Do you find yourself looking down at your horse and tilting forward as you ride? This one is a little harder to fix as you need someone on the ground to help. You could also purchase some schooling mirrors to put around your school so that you can see you and your horse without looking down!
You are looking down at your horse because you are not trusting what your body is telling you about the way your horse is going. By looking down, you are tilting your body forward, which actually inhibits the movement of your horse as your balance is no longer centred, which makes it even harder to feel things, which makes you want to look down! Try and sit your shoulders back and roll them to loosen them up – imagine a string pulling you up through your hat and a line from shoulder, hip to heel. This should help stop you tilting forward.
To fix this you need to learn to trust what your body is telling you about your horse! Try getting someone on the ground to put a lead rein on your horse or put you on the lunge. Now you have to close your eyes. You will feel very disorientated at first and you have to make sure you are sitting and looking up straight. You will begin to feel your horse’s movements more and notice how things you do affect his way of going. When he starts to go round you can feel it through the saddle and through a softness down the reins.
After a short time you will be trusting what your body is telling you about how your horse is moving. Open your eyes and try to ride with the same feelings that you got with your eyes closed, you should notice that you are no longer looking down!
This will take a few sessions to crack and there may be underlying positional problems that exacerbate the bad habit!
Feel free to comment, and if you have any small problems, let me know and they may feature in next week’s Tuesday Tip!