Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Day: Start with some insight into riding!

I attended a clinic with a *Grand Prix rider from Florida last month -- he was an extraordinarily intense and focused clinician--always moving, whether walking at the rider's side or trailing after them. He achieved quite a bit with each rider.

One enlightening metaphor he gave us had to do with the use of seat bones to control a horse's balance. He asked us to consider a large piece of plywood standing upright. It is easy to keep a piece of balanced upright plywood perfectly straight up, using only minute adjustments with the tips of the fingers to hold it up. Once it begins to fall one way or another, however, fingers aren't strong enough to  hold up the plywood. You need to use your hand or arm to grab it and bring it back to an upright position.
This is so for for riding as well. It is easy to keep your horse balanced and upright with minute adjustments with the seatbones and through ab control. Once a horse has lost his balance and is falling in or out, you have to use more dramatic adjustments with your knees, thighs, and lower legs. And because the horse is reacting to grosser, less precise adjustments, it's more likely that s/he will overcorrect and require more adjustments.

So why no video or even the clinican's name? Well, I was going to ask to videotape it, and as we were milling around prior to the clinic, I overheard someone else ask if they could videotape their spouse. He smiled and joked, "Sure -- just don't post it to Facebook."

I have to assume Youtube was also out of the question, and left my camcorder in the car.


  1. That is an excellent analogy. Makes a lot of sense.

    Kudos for concealing the clinician's identity. It is kind of scary how many things are public these days.

  2. Nice recap of the clinic. Very helpful. While I understand why a clinician would not want their clinic filmed and posted on the internet, I am wondering why they wouldn't want their name used in conjunction with their clinic. Should this clinician ever do a clinic in my vicinity I would never know that it might be a clinic I would want to go do.


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