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7289Re: [WestKingdomEQ] A question for a spring day...

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  • mark murphy
    Apr 1 10:48 AM
      Being light on the forehand. This allows the horse to make turns and
      stay balanced.

      English or western, it involves the _rider_ learning to stay off the
      horse's mouth, use the leg and weight shifts, turn your head (long
      explaination but basically, if you turn your head where you want to go,
      your weight will shift signifcantly, cueing your horse).

      So, IMHO, the thing we all need to do is work on _our_ riding skills
      so our horses can perform better. TAKE LESSONS! I do, Connor does.
      Always something new to learn or improve on. It is worth the 50.00

      Example: Had a heck of a time last summer getting Ebony to make turns
      in the jumping course quickly enough. This is BAD when you want to
      gallop cross country full out and have to negotiate ditches, sagebrush
      and juniper trees!

      Was the problem that my horse was not listening? Not really. The
      problem was that (A) I was not looking at my turn soon enough and (B) I
      was not picking up my hand correctly so he knew I meant it NOW.

      Result when I did it right? We floated over an 12 jump course -
      including the combination of bounces, one stride, two stride, like they
      were not there and everyone went "OOOOOH".

      Extended result? We can gallop cross county full out and he and I do
      not part company because I cue him with body and hand and I listen to
      what his body is telling me about where he is negotiationg the terrain
      (left or right around the tree? through or over that big sagebrush?)
      His job is to watch what is right in front of him and my job is to look
      ahead - "Hey Eb, there is a coop coming up" is important for him to
      know when he is busy galloping through the brush and making sure we do
      not fall in a hole!

      In the games (to get back to Elese's question) he no longer falls down
      going around the turns on the heads course - he has learned to use his
      butt to balance and I have learned to help him do it better. He can
      stay straight on the rings and jousting because he listens to my weight
      shifts - and I have learned how to more and more subtilely cue him.

      This summer I will be taking my 5yo mare with me so we can work on
      teaching her collection and learning to jump. Yes, I know how to teach
      it to her - that is what all the days between lessons are for! - but I
      am a big fan of having a trainer to watch and correct.

      Connor will be learning to jump more than he did last summer and
      working on improving his seat and hands.

      I encourage everyone to take lessons - esp. if you do not own a
      horse. The better a rider you are, the more you can do with a strange


      What is one skill that you can work on the every level of horse to
      it participate/be competetive in our games/activities/combat?
      detail on why and how you get it.

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