go any further with her training.
Their biggest issue was forwardness…
To say it was lacking would be quite the understatement!
It seemed to me that she had become so used to her horse going a certain way, she thought that was the correct way…
And I began to wonder how many riders this happens to?
How many riders are out there thinking it is okay to have to keep pushing forward every . single . stride ?
How many riders think it is okay to have a pain in the shoulders after every ride to due to a heavy horse?
How many riders who think that any form of going (moving) equates to forwardness?!
Now, I’m going to be honest here, my rider was initially a little put out – she wanted to jump!
But as we began to take things back a step – or four – and actually work on firstly creating energy and then directing that energy; I could see things change.
The whole exercise was made worthwhile when, after about 25 minutes of working together, he suddenly ‘lightened up’ and carried himself.
Her face registered what I would say was close to shock and then amazement.
She glanced at me, I think to see if I was seeing what she was feeling, and I just gave her a thumbs up and a big smile.
It LOOKED good – but, judging by her face, it FELT great 🙂
Self carriage is like this.
It is working through the basics, getting them correct and stacking them in order to experience that feeling.
Position, energy, forwardness, contact, connection, channel, straightness, trust, confidence.
This weekend as you are working with your horse, think about the basics.
Refine, refine, refine…
Until you too feel a few ‘flashes’ of that feeling.
It is well worth the effort 🙂
Have a great weekend and keep well