Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
correct riding
#1

I am posting this here because I have a theory about riding.
I have had my horse for eight years now, and rode as a kid too, but only trail riding.

My theory is this: no matter how long you have ridden, if you haven't ridden correctly and you start to learn about it, you are once again a beginner.

I am learning about the importance of your body alignment and asymmetry, and how it relates to your horses carriage. It is amazing to me how just the slightest crookedness on our part is reflected in our horses way of going!

I have a long way to go, as I have just started down this path, but I feel I have learned more about riding in the last few months than in all the years and lessons of my past.But you know what? I find it very exciting also! I now know the reason behind some of the problems that I've had, and that there is a way to correct them. Iam not quite as hopeless as I felt that I was! It is very empowering to learn how to correct your problems, and what lies at the root of them.

I am also learning that riding correctly is HARD WORK!!! I don't have the muscle tone or endurance yet to ride correctly for any long length of time. Whereas before I could work in the arena for an hour and only be a little tired, I am now only able to ride for about a half an hour in this new correct way before the wheels begin to come off from muscle fatigue!

But I know that in time, this new way of going will become second nature, and I'll not regret the time and effort it took to retrain my body and mind.

I know my horse appreciates it because he is moving much better.
I don't have any desire to learn for any kind of competition, not that there's any thing wrong with that. I am doing this as a kind of personal quest, and just for me, and of course ,my horse.[Smile]

Cindy
Reply
#2
Totally agree with you...I've been riding for nearly 40 years, and am still working on learning to do things better.

It's kind of funny, though. When I got my first horse at, I think 13 or 14, I knew nothing, & had go on instinct. Things either worked, or they didn't. Added to this, the horse was extremely spoiled; so much that nobody else had been able to ride her in the 4 years prior to my ownership of her. I trail rode her, did barrels & poles, and even jumped. To top all that off, she was such a collected horse, that I could almost canter her in place. By the time I sold her, two years later, anyone could ride her.

I got another horse and moved on...started learning all the "correct" ways to handle and ride a horse. And have not accomplished much since. Looking back, I see that I was already instinctively doing the right things with this first horse, and just didn't realize it.

So, while, in some ways, I'm trying to improve & move on (especially in regards to my position in the saddle), in other ways, I'm trying to go back to what I knew in the first place. I'm sure this makes no sense at all, LOL!

EZ2SPOT
Reply
#3

Quite the contrary, EZ. You make perfect sense to me. I also did things instictively correct as a child. I think that's more common than we think. Most children just know the correct way of moving that we lose as we become adults and it is "trained" out of us.
We start to learn that we have to move a certain way, sit a certain way, walk a certain way , etc. Then we start working, and develop bad posture, back problems, and usually a crooked way of carrying ourselves to compensate.
We are so at "home" with our bodies crookedness, that we don't realize what a shabby home it has become over the years![Big Grin]

Cindy
A good rider has a thinking mind, fine emotions and a sensitive hand.-Tu Yu,72 BC

Reply
#4
I thought at one time I couldn't ride any better than I already was... until I met someone who took me under his arm and proved to me I really didn't know a thing when it came to riding a horse. Back then, I thought the only thing you did through your seat and legs was sit on the horse. You kicked him to get him to go and pulled the reins a certain way to get them to turn and stop. I honestly thought that was all it took. Naturally, I had very rough hands and never realized the horse was suffering because of it and my poor sense of balance in the saddle.

I'm so thankful for the handful of people who mentored me and showed me the error of my ways. This got me to reading, researching, and studying the correct way to sit a horse, how to use the aids correctly (balance, seat, legs, etc.), and how it all affects the horse. I spent a lot of time at the regional shows watching the pros and the experts and learning what was wrong and what was right. My whole attitude changed and I discovered I knew absolutely nothing about riding a horse all those years. It was quite a jolt.

As many of you know; I give riding lessons, and my students (mostly beginners or non-riders) are amazed they can't just sit on the horse and make him go. I had one student ask me about a dozen times how much longer it would be until the end of the lesson. I thought she was having a good time and was afraid it was almost over. To my surprise, she was sore[:O]! I felt so terrible about keeping the lesson going, but she never said a thing about her discomfort. I told her the next time to let me know if she was sore, and we'd finish the lesson doing things from the ground. Another student's first lesson ended with her saying, "Wow, this is work!" But they kept coming back, the muscles made the adjustment, and the smiles when everything started to come together made it all worthwhile.

Another thing that gets me is the people that say they know how to ride when they've been around horses "All Their Lives". It amazes me, to an extent, these people could be around horses all that time and not know the first thing about riding correctly. But they don't need lessons or any kind of advice, because they know exactly what they are doing.

Proper riding techniques takes a very open mind and the ability to realize you never quit learning know matter how many years you've been around horses or how long you've ridden. Even those of us who try to stay abreast of new ideas and riding techniques can still learn something every day as long as we keep ours ears and minds open so we can understand there are better ways to do things. Horses are an on-going education that never quits, and even the horses themselves can teach us so much if we just sit back and watch them when they're at liberty or when we are working with them either astride or on the ground. And it can be absolutely fascinating in the long run and a very rewarding experience that will last you a lifetime.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
Reply
#5
This is a quote I found online from Tony Mason, the dressage instructor the good Dr has been trailering to lately. I just liked his characterization of the verb "ride," and it supports what all of you have been saying...

"It would be better if the word ‘ride’ had not been invented pertaining to horses, because people think they must ride…I am thinking that perhaps, maybe by staying on with the balance, the slightest tip or pressure of weight here or there could indicate the balance to go that way and if a rider is quiet with his body and hands then the horse will move quietly under him, where the balance is transferred. However, a rider who cannot give up on the reins and kicks indiscriminantely blocks out the horse..."

There was a bit more, but you get the idea.
AE
________________________
I'm so busy, I'm not sure if I found a rope or lost my horse.
Reply
#6
quote:
Originally posted by Red Hawk

I thought at one time I couldn't ride any better than I already was... until I met someone who took me under his arm and proved to me I really did know a thing when it came to riding a horse. Back then, I thought the only thing you did through your seat and legs was sit on the horse. You kicked him to get him to go and pulled the reins a certain way to get them to turn and stop. I honestly thought that was all it took. Naturally, I had very rough hands and never realized the horse was suffering because of it and my poor since of balance in the saddle.

I'm so thankful for the handful of people who mentored me and showed me the error of my ways. This got me to reading, researching, and studying the correct way to sit a horse, how to use the aids correctly (balance, seat, legs, etc.), and how it all affects the horse. I spent a lot of time at the regional shows watching the pros and the experts and learning what was wrong and what was right. My whole attitude changed and I discovered I knew absolutely nothing about riding a horse all those years. It was quite a jolt.

As many of you know; I give riding lessons, and my students (mostly beginners or non-riders) are amazed they can't just sit on the horse and make him go. I had one student ask me about a dozen times how much longer it would be until the end of the lesson. I thought she was having a good time and was afraid it was almost over. To my surprise, she was sore[:O]! I felt so terrible about keeping the lesson going, but she never said a thing about her discomfort. I told her the next time to let me know if she was sore, and we'd finish the lesson doing things from the ground. Another student's first lesson ended with her saying, "Wow, this is work!" But they kept coming back, the muscles made the adjustment, and the smiles when everything started to come together made it all worthwhile.

Another thing that gets me is the people that say they know how to ride when they've been around horses "All Their Lives". It amazes me, to an extent, these people could be around horses all that time and not know the first thing about riding correctly. But they don't need lessons or any kind of advice, because they know exactly what they are doing.

Proper riding techniques takes a very open mind and the ability to realize you never quit learning know matter how many years you've been around horses or how long you've ridden. Even those of us who try to stay abreast of new ideas and riding techniques can still learn something every day as long as we keep ours ears and minds open so we can understand there are better ways to do things. Horses are an on-going education that never quits, and even the horses themselves can teach us so much if we just sit back and watch them when they're at liberty or when we are working with them either astride or on the ground. And it can be absolutely fascinating in the long run and a very rewarding experience that will last you a lifetime.





Well, from what I saw in photos of me astride at MTR, I'm guilty of the terrible posture on horseback. At least at a standstill which is when the photos were taken. But why did you comment that I was a "good rider"? That's been wondering at me since! (And I am NOT fishing for compliments, I don't expect I deserve any, lol.) Either my riding posture is better when we're moving than it is at a standwill or else maybe you were talking about blind confidence and the fact that in spite of bad posture I wasn't falling off?? LOL.

Only here can I be this unabashedly, unshamefully... whatever. Anyway, I have nothing to prove, I'm just curious what prompted that comment. Hopefully I'm not as bad as I fear, but "hope" and a dime won't buy a cup of coffee.
Carol
Reply
#7
Montezrider, your attitude is so refreshing to hear. As a relative beginner who has been taking lessons for just about 3 years, and who has had much difficulty mastering this sport, I am glad to hear someone who's had horses for many years is also still learning. I run into so many people that say they've had horses all their lives, and think they know it all, yet it seems like they know almost nothing. And then there are people who think you just get on a horse and ride, and it's so easy, they can't believe I'm wasting my money on lessons. I was very surprised to learn how difficult proper riding is and how much coordination it takes, not to mention strength in muscles you've never used before. I'm sure the horse appreciates a rider who's willing to learn!
Keep up the good work.
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


Reply
#8
I am a beginning rider in my own mind for sure!

I have been riding for over 30 years. 99% of it in the bush and mountains.

Always had something to ride as a kid, although never owned a horse till I was about 22.

Here, looking back, ignorance was bliss!
I got a 2 1/2 yr old filly, from my other halfs cousin. Paid $150 and half a pu load of firewood.
We fenced a field of brush, about 2 acres. Made a stall in a shed. Property backed onto the bush. I didnt have a ring, or even a field, heck I didnt have a saddle even, only a bareback pad, no stirrups. Bridle consisted of a leather strap, to hold the snaffle, may or may not have had a browband, but nothing else. But when you are young, horsecrazy all your life, without any realization of mortality that comes with age, you dont care!
So, I got on the filly, and into the bush we went. That is how she was trained, right or wrong, by me, just her and I in the bush.

I think we developed our own "language" of riding. I rode that horse for 22 yrs. Lost her to a twisted gut a couple of years ago. Best mtn horse you could ever imagine. If it was possible to take a horse through it, we did it sometime over those years.

The bond and trust was a once in a lifetime thing I think, probably never to be repeated.
I now find myself at this age, with a real healthy realization of my own mortality, and very cautious with my green horses.
I feel as if I know nothing of proper riding. As green as the hills around here one might say!
I keep bing told I know alot more than I realize, but it sure doesnt feel like it.
I think I will always feel like a green rider!

I have begun lessons this year. The main aim for me is to be able to communicate clearly with my green, prof started filly, by getting a better understanding of how and why.
Apparently I already do alot of things by instinct, that are correct. But I need a better understanding of what I am doing!
Thats me, greener than grass IMO! LOL
Ride safe, return safe.

Reply
#9
I am forever learning and about the time I think I got it I realize I don't!Love to trail ride but like to go to take lessons every now and then to keep me humble!Dressage is my love but alas when you are fat and scared of cantering you don't go far.But I can still ride and have a great time and try to be centered and ride with my horse,who cares if your elbows stick out or you can't make your toes point forward,enjoy the ride safely and as correct as you physically can
BethAnn Stewart
Palmyra,Indiana

Lovie-gypsy vanner
Lad- Clydesdale


Do not take up the warpath without a just cause and honest purpose. Pushmataha-Choctow leader
Reply
#10
The other day my wife (who grew up with horses and is a much better rider than I) gave me a compliment. She said "You are beginning to show signs of intermediacy".

Guess I better stay humble after that one!
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)