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Riding Every Step

I have been reading all the postings about bits, martingales, spooking and 
Lot's of varied opinions and experiences! It's great to read them all. It 
did, however, 
make me think of something that my dressage instructor has been telling me 
years; "you MUST ride EVERY step!".
That was really difficult the first couple years. I thought it took way too 
much concentration. But slowly, it became more and more automatic in the 
arena. When I started endurance two years ago, it became even more of a 
challenge, since instead of an hour of training I was riding for hours at a 
time.  I've since realized that her instruction of riding every step applies 
to all riding. When my horse is being actively ridden; flex'd at the poll, 
giving to pressure, light to my seat and legs, active from behind, etc., 
etc., he has no time to spook or be out of control. Lapse of concentration on 
my part and disaster may occur. At first it was tough, but now it's second 
(not that I don't, and won't continue to, make mistakes!) 
It's difficult at first, but soon you can talk to other riders, to your 
horse, enjoy the scenery an STILL ride every step. 

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