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The Basics of Balance: You & Your Horse

When the rider has the ability to use all of his aids independently of one another without interfering with the horse.

When the horse has the ability to “carry” himself with his hind quarters engaged without “relying” or physically leaning on the rider.

Why is it important?
An unbalanced rider is uncomfortable physically and unclear mentally therefor they are unable to "take" their horse for the ride and are more likely to be "hopeful" that the horse complies.

Being balanced allows you to influence or react quickly, efficiently, and calmly to all situations presented.

Do you have balance?
Start self evaluation while riding on the flat

Ride a straight line- Can you pick a point and ride your horse straight towards it, or do you find yourself physically leaning in the saddle to try to "drag" your horse towards the chosen destination?

Maintain a consistent rhythm- Does your horse constantly change his rhythm within a gait?  Have you noticed if you are offering the desired rhythm with your energy in the saddle or are you "waiting to see" what your horse offers?

Transitions- Abrupt, abrasive, draggy, jumpy, etc. these are all signs that you have not offered your horse clear communication through effective aids that can only be offered when you are riding physically balanced while preparing for a transition whether it is within a gait and decreasing and increasing the energy or from one gait to another.

Adjusting your horse’s stride- How much "work" does it take you to get a change in your horse's step?  What aids do you have to use and how many times do you have to ask before you get the desired results?  If you are incorrectly balanced, you cannot offer light and effective aids to offer clear communication which will cause a resistance in your horse adjusting his stride.

Responsiveness of your horse- How much of a delay is there from when you ask your horse to do something to the time he actually does it?  If you are unbalanced your timing and effectiveness of your aids will cause your horse to not believe that when you do something, it means something, and he must try to participate.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the whole useful and important points. I really like all this stuff, balancing between horses and us.


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