Tuesday, 10 November 2009

WE need to get back to lazy horses, except that I am going to talk about backward thinking horses, who are different to lazy horses in that they invest energy in not going. It is not simply that their batteries run down, it is that they actively attempt to pull the rug out backwards from under your feet. In other words, they actively attempt to get your centre of gravity in front of theirs.
In these horses, there is usually a 'block' within the body that stops energy from getting through - it can be in the loin area behind the saddle, or somewhere around the shoulders. The muscles in that area are locked up, and bodywork (like Chiropractic, massage etc) often really helps them. But by design or default, these are the horses who do not want to work, and they are some of the most difficult, and least fun horses to ride - until they let go.
These horses have discovered that when your centre of gravity is in front of theirs, you are virtually powerless. You can flail about and sweat a lot up there, but not much will happen. The horse might kick out at your leg or stick, and he might be even more nappy than that. But the picture - and the horse's attitude - can change completely once your centre of gravity is back enough to be over his.
All of the techniques I teach become refined over time as riders learn them in layers. I often think of learning being like peeling the layers of an onion, with each layer offering a more in-depth, effective fix. But the outermost layer that I am about to suggest can be really potent if you are able to do it.
Think of yourself like a napkin ring around a napkin (the horse). If the napkin ring were able to move back around the napkin, then more napkin would be in front of it. This is precisely what you want. So think of your knees coming further back, your thighs coming further back, your pubic bone and your seat bones coming further back. There literally is more horse in front of you if you can do this, and your effort has go to into staying back here. You may well feel that you must surely be sitting too far back in the saddle - but go for this feeling, wierd though it is.
If you kick from this place you will probably get a positive result, but if you end up flailing about with your centre of gravity on front to the correct point, you might as well just get off! Do not censor the feeling of 'backness', go for it as strongly as you can, and you are likely to find that it pays huge dividends.
Good luck!