Riding Is A Matter of Signals. Are Your Signals Correct?

Riding is sign language, but instead of visual it is pressure to your horse.14934490 horsewoman in uniform at a jumping show
Your horse is a sponge to absorb signals (pressures) from you the rider.
Your signals come from your five tools of riding.
1. Your mind
2. Your voice
3. Your  two hands
4. Your seat
5. Your  two legs
To train your horse to respond to your aids (signals) you need to be consistent. 
First, you need to understand the movement you are asking your horse to perform.
Do you want your horse to move forwards, sideways, both or backward? The signals are different.
Do you want your horse to hold the bit, take the bit, follow the bit, the signals are different?
Do want your horse to canter or half pass? The signals can different.
Second, you need to apply the correct aid every time exactly the same that is be consistent.
If you keep changing the aid then you are not training or teaching you are just riding. The go to a trot from a walk, how do you ask for the transition?  Do you apply the same aid every time?
Third, you need to know what that aid is and which of your tools are you applying
What is the correct aid?
What combinations of your tolls are you using?
Fourth you need to apply the same aid every time.
Fifth you need to have a response action. Yes, you got what you wanted..reward and learn and train.
Or you failed. Did your horse get it wrong or did you get it wrong?
Aids to your horse are similar to sign language, the signals involve pressure. As a horse rider, your pressures are always changing. The horse moves under you and you will have small counter moves to stay in the saddle and keep your balance. This involves pressure that your horse feels. This is a signal your horse. Is it a signal you are aware of or not?
As a horse rider, you need to have control of your own body movements before you can expect to control the movements of your horse.
 You need to have control over natural movement under you (the horse's movement)  and you need to have control over the application of each of your own tools.
DSC 0082websizeCommon rider faults
  • following your hands with your body ( tipping forward)
  • chasing your stirrups,
  • losing your lower leg balance
  • unable to independently apply isolated aids
  • default reaction of pulling on the reins
  • changing the aid when the aid fails
  • not understanding what you are asking
  • not being consistent
  • many more
  • look at yourself before you blame your horse
  • tune yourself into yourself
  • train your body to be symmetrical in strength and flexibility
  • train yourself to control your body and not allow your body to control you
  • learn what the movements are before you ask your horse to perform them.
  • learn how to ask for those movements and ask the same every time
  • start to think beyond the saddle
 Training yourself to ride is easy with knowledge. If you would like to learn more about Applied Posture Riding have a look at my mentoring program.