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Moving the Hips: Fluidity

By Les Vogt - August 8th, 2018 - More with Les

wordpress_column_lesWhen 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 part of the program we’re looking at in July and August issues 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.



Be happy with just a few steps at a time because this is a difficult exercise for your horse. As he gets better at it you’ll be able to go further and even try it at the trot. If you find that he’s not moving his ribs away from your leg as you’d like, go back to the fence to tune him up. By the time you’re done with this level, you should be able to two-track the entire diagonal length of your arena. But plan on taking at least a month to get there!.

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