Beginning Horse Riding : Horse Riding Balanced Walking

Beginning Horse Riding : Horse Riding Balanced Walking


As our novice rider begins to take those skills
that we’re learning and apply them, we’re going to ask her to go ahead and mover her
horse into a right handed circle. She’s going to use her right hand as that direct rein.
Her left hand is going to stay nicely in place, matching the right hand, as we learn these
basics. The horse is going to move in a more collected fashion at the walk. We want a nice,
bright, ground-covering walk. Her right leg is holding firmly against the right side,
primarily with her calf muscle, as she asks this horse to make his walk in a bending and
balanced fashion. We recognize and look how that right hind leg is stepping nicely, coming
up underneath him as he makes this right handed circle. His right shoulder maintains its balance
so that both right and left shoulders stay upright. Now, if this rider releases all these
pressures and we let this horse go out on his own, we may see him, just as he is now,
he’s beginning to create that flattened kind of circle. I note that his right shoulder
is, in fact, slightly dropping, and the horse goes on to be less balanced than when the
rider picks up and uses the right rein, right leg in the correct way to apply the pressure
that helps to balance this horse. Balancing our horses is kind of that top trainer secret
at times. It separates often the difference between those of us who purchase a horse,
keep it in our back yard without much understanding of this concept of balance, and those of us
who can take a horse and compete at a high level, because we understand the body mechanics
as this horse moves himself. So, we see the rider now picking up with the right rein.
I say it’s almost as though at times you may have to apply enough pressure to bring that
hand up as though you were scooping hard packed ice cream up towards you. The rider never
crosses over the center line. She keeps her hands in a supportive, even fashion. She might
pick her pick her left hand up just a tiny bit as she wants to support that outside rein
as well.

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