Mar 13, 2019
Today, I’m talking about active and passive riding. Do you know if you are doing too much or not enough when riding? A rider who doesn’t know how to ride may be in a defensive position and not doing enough. A rider using all available aids may be doing too much and making the horse unhappy.
In this episode, I talk about these concepts and finding the neutral middle ground using active tension. I also talk about finding your seat and independent movement from the horse.
[00:40] Are you an active or a passive rider? Are you doing too much or not enough?
[01:07] Imagine a teeter totter with too much on one side and not enough on the other. The middle is the neutral position or a non-disturbing connection.
[01:34] Connection is hidden inside the active and passive rider conversation.
[02:13] When it comes to connection, we can also be doing too much or not enough.
[02:47] A rider who doesn't know how to ride will not be doing enough.
[03:31] Another extreme would be a rider doing too much and using all of the aids all of the time, so the horse does not feel a release.
[04:06] A sign of this could be the horse looking very unhappy.
[04:51] The reason I want you to think about how active or passive you are when riding is because you have to have a version of positive tension to get to the neutral position.
[06:40] When doing riding exercises, we need to be able to return to a neutral state.
[09:39] A full release doesn't have to be that we take away all of the aids from the horse because then we would take away all of their support and communication.
[09:56] If we end up too far on the other side of the teeter-totter, we interfere with the horse.
[10:25] In a free walk, a horse is supposed to be marching forward. You really have to pay attention to your aid to ride this maneuver.
[11:55] You have to go back and forth between active and neutral and adjust the pressure in your legs and put the intention in your body.
[12:49] My mom and I used to ride bareback trail riding. When I started using my western saddle, it would make my knees hurt. I blamed it on the saddle, but then I realized this was because I was collapsing on the horse and moving to the passenger side. Riding bareback requires tension.
[14:52] I retrained my body to be more active when I'm trail riding which will intuitively be better for my horses.
[15:23] One of the first things you need to find when you are riding is an independent seat. Try carrying a glass of water or an egg in a spoon and see if you can ride with your hands staying independent of the movement of the horse.
Links and Resources: