Myth Busters - Kicking is Nagging! @(headerTag)>
When you are riding, you should look balanced. When this balance is achieved, it should look as if the rider could balance themselves independent of the horse. That means if the horse was to magically disappear, the rider would be left standing on the ground.
Riders young and old will often need help from an instructor to help them to find this balance when riding.
Riding in balance can be achieved quite easily if you think “balanced riding should feel like balanced walking. If you walk in balance then you move freely and effortlessly.
If a rider imagines that they are ‘walking’ when they ride, they can better allow themselves to move freely with the horse.
Try walking with:
- your toes turned out
- your chest sticking out and your back arched
- your elbows fixed to your sides
When you move like this, you may feel rigid or clumsy. You certainly won’t feel balanced or flowing. Not only must a rider like this be annoying for the horse, they will create a horse that is restricted in its movement and numb to the aids.
The horse will slow down or may even stop when its rider is not moving in balance and with ease. This can result in the rider kicking, squeezing or nudging on every stride the horse takes. The instruction “Kick on every stride” is the worst myth of all.
When the rider is in balance, carrying their own weight and moving in time with the horse, they should not need to to kick on every stride. When you ride, you should think about keeping your toes forward, aligning your body over your feet and being light on your horse’s back. These things will allow you to ride in balance.
When you can move in balance, your horse is free to move in balance with you.