Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Centered Riding Clinic Day 2 Group Lesson

Saturday’s group lesson started out with some stretches. We worked on stretching our arms and moving our shoulders. We started by breathing into our Center, with bent heavy elbows, by keeping our elbows bent and our lower arms light. Continuing to breathe into our Center, we dropped our weight into out Center, then into our Seat Bones, then into the Ground.

We did an exercise to release the pressure of a stiff neck and shoulders. Roll your tongue over your bottom teeth, in a circular motion, first on the outside from right to left, then inside from left to right. Then roll your tongue over your top teeth, in a circular motion. Finally, write your name, in cursive, with your tongue on the roof of your mouth? How does your jaw feel? How does your neck feel?

Do you know what happened when I opened my mouth to feel my jaw? Shaggy dropped his neck! He felt the relaxation also!

The group practiced diagonal stretches of the body. To the right, I needed to lift my left shoulder up. When you ride a slow moving horse, you need to think “UP” from the outside hip, to the Center to the inside shoulder. When you ride a fast moving horse, you need to think “DOWN” from the inside shoulder to the Center to the outside hip. Transitions become smoother and the Center becomes deeper.

For me, I had to Center and GROW! I need to sit taller without being stiff. I need to raise my outside left shoulder as I travel to the right.

We worked on our Energy. To move a slow moving horse, think high Energy in your Center, spin your Center fast, breathe out in 3 quick breaths, and go. Add leg when needed.

To Halt, breathe out and let the horse hear the breath! We practiced different transitions, such as walk. then halt. Each “Down” transition, lower the Center and breathe out. Walk, halt, move on instantly. Move up to the trot, halt, walk on or trot on. Add leg when needed.

For the final exercise, we walked 10 steps, lowered our Center, halt with an exhale, then instantly, with a quick breath out, trotted.

I learned that I need to raise myself up, not like an arch in the back, but an
“Up-ness” to the body. I realized that I need to turn more with my shoulders.

I know about muscle memory now. You MAY think you are doing something right, but until you SEE yourself, you won’t believe what someone may tell you. Your brain NEEDS to realize that what you thought was right, isn’t right now, and that you need to do something different.

I encourage everyone to have someone photograph you or video you, as this will make sense if you SEE yourself.

What an eye opener I had this past weekend. I am a good rider. I realized how much more I need to learn.

1 comment:

Rising Rainbow said...

I think pictures and video are great tools to see how we ride and what our horses are doing.

I found myself thinking today as I rode about lifting up. I know that's my downfall, my shoulders roll forward and with that my ribs down.


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