Feeling Good?- how to develop that all important eureka factor.
Training with ‘Feel’
‘Feel’ is something that cannot be explained easily because each rider’s perception is likely to differ from another’s understanding of that feeling. For that reason, a training approach and exercises that teach riders the ‘feel’ for balance and thoroughness should be part of a trainers routine. When using this ‘feel,’ the rider finds that the movements become less complicated and that the horses are able to stay relaxed even at the highest level of competition.
The thing is though it’s a bit like the chicken and an egg situation….until you can ride with some mastery you cannot really understand “feel” and until you can “feel” you cannot ride with any real mastery! The good thing is that, as you start learning and getting better, you do occasionally have those inspirational moments when you feel “feel”
Eureka moments are easiest, at the start, on simple movements. On a circle for instance. As you concentrate on looking forward, with your shoulders turned slightly in the direction you are going, your inside leg is able to support and push the horse into an outside rein contact and, one you feel the horse is balanced, you can (slowly) release your inside rein towards the horses mouth. In a dressage test this is termed give and take. On a circle when you are training and the horse stays well balanced and does not change its rhythm and continues on the circle….you have a eureka moment! It is one of the most thrilling things ever. Much better than skiing down a mountain (!).
Share your eureka moments and find yourself a trainer in your area. It is so much easier if you have someone on the ground who can help you find that all important “feel”. Horse Scout would love to hear about your first eureka moments.