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
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:
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
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
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?
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
I believe this is how they think.
NOW --AS I
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
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
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
After all --that's the way it's done --right?
YES --AFTER riders have
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
Therefore, I now more fully
'TYPICAL' RIDERS are all about.
I cannot work with them
they just do not 'Get-It'!
The horse is
not always wrong. Those typical riders are wrong!