Thursday, June 16, 2016
What does relaxation of the horse mean to you? To me it means a horse that is breathing deeply, with soft eyes, relaxed over the topline, and willing to stop, go, and stand from the seat/body aids alone. This is no easy feat in and of itself, but I think a lot of times, especially in Dressage, there is so much emphasis on "connection" that the connection really just ends up being the brakes and that leads to tense jaws, short necks, and locked backs. If you can ride your horse at all three gaits on a loose rein, stop and go from your seat, and THEN add in the connection with the reins, everything about aligning, balancing, and directing the energy of the horse seems to be much easier. Nothing new or innovative about this but it seems like one of those things that cross all of the equestrian disciplines and that all really good riders do, even if they don't know they are doing it.