15 riding lessons (part 3)
How to ride. Step movement
The essence of a proper landing is not to interfere with the horse’s movement. At the same time, the rider must have a free pose necessary for effective control of the horse. Some beginners do not have any problems with landing and moving on a horse, while others take a long time to adapt. It all depends on your abilities and hard work.
Learning is easier for people who have a good sense of balance. About such people they say that they sit on the “balance”. Others are forced to stay on the horse only by the strength of their legs, and even helping themselves with their hands. When properly seated, your weight is distributed between your seat and thighs (in the saddle), and your feet (in the stirrups). Depending on the gait, speed, and task performed, the emphasis may be reallocated.
The lower back should be slightly bent, the body when moving in a step perpendicular to the ground, the shoulders are moderately deployed, the gaze is directed forward along the course of the horse’s movement. The arms are half-bent, the hands with the reins in the air above the horse’s neck just behind the front bow.
The movement of the horse at a walk you feel as a slight rocking back and forth and amortize it with movements of the lower back. Regardless of the features of Your figure, the correct fit will always look beautiful and relaxed. But it won’t come right away! In the saddle, you need to”sit down”. It is useful to observe yourself in a mirror or filmed on film or videotape.
Lightweight and training trot
Correctly sit on a stationary or even walking horse is available to everyone. But the first stage in learning to ride can be considered passed when You learn to sit correctly on the trot. When moving at a trot, the horse alternately jumps from one diagonal pair of legs to the other. At the same time, You are incredibly shaken. The strength of the shocks depends on the anatomical features of the horse and the speed of movement. It is impossible to get rid of this shaking completely, but it is quite possible to ease your fate by at least half.
The horse is running smoothly. The shocks follow one another in a certain rhythm. Try to trace it and, resting the inner part of your thighs on the saddle and your feet in the stirrups, stand up in the saddle so that every second push passes, to be in a “suspended state”. This is called “relieving” or going at a light trot. Sat-got up. If at the same time You can use the previous push as an impulse to get up, and when landing do not flop, but sit down gently, slowing yourself down, resting your hips on the saddle, then consider that You have got rid of the shaking already more than half. That is, they learned to move at a light trot.
during this training, you can use your hands on the saddle. Don’t try to use the occasion as a management tool. You will only pull the horse in vain. Until you learn to trot confidently, you don’t need a reason at all. Therefore, it is best to study in a closed arena, where the horses move, obeying the commands of the trainer. And only when moving at a light trot, you can keep your hands on your belt, to the sides or up, while maintaining the correct landing, You can trust the rein (you can learn to manage the rein on a step earlier).
Training trot is better to ride, having learned to relieve yourself. Riding a training trot is a jolt without a pass. You just try to “squeeze” more tightly into the saddle, so that You do not get knocked out. This is achieved most easily by straining the calf muscles and slightly leaning back the body. Your legs are tightly wrapped around the horse’s flanks, and your soft waist holds back the jolts that knock You out of the saddle. If You have learned to relieve yourself without using stirrups, but only by the strength of your legs and the impulse to push out, and continue this exercise for at least 5 minutes in a row, then feel free to consider that You have passed the second stage of training.
Gallop and transitions from one gait to another
So, if you ride a light trot without stirrups for 5 minutes and are still able to control the horse, then you have probably already experienced the pleasure of riding at a gallop. It is easier to sit at a gallop than at a trot. The shocks are much less frequent and smoother, the sensations are closer to swinging on a swing, only the earth is rushing in one direction – back.
The conditional division of speed when riding at a gallop is: Manege and field. Accordingly, landing on a gallop is not much different from landing on a training trot. The body is slightly thrown back, the legs are tightly wrapped around the sides of the horse, the soft loin absorbs shocks. The task is to sit in the saddle “like a cast”, otherwise scuffs can be formed both for You and the horse. Field landing is used for racing, overcoming obstacles, and during field riding. When you land in the field, you stand up in the stirrups (putlishcha shortened by 1-2 holes) and the main focus is on the sluice. The seat does not touch the saddle, the lower back is slightly bent, the shoulders are straightened, the hands are allowed to rest on the neck or stick to the mane.
The main errors during field landing are as follows.
The rider stands very high in the stirrups. In this case, the center of gravity moves up, reducing the strength of the landing. If the horse shies sideways, the rider will continue without it
The rider’s legs go forward or back. Both lead to a deterioration of balance and, as a result, poor contact with the horse and management efficiency. The schenkel should lie just behind the girth, and the leg should be in the stirrup with the broad part of the foot
The rider plops into the saddle at every gallop. The seat must not touch the saddle. You can stuff a horse’s back, and you can stuff yourself
Stirrups should be of such length that they do not” run away ” from under your feet, but that you do not stand on them too high. Your weight should be evenly distributed on your neck and feet. A well-known rule in mountaineering: three points of support-applies here: the schluss (inner surface of the thighs) and two stirrups. Hands free to control. The rein is slightly stretched. With vigorous movements of the horse’s head and neck, the hands follow them, while the body remains in place.
What does it take to get a horse into a gallop? A country nag may be trained to gallop by whistling, whooping, or even pulling at the reins. The same can be taught to any other horse. However, the generally accepted rules are as follows. The horse is brought into a state of compressed spring, which is called “collecting”. To assemble a horse, it is necessary to achieve the convergence of all four legs, if not at one point, then close enough. This is achieved both by an occasion – the horse bends its neck and reduces the removal of the front legs, and by a schenkel – the horse brings its hind legs under it.
Depending on which leg you lift the horse into a gallop, the head is given a left or right position – a position where You see the edge of one or the other eye . In the arena, the question of the leg is solved simply. When driving to the left – gallop with the left foot, when driving to the right – with the right. We will not go into the mechanics of the horse’s movement. This topic is covered in detail in all serious manuals. However, even beginners need to know that if Your horse is “lying” at a gallop, that is, going counter-gallop (when riding to the left, for example, galloping with the right leg), then you can both fall on the turn. It is not very difficult to determine which leg the horse is galloping from. The front leg, which descends to the ground further, is slightly in front and is the leg with which the horse gallops.
So we’re going at a light trot. The command is given: “Shift, gallop!”What are we doing?
First, we get in the saddle and stop relieving ourselves. Secondly, we gain a shorter rein, forcing the horse to “lower its nose” and making a resolution (the edge of the eye). Third, (but simultaneously with “second”!) we strengthen the action of both shankels (the opposite direction of the gallop is more active) in combination with a slight and soft weakening of the rein, and thus send the horse forward. Not work? Try again to do the same thing when exiting the turn, and add a light whip to the action of the opposite schenkel. Just don’t try to speed the horse.
Many trainers forbid you to swing your body when you send it into a gallop. Yes, that’s right. Management, and especially the message, should be invisible from the outside. The horse seems to do everything by itself. However, at a gallop, the rider always sways his body at least a little, and this action can be a signal for an old English nag, which, sometimes, can not be persuaded even with a whip.
In order to transfer a calm horse from a gallop to a trot, it may be enough to simply pull the rein. If the task is not solved, then, throwing the body back and resting on the stirrups, pull the rein more energetically, without lifting your hands up (a common mistake). If the horse drags, “biting the bit”, then you should try to pull the rein sharply enough from left to right and Vice versa. This is a very painful technique for the horse’s mouth, which must realize who is the master here. If you are pulled apart by a horse in a field, the only way to stop it is to turn it into a circle, gradually reducing its diameter. For more information, see lesson 12 “Horse drags”.
However, let’s hope that You, as a novice rider, will get calm, good-natured and well-trained horses.