By GAEL BOURQUIN – For me, the most important basic for horse and rider is balance. It is a vast topic and in order to simplify I will address the rider’s balance.
The balanced seat is the most important aid because the effectiveness of all other aids will depend upon the rider’s development of a correct seat. Without this basic, correct training of the horse cannot occur.
When the rider is not in balance, the horse cannot be in balance which causes the horse to become tense. If the horse cannot relax, he will not be able to develop the muscle necessary for training. The tenseness then can cause an irregular tempo and further unbalance the horse.
An unbalanced rider gives conflicting aids. They cannot be clear and precise. The aids can be incorrectly timed as well as lasting too long or too short. A rider without a balanced seat will never be able to develop feel because they will be fighting gravity. This causes mental stress in the rider as well as in the horse. With this mental stress, trust between the two cannot occur.
The strength and balance in the rider’s seat depends upon the rider acquiring the proper position. This is best found on the longe line with a balanced horse. Unfortunately, there are not many instructors or riders who feel the need to include this invaluable tool in their training.
Only when the rider can sit in balance, in the proper position, will they be able to have control over every part of their body. This is a necessary element that one must have to properly ride and train a horse.
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