Riding with Agreement
“Resistance”, “friction”, “opposition”, “contrast” – all words used to describe conflicting forces. When it comes to your relationship with your horse, these words often come up as well.
So, I feel the best way to remedy their effects’ is to establish where the source of conflict is. In most all situations, when it comes to communication between a horse and human, the conflict is usually that the thought of the human differs from the thought of the horse. However, when those two thought processes are in agreement with one another, there becomes a willing, resistant-free cooperation between the two beings. This picture of beauty is what all equestrians reach for.
This does not mean that all resistance is necessary bad. It is simply a way to recognize a lack of understanding on the horse’s part, as to exactly what is being asked of them to do. So, the resistance simply creates an opportunity for the rider to improve their communication with the horse. This is where body part isolation and the ability to communicate effectively with your horse to move in ways that they normally don’t on their own comes into play. In order to implement them with these skills, we have to teach them how to separate and isolate out their body parts that are involved in our riding endeavors. Awareness and the clear mental picture that is brought into focus on their maneuverability with specific body parts become useful tools to remove resistance as understanding develops in the horse.
The body parts I am speaking of are the softness at the poll, neck, shoulders, rib cage and the hind quarters. If they’re not soft up front, you can’t get the back. If they’re not soft in back, they won’t be in the front. It all needs to be working together. The isolation of the parts gives us the ability to help the horse to position themselves to make what we have asked them to do in the easiest possible way.
The benefits come in ease of movement. Smooth transitions, improved attitude and a improved posture for both horse and rider.
The reason any of this matters to you is because it will improve the relationship with your horse as well as everyday things that you do when you’re riding. Everything you do with your horse that involves movement will be affected by resistance, or lack of it, and moving their body parts. Walk, trot, canter, stop, back, turn, lead pick up, lead change, roll back, side pass, going down a trail, opening gates, going around barrels, poles, etc.- EVERYTHING you do with your horse in movement is moving body parts. You’re either going to be able to move the body part easily, or you are not. You have to develop and practice that ease of movement- it is not just handed to you.
It will be up to the rider what kind of ride you want to have.