Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Centered Riding Clinic Group Lessons Recap

Friday - Sunday, April 8-10, 2011




Each group on the different days of the Centered Riding Clinic, that I attended in Kansas, had slightly different exercises, as well as a slightly different focus, for their lessons.

Topics and exercises we discussed and performed were:

Leg Release and letting go of tension.

Sitting forward on the seat bones, then dropping the spine and back down into the seat. Think of flash lights pointing straight down from Seat Bones.

Posting effortlessly from the Center - allowing the Center to post you.

Following Seat and feeling the movement of the horse. What motion do you feel? Pedal backwards.

Feeling the steps at the walk and trot, and counting the steps the horse took during each breath.

Soft Eyes vs. Hard Eyes. Where is the level of your gaze.

Broken Line through cones, walking and trotting between cones, breathing, and with soft eyes, turning shoulders through turns.

Turning with Center and shoulders - think eyes in front of shoulders. What do your legs do when you turn? Inside knee opens and outside leg comes on the horse.

Center - with a circle inside the Center. How big is your Center?

As horse walks, give and take with reins and have horse stretch and reach down.

Heavy Elbows and follow walk with lower arms and elbows. Our Center is connected to our hands. Our elbows are shock absorbers.

Barber Pole in the corners at the trot, thinking of a V, and stretching out the sides of your rib cage as you post, for a “Diagonal Connection”.

Find Bubbling Spring on foot, and feel grounded in the stirrup.

Walking in Half Seat (2 Point) position with walking the knees and Dancing Knees.

Posting Trot, feeling the weight in the knees, alternating.

Horses mirror our bodies. Where are we tense and where are they tense?

Prepare for down transitions by spinning Center slower and down yet walk with forward motion.

Hip Circle exercise - on the ground, make a circle with the toes.

Building energy in the Center, while keeping the Center low.

Halts, with Center and Breath.

Ride with a Bubble around you, with Soft Eyes and Breathing.

Think Diagonal line from outside shoulder to inside Seat Bones. Notice other diagonal. Which is easier to imagine. Change direction.

Move your Center to move your horse.

2 point over logs.

Clear Intent - want to turn left, think left.

Release when horse stops. Breathe deep into Center, Exhale deep into Seat Bones, ask for the stop, and release.

Relax your jaw by running your tongue around the bottom set of teeth, then upper set, then write your name, in cursive, on the roof of your mouth. The horse relaxes too!

Half Halts, move on to walk or to trot.

Arm stretches while mounted. Opening up chest. Raising shoulders up. Arms overhead and turn palms out to lower arms slowly.

The inside hand feels the rhythm of the walk.

Walk the arena, staying to the outside of the 4 cones that are set in the corners.

Inside ring finger squeezes the rein, prepares the horse, flexes the horse around the turn.

Think of a Carousel Horse pole as you turn a corner.

Alternate leg aids as the horse walks.

Use outside leg muscles and relax inside leg muscles.

Allow Center to rise for a bigger, extended trot.

Lope from your Center.

Allow the knee to drop.

Drive from behind with the Following Seat.

Recycle the Energy from the horse’s front to the horse’s back.

Rider’s Remarks after Group Lessons:

Horse relaxed when everything came together.

Guide the horse better when looking more with the rider shoulder.

Larger walk when there is more energy coming from the Center.

Keeping a trotting tempo. With shorter posting strides, think and post “up”, with quick strides, think “down”, meaning sit deeper on the down part of the post.

Dropping our weight down in our back, picturing the Alligator tail down, stabilizes ourselves in the saddle.

Ground the outside foot.

Feeling grounded and secure.

Using the Center more.

Having a stronger connection to the horse.

Think what you want the horse to do, not what the horse can’t do. Don’t turns into “do this”.

Lift the shoulders up while turning into the corners.

Transitions become smoother as you Center and Grow, lifting up the shoulders and rib cage.

Posting becomes softer with a taller, but relaxed, back.

Remember the pieces of info you want to keep, do the right thing, and stay with it.

Felt a difference in the Following Seat when I dropped my Alligator tail.

Warmed up, thinking of the X, moving from Center up to shoulder during posting.

1 comment:

Rising Rainbow said...

Sounds like it was a very productive clinic. I found myself thinking about your posts as I rode the other day. thanks so much for sharing your experience.

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