How your Riding Influences your Horse

Horses move pretty well on their own. Add a rider and they have to carry us AND balance themselves. Add a rider who is crooked? And you start to see it reflected in your horse.

Some horses are more forgiving than others. My Trakehner, Kroni, was a horse who insisted that you ride him correctly. My trainers always joked with me that they knew exactly what I was doing wrong, because he showed them. I didn’t always appreciate being ratted out, but he did make me a better rider.

Freedom always makes me look good because he’s very sensitive and he’s tuned into the way I ride him. That doesn’t necessarily make me a good rider, just a consistent one. I’m lucky, too that he’s so balanced. It covers a lot of flaws.

Zelda is somewhere in between. She spent a good deal of our first few months together teaching me how she likes to be ridden. However, she has a tendency to get one sided, and that asymmetry shows up in how her saddle fits. Right now it’s slipping a bit to the right, which means 1) I need to be extra careful on how I balance, 2) I need to shim the saddle very slightly, and 3) I have to build up her right side so that she’s more symmetrical.

rider 2


These nifty diagrams and explanations were posted by trainer Niall Quirk on his Facebook page.

2 thoughts on “How your Riding Influences your Horse

  1. And trying to be straight on a crooked horse is so challenging. I have a mare who has some back issues and she is a master at subtly pushing me to one side. I have to be very diligent and even ride in a position that sometimes feels wrong in order to be right. Riding is not easy.

  2. That’s an understatement! It’s quite easy for my mare to become one sided. I haven’t been diligent enough this year at making her work evenly and it’s started to show again. Luckily I have a solution. Now I just need the weather to improve. We’ve had rain/snow continuously. It’s one of those years where I’d really like to have access to an indoor.

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