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Fluidity: From exercises 3 to 4

By LES VOGT - Horsetrader columnist - April 3rd, 2014 - More with Les

64th in a series
After learning hip control details last issue, we look in detail in issues ahead on developing cues.

When you see the best equine athletes performing, you’ll notice that although they exhibit tremendous power, every movement is fluid and relaxed. There is no tension or stiffness anywhere. If this type of performance is your ultimate goal, the first thing you need to check on is your own riding. When you ride, are you fluid and relaxed, with no tension or stiffness anywhere? Many novice riders get so focused on what they want their horses to do that they forget about themselves. Soon they end up carrying a lot of tension in different parts of their body, shoulders in particular and your horse will respond to your tension. Stiffness in the rider results in movements and cues that are laborious and abrupt instead of smooth and flowing, and the end result will be resistance and stiffness in the horse. This is why many of the exercises in this section are designed to help you develop your cues until they almost happen on their own so you can stay relaxed and responsive in the saddle.

EDITOR’S NOTE: More with Les is a regular California Horsetrader column. Les Vogt has won more than 15 World Championships, including two wins at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Although Les still rides and occasionally shows, his focus is giving clinics around the world and developing products for the performance horseman. To learn more about Les and to see his clinic schedule, visit: www.lesvogt.com

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