Self carriage is for riders, too. As with horses, self carriage in riders is physical, mental and emotional. A rider in self carriage is a pleasure for the horse. She provides leadership and builds confidence without hindering or burdening her horse. She develops collection, engagement, expression and self carriage in her horse. A rider in self carriage is not at the mercy of, nor subject to, her horse’s movements and preferences.
A rider in self carriage has influential bio-mechanics, capable of changing how the horse moves and travels. Riders in self carriage are stable and maintain a very consistent interface with the horse. This requires strength, balance, control, alignment, and feel. The goal of a rider is to improve her horse, and to get out of the way and let the horse shine.
Here are a few things you can expect to learn if you take lessons with me.
You’ll establish a weight bearing thigh, align your pelvis and ribcage, stabilize your torso, and sort out your asymmetries.
Your rising trot will become a work of art. A very good rising trot will teach you to carry your own weight, control the opening and closing of your hip and knee angles, balance right on the horse’s center of gravity, align your upper body. A skillful rising trot connects the horse back to front, as well as right to left and brings his back up. It’s an important baseline.
These skills carry right through to sitting trot, canter, collection, and bend. From here, movements are easy and natural. Learning to influence your horse is the challenge, but once you achieve influence, movements such as shoulder in, haunches in, half pass, and pirouette become possible, easy, and fun.
You’ll learn how to draw boundaries for your horse, and how your horse should hold his shape within those boundaries. I can help you sort through and discover where, how, and when.
Through the learning process each rider encounters unique mental, emotional and (I suspect) spiritual lessons. These must be navigated and utilized as tools to assist you on the way to becoming the rider and leader your horse needs you to be. I have a lot of experience helping students in this capacity as well. During lessons, I will make a safe space for you to be vulnerable, courageous, honest, and to have fun, possibly laugh or cry. I watch and listen very carefully. I give frequent, highly detailed, sometimes very subtle, directions. I am kind but challenge my riders to get better. As with the horses I train, I do not over face my riders or drill them. When you grasp a concept or a movement, it’s crucial to recognize your progress. I will point out your wins and celebrate them with you!