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Train Your Own Horse with Stacy Westfall

Mar 20, 2019

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