SPORTALOOSA I N T E R N AT I ON A L Issue Four, 2010 www.sportaloosa.com One way you can practise centering your balance over the centre of the horse instead of leaning is to ride your arena in straight lines.
Practice at walk and trot, do not ride through any corners.R ide straight down one side keeping your eyes focused on the wall directly ahead of you (if outside a tree or fence post), then halt in the corner facing the wall.
Turn and continue around the arena halting at each corner.By not riding around or through the corners your eyes will stop anticipating the turn and you will remain in balance with your horse,upright and centred over his spine.
Now try this exercise to maintain your upright balance riding through the corners, also just before and throughout the bending lines of the circle or serpentine.
This will correct your tendency to lean in and unbalance your horse.
Make a concentrated effort to raise your inside shoulder four centimetres or two inches,lengthen your outside leg also four cms or two inches and add a little weight to your outside seatbone.
But do not under any circumstance lean to the outside of the turn or circle (read that again!) You just want to counteract the natural urge to lean to the inside to straighten your balance in the saddle.
Once you start riding your horse in proper balance through the corners and circles you will be amazed how much easier it will be for your horse too.
Even a big horse can learn the balance necessary to slow and relax his canter,he may even become a good western pleasure horse! If your horse is very unbalanced, lunging without any restraints for relatively short periods, say ten to fifteen minutes a day each way will help it build its muscles and help the horse become more co-ordinated and move in a steadier frame.
The horse only goes faster and on the forehand as it relies on the speed for actually not falling over! It will be easier for you to maintain a slower pace if you canter only a few strides at a time on the straight, avoid cantering through the corners or circles until you can canter in a relaxed and balanced manner on the straight lines, then only on large twenty metres circles.
If you feel the horse speeding up, return to walk or a steady trot, relax, then ask again.
Rewarding your horse with a free rein walk is always a good way to relax them,also take deep breaths youself and let the relaxation go down through your body which also goes through the horse.
Another excerise is to do some rapid transitions, say four strides walk, followed by four in trot then six in canter then four trot, three walk, halt, rein back three, trot off for four, four canter etc.
This is to get your horse attentive to you and helps balance him and get him off the forehand; the halt and trot off is especially good for that.
Be careful not too do too much and unsettle your horse doing this and especially make sure you are riding in a very good upright position.
Now try cantering through the corners of the arena being especially careful where your eyes and body are,use your inside leg to stop the horse falling in, maintaining a light,steady contact.
If we want our horse to go slow,we must slow our body movements down too.
We, the rider must realise that when on the horse’s back we should be in control and we decide the speed not the horse.
If the rider makes a lot of movement with their seat they are unintentionally encouraging the horse to go faster especially if they lean forward at the same time.
Remember the horse will go where the weight is.
Practice slowing the trot by posting slower by coming up slower than the trot dictates and sit down the same way.
You will see the horse sense the change and will automatically slow his gait.If you slow the rocking motion of your body at the canter this will also encourage the horse to slow down.
The rider should have a comfortable feel of the horse’s mouth and avoid giving too much slack or pulling back hastily.
The half halt made by a deep breath and careful pulling back gently for a couple of seconds, with immediate release, keeps the horse’s attention and is extremely effective for controlling the horse’s paces.
Remember every part of our body communicates something to our horse,use all the aids correctly,keep balance when you ride,remember where your eyes are focused and you will soon be riding that rocking chair canter! 21 of 47 McDreamy TC Colidas Ghost x Wot Dreams R Maid Of (national supreme champion mare) Dual registered Appaloosa & Sportaloosa stallion Not available to outside mares in 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org – 07 304 9882 – Whakatane, New Zealand www.flyinghorsestud.webs.com
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