I taught another lesson like this today. A case of classic riding school pony who knows just how little to give. His rider falls into the habit of nagging with her leg, which jeopardises her position and rein contact, so today we spent a lot of time using transitions to get the pony responding to the first leg aid, and getting my rider to be a bit quicker to remind her pony that she’s in charge so that he listens to her from the moment she gets into the school! When he’s listening to her and going forwards, her position becomes more stable and it is easier for her to ride canter transitions, as well as having a better walk and trot so that the transitions are correct -coming from the hindquarters- and the quality of the gait improves in terms of rhythm and balance.
I spent an hour this morning trying to teach a woman to ride forwards, so thought I should share my pearls of wisdom. Or just generally express my humble opinion. You may pick which one it is.
This woman I was teaching this morning is fairly new to riding, but has mastered rising trot, sitting trot with and without stirrups, diagonals and simple school figures. So at the end of the last lesson I stopped helping her keep her horse going (classic riding school mistress; can move when she wants to, but takes a lot of persuading) and had her riding round the outside, changing the rein, circling etc without my help.
So today, I decided we needed to take the focus away from the rider (she mainly needs more hours in the saddle to build up her core and stamina, and needs something to occupy her mind) and have…
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