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)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Centered Riding Clinic Day 3 Group Lesson

By Sunday, the third day of the Centered Riding Clinic, we were reviewing everything, and adding a few more exercises to reinforce what we knew. We worked on Balance, dropping our Center, and lifting up our shoulders.

Something felt different as I dropped my “alligator” tail into the seat. The Following Seat motion seemed to glide. It was a different feeling than ever before, and very smooth.

As we warmed up the horses, I thought about the large X across our front. As I posted, I reminded myself to move up from the hip, through the Center, to the opposite shoulder. As I turned to the right, I made sure to turn with my shoulders more.

I practiced lifting my rib cage and side as I turned, and really stretched up through my sides. I could feel the muscles on each side of my body, between the ribs, as I alternately stretched my sides.  Today’s exercise was all about spiraling our horses down into a circle, then spiraling back out. As we walked the circles, we were to keep our shoulders up and turning with our bodies.


X(4) X(2)


4 cones were set out in a diamond pattern, and we were to walk a circle on the outside of the cones, then walk to the inside of the cones. Then we slowly walked in a spiral pattern to the center of the circle. We then spiraled out at a walk and once we were to the outside of the cones, we were to turn a 90 degree at cone ,X(1) toward the center of the circle, and walk a straight line from cone 1 to cone 3 and back to line.

We repeated this exercise at a trot. Then we repeated the exercise, but once we spiraled out, we reversed, turning a 180 degree away from the Center, and added a lope departure. The horses were on contact with the bit, as we were spiraling with our Center and shoulders, but still giving some direction with the reins. The lope departure came easier than from the walk or trot.

Each group worked differently, depending on what they needed as riders, and what their horses needed. Some exercises were the same, some were different, and some were a variation of the exercises that other groups had done.

1 comment:

Rising Rainbow said...

I love exercises with cones. Helps keep me focused. Sounds like this was a helpful clinic.


Messick Quarter Horses

Check out my website at:

Lessons, Training and Horse Sales
E-mail me at

Messick Tack & Feed

Messick Tack & Feed
website will be up soon! Click on logo to see current specials!