Whilst the horse world is rich in descriptions that tell us what horse and rider should look like, we lack good information about exactly "how" to produce the desired results. Good horsemen ride well without knowing how they do it, and without understanding why you are not like them and cannot do it too. During 23 years of research it has been Mary Wanless's personal mission to expose the secrets of horsemanship, breaking down riding skills into "bite-size chunks" and finding ways of describing them that work for average riders. By using the learning strategies given here the rider should discover how to connect with the horse in a way that makes sense to him and enables him to carry himself well, in self-carriage. At the same time the techniques aim to offer the rider security, stability and effectiveness in the saddle. This title sets out to simplify "Ride With Your Mind" methods and to provide a basic tool-kit for the acquisition of a truly independent seat in walk, trot and through transitions, on straight lines, turns and circles - and, importantly, how to make corrections when things don't go exactly to plan.
Mary explains how to use the hands, legs and body correctly, and gives the ingredients for perfect contact. In each section, the instruction is backed up by practical self-tests and exercises to ensure success, and there are ideas for troubleshooting during the learning process and in the future.
Mary Wanless (BHSI, BSc physics and BSc applied sports coaching) is the author of the highly successful Ride With Your Mind, Ride With Your Mind Masterclass, For the Good of the Rider and For the Good of the Horse; she has also produced eight training videos. As well as teaching riders of all abilities, from club level to international, in the UK, Europe, USA, South Africa and Australia, she runs dismounted workshops and gives lecture demonstartions. She also lectures internationally on learning, bodymind integration and personal development. She is based at Overdale Equestrian Centre in Oxfordshire.
Introduction - How to use this book The basic position - Alignment The essential connection - The seatbones Sitting still in the saddle - Plugging in Security, strength and power - Bear down Breathing - How to bear down and breathe Firming up the body - Muscle tone, and the learning process Sitting lightly - Supporting your own bodyweight Using the back - Narrowness (the pinch) Turns and circles demystified - An introduction to steering Leg, leg, leg? - Lower legs, the physical challenge Discovering a contact - Contact and the walk/halt transitions An independant seat - Matching the forces acting on your body On the bit? - Shaping the horse The rider/horse partnership - An overview of the interaction Resources Glossary Index