When You Can’t Ride, You Read

All this snow and the lack of riding is driving me crazy. To make up for it, I have been obsessively scouring the internet for good reading and videos to help improve my riding. After reading multiple synopsis’ of the Isabell Werth clinic that just happened last weekend, I was very humbled by the fact that these riders struggle with issues I struggle with. Maybe not as much, or on the same scale, but the issues I have transcend my level of riding, and I find it comforting.

I love the reminder that leg goes on first and your hand closes AFTER, because the amount of times I don’t do that is embarrassing. I know I’m not the only one, and it is harder to remember when you ride a hotter horse.

You should use your lower leg for balance and to bring him back,” … “Don’t spread your legs away from him. Use your legs for the halt.”- Isabell Werth

Being independent of the reins is something she touched on, and something that I am trying to learn. I find I can go to them for balance, making me lean on them and therefore Dawns mouth, which of course makes her shoot off away from my lean.

To do that, I am going to be working on my home exercises, especially on my core. I have made a point this year to be active every day, but I am going to start ramping it up. I have been eating better and I have lost weight, but it’s always a work in progress for me and I have more to do.

The other thing I am going to do is try what Isabell had a rider do, and ride with both reins in my outside hand. Also, I plan on attempting to ride with the driving reins, because I do tense in the shoulders and tend to pull back and the driving reins can help. Additionally with my reins, when I find the right contact in the walk, I will not adjust my reins to move up a gait. If I have to right connection at the walk, it should be the correct one for trot and canter.

My final thing that I will be practicing more is my transitions. I do neglect them, and I need to stop that. I do my normal working walk, then I do my trot, then my canter, each rein and I’m done. I plan to practice not only walk/trot, trot/canter, canter/trot, trot/walk but also transitions within the gaits so we never feel ‘stuck. Planning my number of transitions, strides between them, and achieving the changes of the gaits will give me something to focus on besides constant drilling of my position and her position.

Now I just need to weather to co-operate so I can have some riding consistency!

Article Referenced: Isabell Werth Clinic

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