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  • Writer's pictureJane Frizzell

$100,000 riding lesson. Simplest Horsemanship

Updated: Apr 14

$100,000 horsemanship lesson: "This is discipline."* says Major Anders Lindgren.

There's an old cavalry adage that the horses must take us "Where we want, when we want, as we want." ** The 'Where' is always first. It's the priority. Said a different way, this means that a target destination is the priority; 'navigare necesse est; or 'Go there.'

During training (even if we ride perfect and don't screw up ourselves) the horses will try to bargain with us to reduce their own effort.

They'll offer deals like "i'll stay on this line, but i'll canter it instead of trot it' or " I'll bend my hindquartrs more (i.e. engage more with weight-bearing), but I'll slow down, ok?" The answer is NO. The answer is: "Not ok; You may not." We must explain to them from their very start that this is not a negotiation or a game of poker. They can't ask the dealer to trade their card in for a different one from the deck. The first thing they try to trade on is the line-of-travel; the next is the gait.

So here's the $100,000 riding lesson: become a fiend about your lines-of- travel. This will 'fix' 80+% of the so-called riding 'problems'. The most common 'cheating' is slicing of left-curved lines; second most common are subtle drifts on straight lines. They also love to lean their torso on our right leg and thigh (ober-schenkel) instead of responsibly carrying themselves spine-over-line. Don't let this happen. Don't let them be schmendricks and schleps. Instead, teach them to git to the targets. You'll be amazed at how much is solved just by knowing where you're going. "This is discipline."* Second priority after fiendish line-making is: stay in the determined gait. JF

* Major Anders Lindgren TRAINING EXERCISES p 15 (Stroemsholm)

**Captain E. Beaudant HORSE TRAINING (attributed to Saumur)



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