HORSE HOLIDAY CONNECTIONS 

Soft Touch Horsemanship The Mind Body Connection  

~~By God's Directions.  This is His Program--not ours!~~

 

 

 

 

 

The A-Typical Rider  --[who unknowingly abuses!]

I was not really aware of this until lately.   I knew it --but it did not come to reality --until I watched a young woman ride her gorgeous horse.  She rode fairly well, because I saw that great canter and a rider who seemed to sit-into the horse quite good.  The next time she rode --I asked to watch her and her horse together, and she agreed.  What I saw eventually disturbed me.

Twenty minutes of constant riding in all ways, and to just keep on --keeping on.  The horse had only very short times of a relaxed walk --to get his breath, and then went back to the canter or other work.  It did not seem that the horse even had a chance to get his breath, and he was sent off again.  The rider just seemed to be doing energy-building work --either for her horse or herself.  It was starting to get to me --watching this.  The rider has this terrific horse that could really take her to the TOP in the show-world --BUT as I had to tell her:   "--He can take you to the top --AFTER YOU GET YOUR CONNECTION right with him".

I was trying to tell her that something was terrible wrong with how she was working this horse. He was working overtime, and at one instance he sort-a tripped, and the rider harshly corrected this, with strong hands of correction.  The relationship between the rider and the horse left out a huge hunk of communication skills.  Yes, she rode well, however she really needed much more help to get connected with her horse in a more sensitive and compassionate way. 

I asked a riding companion who was very green if she rode for a long time like that and I was told that she rides for an hour --this same way.  I previously heard the owner/rider say that her horses was hononary when she rode --the day before --so I wanted to question what was so wrong with this horse. --NOTHING!

I then remembered how I see the [so-called] professional riders who WORK their horses hard --before a class.  Those horses are also OVER-worked so they will make no errors when in the show-ring.  They are ridden to become on automatic pilot!  So --what's wrong with this?

#1.  The connections between horse and rider need to be much better --with respect and compassion to what the horse needs to do, and HOW-TO HELP that horse do their best.  What I am seeing and realizing is that the horse is worked to constant submission --for perfection.  Again --what is wrong with the horse --AGAIN --NOTHING!  It might be a good idea to do slight work to loosen the mind and body flexion, but that horse does not have to be pushed so hard to become perfect.  I then watched this to try to understand why she worked that horse so hard.

#2. The rider LOOKED like she knew what she was doing, however when really watching her --I saw a loss of real connections with the horse, that could be improved with a great mentor/coach.  But then again, what she was doing was what so many INSTRUCTORS are teaching [NO --INSTRUCTING]

$3.  So what was really going on here?  That rider was doing what so many others do.  My feelings are that this method does NOT WORK --for the betterment of the horse --because the rider has NO REAL IDEA what communication and compassionate riding is all about.  It is much greater.

#4.  Fine-Tuning a rider would give them BOTH the edge they need for a more pristene performance.  BUT is that rider even open to this?  PROBABLY NOT!  WHY?  Because instructors work that way.  The horse is always wrong and a good or fair rider can correct this by repetition and constant re-working. I believe this is how they think.

NOW --AS I SEE IT!  THE above is all BALONEY!

It is so much better to learn the fineness of the connections that get results from the horse. The rider should understand why the horse is doing as they do.  This finely taught or mentored student can learn to FEEL --what is happening and to learn HOW-TO improve what seems slightly off --from intellectual understanding and empathy between the human hands and compassionately relaxed bodies of both horse and human.  Power riding should be available --when asked for only when needed.

When I watch a rider, I look at how they do their rising trot.

I watch how they halt, and the how they ask the horse to back.  This tells me a ton about that rider.

Then, I look at the equipment used on the horse.  Many riders have very expensive dressage saddles that seem to keep them 'in-place' at the trot, however it is not soft.  The rider gets thrown up, way too high for my own wishes.  They appear separate from the horse.  NO real connection with the horse, because that huge saddle takes all that control of  body movement when riding.  I have seen this --way too often at horse shows.  Dressage saddles can obviously get between the natural movement of horse and rider.  It interferes with compassionate movement. After all --that's the way it's done --right?  Hmmm!

YES --AFTER riders have learned the compassionate moves with the horse, and they fully understand the how-to-do whatever is needed --to HELP the horse make any necessary correction --perhaps then a higher level saddle can be helpful for both.  Putting the cart before the horse doesnot help --inthe long run, because too much is lost in the process.

BUT --until riders really learn what is truely needed, that strong dressage saddle can interfere with natural movement.

It's the connections I speak of when riding.  Gentle corrections are all that is needed --most of the time, and those butterfly finger-tips can ask a strong horse to lighten-up --so that the moves are much more beautifully executed!

AMEN and AMEN!

Therefore, I now more fully understand what 'TYPICAL' RIDERS are all about.

I cannot work with them –because they just do not 'Get-It'!

The horse is not always wrong. Those typical riders are wrong!

'Rose at the Barn' 

Obviously PLEASE CONTINUE!

I re-read some pages before editing --and think I must appear to think my work doesn't stink --so to speak.  I laugh --only because I am looking for that 'spirit-filled connection and relationship between horse & human --that's so difficult to find and see in riders of ALL riding styles etc.  When I do see this --I will definitly tell that rider.

I did this at Tolgate riding center in Belair, Maryland, many years ago

This woman rider had --real -'hands of silk' and her horses responded with absolute delite --do do as she 'requested'.  They were brilliant.  She was riding against some powerful people, who were not as good as she was --in my eyes!

I stopped her to tell her she was the best rider over all the others.  She was amazed, and delighted, also coming back to thank me later.

A few years later --I saw an ad in horse magazine showing her with her h orse.  She was now recognized as the TOP DRESSAGE RIDER --in Maryland.

She only needed to be recognized for her abilities and great connections with her horses and riding abilities.  I too was proud this was recognized by others.

I really do know what I am looking for!  One day you may also! 

That spiritual connection IS VITAL!

It makes  'Divine Riders'

Rose at the Barn

 

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