Go Forward

When we start riding, we have the tendency to think and ride slow. Our brain tells us that if we ride slow we have more control.  We want to be in control and we want to be perfect.  This is totally backwards. Like most things involving horseback riding speed is counterintuitive.  We have more control when the horse is moving forward.  We want that forward energy and we want to just tunnel it or channel it.  Not interfere with it. The best pace is the pace that puts you right on the edge of out of control.  

When you are trotting and have to work at posting, your horse is not going forward enough.  Your horse should trot enough to push you into your post.  Just like at a walk.  Your horse should walk enough to move your seat and your elbows.  Not because you are forcing them to move but because your horse is walking like he has someplace to be.  I tell my students; your horse should walk like he is going to get ice cream.  Not like he is going to school on Monday morning.  

Your horse should feel like he is just at the edge of control.  At any second, you should be able to canter or walk.  If you don’t feel at the edge of out of control than your horse is behind your aids.  When you horse is behind your aids you will have to pull them around the corners.  You will have to steer, instead of just looking and thinking about where you want to go, you will be the one making it happen.  You will be the “A” student in a group project with a “D” student, who weighs 1000 lbs.  

To many this idea is scary.  But you know you can always put your horse in a one rein halt.  If you don’t know what a one rein halt or an emergency stop is, please ask your instructor.  You may never need it, but you should know what it is.  Like the seat belt in your car. It is too late when you need it.

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