Improving Your Aids When Riding Your Horse
Play • 20 min

Today, I’m talking about how the rider's mind and the rider's body are both equally required for improvement. I'll be talking about balancing your aids and your mindset. A listener asks about allowing something to flow and making something happen.

This is all about balancing. You need to have a mindset where you can back up the requests you make. I explore this topic with listener emails, my own experience, and what I’ve observed watching horses and people.


Show Notes

[00:49] A listener email: James asks about the catch between allowing something to flow and making something happen.

[01:21] The rider needs to be able to make a request followed by a willingness and an ability to back it up.

[01:46] Think of a teeter totter and the balancing point in the middle of it.

[02:09] The mental part is the willingness to make the request. The ability to back it up is what we are physically required to do.

[02:18] Four different aids that we talk about a lot. These include the rider's hands, legs, seat, and voice.

[02:39] The hands are the first thing people think about using to control the horse. The second is the legs.

[02:51] The seat and the voice fall into the category of a please. The hands and legs have a way to backup the request.

[04:28] When you can add pressure you can also add release.

[04:54] Most riders are willing to make a request, but it gets a little fuzzy when it comes time to back it up.

[05:15] Stacy shares listener emails. Also, have your horse checked out by a vet if there are issues.

[06:39] Horses sometimes draw a line of what they are willing to do.

[08:30] Stacy shares varying degrees of pressure with her legs as backup queues after requests.

[09:18] People are afraid to hold horses accountable when there's a physical aspect to the training.

[09:56] When horses communicate with each other they make a request and have a willingness to back those requests up.

[11:02] Pressure can feel firm without feeling like punishment.

[12:42] Horses have different tolerance levels and that can create tension when riders make requests and the horses don't willingly follow it.

[13:46] Part of balancing your aids is you mentally accepting that the aids are okay and that you're willing to use them.

[14:10] The horse will figure it out if it bothers you to use your hands or legs.

[14:52] The tension in your mind can affect how you use your hands or legs. Hands can be used fast or slow or light or firm.

[16:08] People struggle with how firm or fast or slow they should use their hands.

[16:57] A lot of horses won't pay attention to a really light request.

[17:24] Reflect back on the idea of what you think is changing how you ride.

[17:49] The middle of the teeter-totter feels like allowing something to flow. If necessary, I step in and make things happen.

[18:15] I started this podcast because I really have a desire to help people understand what's going on with their horses.

[18:21] I never promised that it would be easy to execute.

[18:47] The mindset you have towards using your aids or hands and legs is the key to going forward.


Links and Resources:

Stacy's Video Diary: Jac-Episode 17- Colt starting: Ground (line) driving and dressage whip training

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