"You can’t fall if you don’t climb. But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground."
— Unknown (via psych-facts)

I got to audit a clinic with Lilo Fore earlier this week, and it was such a great educational opportunity! My trainer rode three horses, all quite different from one another, and it was neat to see how Lilo taught her and the other riders, some of which were college students. I took notes as I was watching and decided to type them up…I can’t promise that they’ll all make sense out of context, but I found a lot of things applicable to my own riding.

  1. Work on bend and straightness equally to develop both – not one or the other.

  2. The sun still goes up and down whether the horse is on the bit or not!

  3. Ride upward into the down transitions; the walk transition is not a brake pedal.

  4. Ride one stride and then be quiet…and repeat.

  5. Work toward suppleness, not angle, in the shoulder in.

  6. Shorter reins don’t pull back, they hold the frame upward. And remember what Charlotte Dujardin says: short reins win medals!

  7. Ride forward, up!

  8. The horse’s neck should be open at the poll and solid at the base of the neck.

  9. Use the legs like a bee sting before a transition to get a correct, prompt reaction.

  10. Loose reins will make a horse go fast.

  11. The horse isn’t being disobedient; he’s just learning. It’s called training.

  12. The walk to canter transition must be the most connected moment in the canter.

  13. Don’t over-ride no matter what.

  14. Ride to the corners so that they’re deeper than the curve on a circle.

  15. Leg-yield is a straight horse going sideways.

  16. The outside rein and leg keep the tempo and straightness, and the inside leg asks for bend.

  17. The rider’s hips should stay vertical and open, directly under the shoulders. This is what makes the horse go to the bit correctly.

  18. Always ask the horse, “Take me forward.”

  19. Open fingers mean an insecure connection. A little feel on the horse’s mouth is important; feel the mouth and ride with the mouth.

  20. With a trained horse, find the connection so he learns what language you’re speaking.

  21. You and the horse go from the same place to the same place – no leaning in your lateral work.  Also, remember that when you use one leg, don’t stick the other one out away from the horse!

  22. Leg-yielding is for riders to learn coordination of the aids.

  23. Control is more important than going sideways.

  24. It’s easy to pull the horse’s neck to the inside. It’s hard to ride straight.

  25. Keep the right hip forward to keep the right leg back (when useful).

  26. Always ride through a turn, and always keep the connection the same.

  27. Touch your canter – is it adjustable? Can you make it smaller or bigger?

  28. Collect the canter by riding the haunches lower, not by slowing the tempo.

  29. To teach a horse to collect in canter, do half-steps, then walk, then ask for the canter transition.

  30. If your work is correct, you can feel suppleness in the horse’s poll and the haunches underneath your seat.

"Buddhism teaches that joy and happiness arise from letting go. Please sit down and take an inventory of your life. There are things you’ve been hanging on to that really are not useful and deprive you of your freedom. Find the courage to let them go."
— Thích Nhất Hạnh (via veganwearsblack)

I’m vlogging again! This is just a bunch of little clips from this summer since I hadn’t been doing weekly vlogs (due to computer issues, not being able to upload from home, etc.). These are my latest adventures -or lack thereof- with Flynn and Gigi.

posted 1 month ago