March 29, 2013

Inside Leg Epiphany

Whoa.  I think I just figured something out.

I was riding Connor this afternoon, still working on his bending and stiffness issues and correcting the problems my trainer pointed out in my last lesson.  I'd been working for a half-hour or so and was on the right rein (to which he usually goes around with his nose to the left and his inside shoulder to the inside) doing a square with turns on the haunches around the corners.  In this, I'm really focused on having him in the outside (left) rein.  In the exercise, I realized that my right calf wasn't really on him, but my leg calf was very much on him, so I put my right calf on him like I meant it.

The result?  Instant straightness and reaching for the bridle.  Like, dramatic turnaround.

To experiment, I put my leg back where I had it before, barely touching him, and he went hard on the left rein and his ribcage went right.  Leg on, straightness and reaching.  Leg off, all crooked.  The effect was reproduced every single time.

I think I've been causing my own problems.

From there on out, I got some amazing work out of him, then called it a day and cooled him out in the field across the street.  We both had a lot to process.

Once again, learning to ride properly proves to be another inside-leg-to-outside-rein epiphany, but this one is especially effective.


  1. I always love those epiphanies! They definitely serve to put you in a better mood and make you feel like you're getting somewhere!

  2. You seem to be making tons of epiphanies lately!! Love reading about all your progress! :)

  3. I love this post- you sound like me!

  4. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is always re-discovering the basics! :D
    It's mainly the outside rein for me, as in: "Why won't my stupid horse turn corners properly? Oh, right, my outside hand is just sitting there like a slacker. *picks up outside contact* Bingo! Perfect turns." I should right 'OUTSIDE REIN' on my horses' necks or something.

  5. Finding out your horses problems are all you is both very nice and very frustrating! It seems like such an easy fix yet it is so hard to change your habits! Happy to hear your pony is doing good :)

  6. Love this post! My trainer has been working with me on my lower leg...this sounds all too familiar.
    It's always great to find out I'm not the only one
    causing my pony's problems. I always say "pilot error again!"

  7. Rider error - I am discovering this the more I learn! Love the mane shot.

  8. Love these simple but powerful revelations!