Friday, October 16, 2009

Juuuuust Right

One must learn the difference between too much rein or give, and too short of rein or absolute elevation (defined as the raising of the horse's neck [in isolation] without shifting the horse's balance to the rear). Delphi needs to maintain self carriage (defined as the state in which the horse carries itself in balance without taking support or balancing on the rider's hand), and I must support this by allowing enough rein for her to relax while concurrently consistently keeping her round and on the bit (defined as acceptance of contact [without resistance or evasion] with a stretched topline and with lateral and longitudinal flexion as required; the horse's face line is at or slightly in front of the vertical), or connected (defined as the state in which there is no blockage, break, or slack in the circuit that joins horse and rider into a single, harmonious, elastic unit). She must always be ready to reach down to the bit, and I must always keep her in a back to front frame so that she maintains self carriage. Today Karen said let's assume that if something goes wrong, it's because I need to half halt with my seat, sit back to keep my shoulders following my pelvis, and keep the rein contact consistent and neither drifting forward nor restraining.
Concerning travers, it is important to keep the shoulders, withers, head, and neck straight along the track and ask the haunches to come in with the rider's outside leg. Avoid creating too much bend as this cancels out the travers. Rather, keep the forehand straight (and light) and ask the haunches to come in.