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The Art of Riding: Terms and What They Mean


Sureness requires your full presence in the moment, clear thinking, clear intent, a state of inner calm, peace within, and a focus on the positive.  When it comes to working with 'Feel', sureness develops with understanding and knowing horses, as well as yourself. Sureness lives in offering a good feel to a horse, so that he can offer what you ask. Sureness is built from within. It is a state of being. The horse knows when you have it and knows when you don’t. So we take the time it takes to bring out the true horseman in you. 

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Sureness in you improves the respect relationship you have with your horse.  For your horse to respect you takes another important ingredient: your respect for him. This means to understand what he is, who he is, how he sees his world, and how this changes from moment to moment. It means to respect his space, so he can respect yours, respect his physical being, so he can respect yours, respect his mind, so he can respect yours.  It means to know that he never lies, because the only thing he knows is to operate from the actual facts of what is presented to him in the moment, through 'Feel'.   

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Respect earned through 'Release' yields trust from  your horse. When we are talking about working with 'Feel', trust is when your horse sees you as an important and useful force in his life, that he can count on for his own well-being, without question. When his heart is safe, his 'try' and desire to 'try' are released. Pressure between horse and handler kills this type of trust, because his 'try' is based on the alternative consequence of an increase in pressure, rather than trust and his willingness to be guided by you.

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Help your horse get clear on his particular job as a riding horse, or whatever job you have in mind for him to do. Clarity is everything. If you are not clear on exactly what you mean in your presentation to him, he will not be clear. And just as important, if you are not clear on what your presentation means to him in terms of 'Feel', misunderstandings will occur, and  this won't lead to the best result.  Clarity is developed through awareness of yourself and your horse, and consistency in what you mean by what you do on the ground, so that  it carries to the saddle coherently and seamlessly. Clarity is when the meaning of the feel you offer your horse flows in time with his feet.

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Enjoy lightness in your horse’s performance under saddle, by preserving the diagonals he needs for balance and the life that delivers lightness, whether you are handling him on the ground or under saddle. Understand how he needs to move to be light, so you can blend with and direct this movement as a rider. Know that above all, he needs to be his whole self, with his spirit in tact, in order to be light: he needs to be proud.

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Variety is the spice of life. Horses need variety too. Trail riding, classical dressage, show jumping and riding across country, including fences and other obstacles are my speciality – according to skill level and desire.

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When your horse is not doing what you expected, there is a misunderstanding. He is naturally wired to get along and respond to 'Feel', that's how he has survived. I will help you develop your powers of observation to understand why your horse is doing what he is doing, so that you can offer a presentation that fits better to achieve your goals.

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