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[RC] Equitation Tip of the Day - k s swigart

Angie said:

P.S.S. If some riding professional like Kat wants
to start an "equitation tip of the day" I'll sure read it!

The muscles that develop strength and elasticity if you are riding
"correctly" are your lower back and your inner thigh.  Pretty much all
the other muscles are passive (be used no more than if you were

Posting should require very little effort, it is the thrust of the horse
that pushes you up and gravity that brings you back down.

Your inner thigh allows you to apply leg aids, and your lower back
allows you to apply weight and rein aids.  If you are developing strong
arms to apply the rein aids, you are pulling with your arms, which, when
riding correctly you shouldn't be doing (the reins are HELD with the
lower back, not pulled on with the arms).

For me, who spends my whole day riding, the only thing that requires
effort and wears me out is saddling and unsaddling the horses.  If I had
a groom to take care of the tacking up and untacking (which many
professionals do), then my job would be easy.

All of this assumes that you have a horse that is sufficiently well
trained that it is carrying itself "correctly."  Some horses will beat
the tar out of you because they have not yet learned self-carriage...or
they don't have the strength and endurance to maintain it for the
distance travelled.

If both the horse and rider know it, movement is pretty effortless.  If
the rider knows it but the horse doesn't, then the movement is a
conditioning exercise and requires a little more effort from the rider.
If the horse knows it but the rider doesn't, the rider can mess up the
horse a little bit, but it is still going to be less work than....

If neither the rider nor the horse knows how to do it.  In which case
they are both going to get beat to all hell.

Orange County, Calif.


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