How To Achieve True Lightness And Self Carriage When Riding - ForTheHorse

How To Achieve True Lightness And Self Carriage When Riding

True lightness and self carriage when riding...

This is the ultimate, isn't it?

But let's face it, riding horses can be so frustrating. Getting these results that we're looking for that are beneficial to both your horse and you as a rider, sometimes can feel so difficult and the process can be very slow. 

You know that you're totally capable. You're working really hard at this. You have your horse’s best interest in mind.

And then you go for your ride and every ride follows the same way...

Your horse is agitated.

You're missing sleep at night after your ride because you're not sure what you're going to do on the next ride to make it better. 

And it never gets any better. 

But yet, you're searching for that one moment that really feels easy and feels flowing.

Then maybe you find yourself blaming, blaming your horse…

Your horse being bad, your horse is misbehaving. 

Or maybe you blame the situation...

“Oh! I don't have enough time, I don't have enough knowledge”

Then you blame yourself,

...that you're not good enough. 

True lightness and self carriage when riding evades you, but it's not you, and it's not your horse, there's nothing that you or your horse are doing wrong.

In our Harmony For the Horse Program we guide you in your quest of true lightness and self carriange when riding so you can ride in balance and ease, and finally reach your highest intentions with your horse.

CLICK HERE to discover more about how we can help you to reach freedom, achievement, oneness and joy that you most seek with your horse.

The real problem is that…

The Way Riding Is Taught Conventionally Taught Is Backwards 

And this keeps riders from working effectively with their horses.

There's no mystery, no secrets...

Riders are not supported. So until that is fixed, no amount of information that you're going to get from anybody is going to get you the results that you want to come your way.

What I'm going to share with you today is... 

A way for you to find true movement, true balanced movement for you and your horse and a way to find comfort and ease when riding so that you become stronger and stronger, your horse becomes stronger and stronger and more coordinated, and those results that you're looking for, happen much quicker.

The first thing that you need with true lightness and self-carriage when riding is to understand what you want to achieve with correct training with your horse. 

#1. What do you want to achieve with your horse with correct training?


What do you want to achieve?   Where do you want to go with your horse?  What do you want to do with your horse and why? 

I'll give you an example. I was teaching a student the other day. She was doing what she had been told to do in lessons. 

And it was “accurate”, but she didn't have the theory or the knowledge or understanding in a deep way behind it. She had a surface understanding, but she didn't have a deep understanding of why she was doing what she was doing.

She knew she had to lift the head and neck, but she didn't know exactly why one would lift the head and neck?! 

So she became mechanical.

It became just a thing that she did without a purpose and an understanding behind it.

She didn't understand the goal of raising the head and neck. Lifting the base of the spine, lifting the front of the horse, and getting the horse lighter so she can have the functional movement following...so the hindquarters can then be able to be moved and engaged better and be used better. 

Results won't start to come your way because you do not understand the end goal.

In the lesson, I showed her how to use her body and how to communicate clearly to her horse in the direction that we wanted it to go. 

Then she had a mental image of where she wanted to go with her horse. But also, and this is the very key ...

PRO TIP: Kinesthetic Memory

She had a kinesthetic memory of what it needed to feel like. 

So when she asked her horse to lift the head and neck and everything behind the reason for doing that I made sure that she had a kinesthetic memory of what that was to feel like so she could do it on her own. 

And that's where you will progress faster and gain true lightness and self carriage when riding.

#2. Understand Your Body


I was a professional dancer for many years and I performed around the world and became a high-level dancer.

Dancing to that level requires functional movement to avoid injury. There are...

  1. 1
    Dysfunctional movement patterns
  2. 2
    Functional movement patterns

We need functional movement patterns with our horses. 

If we are doing something day in day out, that's creating a dysfunctional movement pattern that's not going to help you get true lightness and self-carriage when riding. 

To get to true lightness and self-carriage when riding, we first need to have...

Self-awareness of our own bodies,  how we use our bodies, the responses that our bodies are receiving, and the actions that our responses are given.

In other words, understanding your body, understanding your movement, your motion, and where movement comes from inside you, and how to change that...how to condition patterns that are going to be functional for your body. 

This is what is essential and the way that we teach this (you won't see this taught anywhere else except in our program) is a very simple, profound way that we use to teach a rider how to use their body on the horse, in life, and in general. 

So these two key points: an understanding of what and where and why you want to go with your horse, along with the understanding of your body, are going to help you... 

#3.  Gauge your progress with your horse


You need to have metrics like these. You need to have certain metrics to gauge your progress. As you're heading towards true lightness and self-carriag these two things are going to be your metrics. 

True lightness and self-carriage is a combination of consistent and clear communication, using your brain, intellect, spine, intentions, seat, (and by your seat I mean pelvis, inner thigh, leg, back, elbows, and hands)

You are gradually in this progression using those metrics to gauge your progress, you're gradually building a very functional light horse which starts with yourself first, understanding what that feels like, then you can take that to your horse.

We, along the way, need to recognize that there may be blockages that come in.

With any being moving with the effects of gravity and physics in this world will have blockages coming in. We need to be able to recognize that and resolve it. If we have the blockages and they remain there that will block the flow of the motion and block the movement. 

And I want to give you an example of one section in our program.

We teach you how to warm up your horse and we give you a Strategic Warmup that I've developed over 30 to 40 years. This helps you to actually find these blockages that I'm talking about, which will stop the flow of movement. 

And this rider came to us with a very clear blockage in her horse that she didn't recognize. 

She went through our Strategic Warmup and it was clear to her not only visually but kinesthetically, what it felt like when her horse, a beautiful and Andalusian horse, had this blockage happening.

Then she was able to resolve the problem, gauge her progress and then work towards riding in true lightness an the freedom that brings.

As we are attaining true lightness this strengthens the body, but it also strengthens the mind and the understanding.

The musculature is strengthened, the spiraling, the stabilization, and the coordination is conditioned in the body...the use of your horse’s back, how is your horse using the back...this then leads to the limbs right...the neck, the head, the base of the neck, and the shoulders. All of these things become coordinated and conditioned in a way that gives you true lightness.

#4.  Weight Distribution


Weight Distribution is also very critical. 

We need to educate ourselves on weight distribution - as well as our horse on weight distribution. Weight needs to be equally distributed in order to get self-carriage and get to lightness. Then the horse actively lifts you.

First of all, you lift your body, you carry yourself, then the horse learns how to lift their body and carry themselves and then when you're riding, the two of you are actively lifted and carrying, then the horse is participating in actually carrying the rider. 

But you're not a sack of potatoes up there, right?

You're actively carrying yourself too. This creates the healthy movement patterns. 

Understand the placement of the horse's body and the weight distribution of the horse's body at any given moment. 

That's not going to be possible in a complete and whole way unless you understand the placement of your body and your weight distribution. 

Because it'll all be fuzzy.  It won't be clear. 

And this is why I say it's simple.  When these concepts are followed, riding becomes simple. 

I don't mean it's easy. 

But it's simple with these concepts.

This is the underlying goal for any equine pursuit, anytime a rider is sitting on a horse's back, otherwise there will be dysfunctional movement patterns evolving.

You are building an athlete.

You are taking time to build this athlete.

If you need support in this way, to help you to start self-carrying yourself as a rider, to help your horse to start self carrying, which then helps the hindquarters to become easier and easier to engage and then your horse self carries more. 

This becomes a cycle that is self-perpetuating if we pay attention to it. 

It becomes easier and easier and more and more flowing and more and more joyful, then...

CLICK HERE to schedule a call with us!

About the Author Chris Adderson

Chris Adderson teaches riders and horses how to move with ease and grace to create astounding results and lifelong relationships of their dreams. She teaches valuable skills and educational strategies to get more results, quicker and faster.

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