I put all the riding horse work on Bobby by myself without the aid of a trainer. I didn't have one available when I first got him after he was done racing, and once our circumstances changed and there was one on property to work with, she wasn't the right trainer for us.
Since that was the case, I muddled through putting what I would consider the basics on him--shoulder-in, haunches-in, and leg yield. Obviously those movements aren't asked for until First and Second level, but to me those are things that benefit every horse at every level, and every horse should know how to do them.
|shoulder-in bobby and carly style.|
pc: megan stapley.
I would consider myself overall a pretty intuitive rider. I'm in sync with what parts of my horse are doing what, and my body does a good job of reacting without having to put too much thought into the what or why. With that in mind, a lot of our training was figuring out things like, "If my seat moves this way, it makes this part of Bobby's body move this way. So if I shift like this, that should shift as well." And now we're in leg yield.
Make sense? Kind of sort of?
Training my horse to respond to my own made-up cues definitely shows up when someone else gets on him. Things that I find easy to get him to do--turn on the haunches and rein back for example--BM has a hard time getting out of Bobby.
But at the same time, when we're trying to fix things or move on to something harder, we're also prone to running into road blocks because of how I've trained my horse.
|although sometimes he just can't horse at all.|
BM is what I would consider a very biomechanical thinking trainer. She's excellent at explaining how every facet of the horse and rider works together and separately to perform each movement. Thanks to that, she's helping me fill in holes from my earlier work that I just never knew about.
So I want to know about you guys. Do you have cues that only work on your horse if you ask for them? Do you make anything up to get a movement, or are you strictly by what the book says to do?