You can build great connection with your horse by paying attention to your own movement. Horses are born to mimic and move together in a herd. This harmony is part of how they build strong bonds and you can use this fact to build your bond too.
In this video, I teach Claire Waldron to focus on matching her steps with Selena’s and you see that they then create beautiful togetherness in movement.
Follow Your Horse’s Steps
The principle behind this is Follow, Match, Lead. You start by following your horse’s steps. This can take a bit of concentration and you will need to walk at the pace the horse sets. Stay with this and reward any moment you feel a better connection. Look for small moments at first…don’t expect too much too soon!
Matching- The Feeling of Togetherness
After a while your horse will start to also focus on keeping pace together. This is the Match phase. This is the partnership growing. As you see in the video, it’s a bit of a stop and start process at first, but soon you are both walking together in perfect harmony.
Lead Your Horse to Higher Movements
Once you reach this stage, you can start to Lead the movement. You see Claire suggesting which leg they lead off with. Soon she will be able to add in choosing which leg they halt with, whether they step backwards on halt, and lateral movements, which lead to turns on the forehand.
It’s a great way of building connection with your horse. It also transfers directly into riding. In that case, it is the contact of each seat bone which is in harmony with each hind leg. By working on the same principle of Follow, Match, Lead, you will soon be able to direct each hind leg with your seat connection. Clever, eh?
This is the second blog in my three-part series on building connection through body awareness. Check out the first one, on Breath Awareness, here.
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