Learn it right the first time

I see it so often, in fact I’ve experienced it myself. You are trying to do something new with your horse for example Counter Canter and you know the aids but you can’t seem to do them. What you can do is push & shove a bit and apply extra force and most of the time you get what you want-but it’s hard work.


Do you really want it to be hard work forever? I’m guessing the answer is no,but if you don’t ever address why you can’t already just lightly apply the aids now then it’s always going to be the pushing and shoving method isn’t it.


It will also come back to haunt you at some point when you again try to progress a movement. Using the Canter and Counter Canter as an example, if you have never learnt to ask for and control the Canter with your seat and instead have relied on your legs, hands and a bit of push and shove then to ask for Counter Canter is a very difficult task indeed. Whereas if you have nailed the Canter with your seat aids and it is almost rather effortless (or at least appear it!) the Counter Canter is then just a different arrangement of these aids and although may still take some time and practice to achieve you will already have the required skill set to be able to begin to transition into these aids.


So what I am imploring you to think about is whether you first have mastered the basics of riding from your seat, able to give invisible aids with your seat bones and maintain Shoulder Hip Heel alignment with stable shoulders for a balanced and giving rein contact and legs that can come on or off with only a slight shift of the seat.


If you can control the tempo of your walk, trot and Canter and perform turns and circles using these skills alone then any more advanced movements will be just a different arrangement of what you already do. The sky will then indeed be the limit!

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