Do you sometimes find that while concentrating on a school exercise, or a technique, you and your horse get tense?
Of course you do, it happens to everyone.
So here’s my little tip. Try lifting your chin. It releases the tension in the front of your neck and relaxes those muscles, and then your gullet is more open so breathing is easier. When we are able to take deeper breaths and out oxygen intake increases then we function better. I think it also pushes out weight and centre of gravity back slightly, so releasing the horse’s shoulders.
I find that when sitting to the trot, or really focusing on a lateral movement, my chin tucks in to my chest. However, simply lifting my chin changes my whole posture and I can feel the release. This passes through to the horse that I’m riding and they generally relax and go better.