The rider’s position can make all the difference in the world on how your horse performs. Direction of Travel shows you, clearly and easily with pictures, how to improve your horse’s performance and speed up your training.
We want so much from our horses and there are so many little, simple things we can do that will help our horses give us what we want.
Do you know how to use your seat aid in the most effective way? Did you know that you can get advanced movements with almost no aids if you use your body in a certain way? Do you know how to use your weight to get around a jump course efficiently? Do you know what to do so you are not interfering with getting the best from your horse?
The next almost-all-picture book in the ‘Train Your Eye’ series, this book helps you with your position so that you are getting the best possible performance from your horse with the least amount of work from you and your horse.
USING YOUR OUTSIDE REIN
Don’t be concerned with controlling the horse with the reins. ESTABLISH FORWARD FIRST! When you are establishing “forward” in the horse, the only rein you usually need is an opening rein. Remember, you will be riding circles (page 79, Forward: Riding with Eloise King) for the most part when you start your mounted work or you will be using the arena wall or fence (page 82) as a soft aid. You should not need an outside rein in the initial stages of training or retraining the horse.
Some people say that you need to support the outside shoulder with that outside rein. But when you think about it, losing that outside shoulder generally comes about when you do not have forward established in the horse and/or are over-aiding him. Go back to your basics; forward, check your position, etc., until the horse is strong and supple enough that the outside rein is no longer a blocking aid and becomes the soft aid that it should be. Using the outside rein starts when you begin two-track work — haunches-in, half-pass.
If you ever feel that you have lost control of the horse and think you need that outside rein, go back to your circle. Twist your shoulders in the direction you want to turn, use an opening rein to that side and step into the inside stirrup. Stay balanced on top of the horse and relax (especially your legs). Certain school figures can help, too, such as the circle described on page 80. Breathe and you will soon be enjoying the ride.
When presented with the term “on the bit,” the picture that most often comes to the uninformed rider is a horse with a firm contact on the bit and his face vertical at all times . . . and not much beyond that. In all the years I have known Eloise King, I have never heard her ask someone to put their horse “on the bit.” I have heard her tell people to maintain their correct position and send the horse forward TO THE BIT. And that can be accomplished without any resistance from the horse or punishment from the rider.
I have seen people work for years, driving their horses into a firm hand that keeps the horse’s face verticle. It’s a lot of work because it takes so much more leg and seat from the rider than is necessary while it blocks the hind quarters.
Give yourself and the horse a break and shorten the time it takes to get the results you want. It is so much easier than most people realize. Let Eloise show you how.