Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Before I Forget

I just came in from a ride, and I have to write this down before I forget.
  • If I want to do a canter / walk transition - don't just prepare with a half halt and then give the aid as his canter stride is high in front. Be patient and decide beforehand where I'll do it, then for at least five or six strides give myself over entirely to feeling his rhythm. Once I'm completely 'into' his rhythm, give the walk aid. He invariably walks, usually in a nice forward, uphill way, but occasionally he almost wants to halt which I don't want at this stage. Interestingly, as soon as I go into the 'feel' mode he starts to prepare himself with slight collection and a high degree of responsiveness to my aids, even though in monitoring myself I couldn't ascertain that I was doing anything. As I think about it now, I know that what I was 'doing' was completely relaxing and following, 'lisening' intensely but softly to him. This is the part I really want to remember - wouldn't it be great if I could develop that connection more and more?
Just to clarify, I always try to ride with an 'acknowledgement' of his rhythm. He listens to my aids to shorten or lengthen as I give them in time to his rhythm and I've finally gotten my hands fairly quiet and following in canter. This was something different that I just discovered. Of course I want to develop it so the aid can be given at anytime I want, and so that it's intuitive, but it was interesting to experience how waiting and totally relaxing into him made such a difference, and how his best response by far is to this almost imperceptible preparation. I think I often try too hard.

6 comments:

Kate said...

I've had great success doing something very similar to what you describe, for both upwards and downwards transitions. I feel the existing rhythm then think the new rhythm and exhale at the moment I want the transition; I try not to use other aids except as a back up. I also don't use half halts - I know they're commonly used and just fine but they're not part of my practice. What you describe so well is what makes riding so much fun, and so challenging.

Carol said...

Good feedback - thanks. I wasn't thinking about my breathing, but will pay attention next time. I've read your posts about breathing and transitions with great interest.
I didn't use half halts when doing this, as they weren't necessary and would have interrupted the flow. I find them useful for many things though.

Karley said...

I love the thought of breathing!! ^

juliette said...

Waiting and totally relaxing into him - sounds like perfect riding to me! We all try too hard. They are probably saying "it's so easy and she is making it hard" to us all the time! Good for you for discovering this!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I agree that we probably all try to hard. It seems that relaxing and going with the flow and rhythm of the horse is much more productive.

Most times with Dusty or Blue I just think something and they do it. Now I don't know if I inadvertently cue them without my I've done it but it works. Your ride sounds awesome.  

Grey Horse Matters said...

I agree that we probably all try to hard. It seems that relaxing and going with the flow and rhythm of the horse is much more productive.

Most times with Dusty or Blue I just think something and they do it. Now I don't know if I inadvertently cue them without my knowing I've done it but it works. Your ride sounds awesome.