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Re: Riding Every Step

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
. It
> did, however,
> make me think of something that my dressage instructor has been telling me
> for
> years; "you MUST ride EVERY step!".
> That was really difficult the first couple years. I thought it took way
> 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
> time.  I've since realized that her instruction of riding every step
> 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
> my part and disaster may occur. At first it was tough, but now it's second
> nature.
> (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.
> Tracy

Hi Tracy,

I agree to a certain point, but perhaps have a more "Western" point of view.
While I see this as a necessity for green or young horses, that don't yet
have confidence, my goal with a well-trained trail horse is the total
opposite.  I expect and want my horses to go relaxed and calmly on a loose
rein-in what ever direction pointed in, in whatever gait I tell them.  I
want to untimately ride with the reins dropped loose on their neck; be able
to neck rein so I can pony other horses, or use one or two hands to get a
drink of water or eat, or carry something, etc.
I expect the horses to develop a certain amount of trail sense, and be able
to make some intelligent decisions on where to put their feet; not spook, be
steady with traffic passing by, with no extra direction from me.  These are
MY goals.  If all my horses would have to be "ridden every step" in some
sort of collection or frame, seems it would be tiring to both me AND the
horses.  If one of the young horses needs some rein or leg direction or
assistance, it is there.  If we are moving out fast, they probably need some
light steadying with leg and rein, BUT they soon learn that when they go in
a very relaxed and steady way, the reins get dropped.  It becomes a reward.

Of course, I am definately not a high-mileage rider!  I want to have a fun
ride, relax and chat with friends.  I HAVE noticed with some people that
seem to want to ride in some sort of collection, that their horses stay
keyed up, and MORE short strided, at least at the walk.....if I can convince
them to drop the reins and slouch a bit, their horses stretch their necks
out and down, and walk out much faster and relaxed, and LESS likely to

Just another point of view...

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