Horse and Rider Mirror One Another
The art of riding is truly a marriage between the athletic ability of the rider and the horse. When the two move in tandem, magical moments suddenly appear. It is these moments that we crave!
One of the greatest skills that separates an upper level rider from a beginner is the ability to notice and anticipate the movement of the horse. It is the difference between being reactive and proactive when riding. In EQUESTRIAN PILATES® it is the ability to tap into the mind-body connection and our awareness.
Many riders have a natural ability to assess their horse’s movements either by watching them move or feeling them move while they ride. The rider’s ability to be aware of his/her body is a major determining factor in maximizing EQUESTRIAN PILATES® training and optimizing riding ability.
When riders become more away of their body on and off the horse they see a dramatic improvement in their riding. Why is this true?
This idea is the perfect example that the movement of the horse and rider mirror one another. Our horse’s movement gives us exact feedback if we are riding correctly or not. If our low backs are tight, the horse’s back will be tight and rigid. If we clench our jaw, so will the horse. If we lean to the side, the horse will do the same.
The good news is that while this can sometimes be frustrating it is also fantastic and immediate feedback on what we need to change in our riding. The mind-body connection is an amazing skill that allows us to be proactive riders. It allows us to notice when we are making mistakes and gives us the opportunity to make corrections.
This is why increasing our awareness is a major component of the EQUESTRIAN PILATES® system. Noticing and then remembering the feel of correct positioning allows it to be replicated, keeps us better balanced in the saddle and ultimate helps us communicate better with our horse.
This is when riding becomes really fun! Good luck and let me know how it’s going.