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"The natural way of traveling is to move in the direction the body is aligned."
"Every turn, every transition, and every lateral movement demands more from the hind leg than just traveling along on a straight line."
"It was pretty important when I learned to put that foot [the horse's foot] someplace as it was coming up, because that's when it hardly weighed anything. I could move it one way or the other and the horse didn't offer to resist at all He needed a place to put that foot down anyway."
"...that horse was able to improve because I was understanding his movements."
"The person has got to flow with that horse's movements and understand the intentions in that horse's mental system, the best way he can, in order to get this better connection through feel working both ways."
"When you need a horse to move his front end, he will give you his best performance if he's allowed to use those hind legs the way they were designed to be used, as supporting structures that are placed and replaced, time after time, as the need for maneuverability and lightness in any part of his body requires. And this need is all the time changing."
"When I get the opportunity to spend a little time around a horse, I always watch those feet."
"If you let your horse move your seat bone, giving it to him generously, he will walk freely. But if you lock your hips, not allowing that slide, he will slow down or even stop."
"As you ride the walk, trot, and canter, some excellent images to hold in your mind are that the walk marches, the trot swings, and the canter springs."
"...a good rhythm is steady and regular with equal spacing between the steps of each stride of each pace. The 'tempo' on the other hand, is the rate of repetition of the rhythm."
"Riding is going to involve more movement than we generally need in day-to-day living, so riding is where we want total freedom of motion."
"Motion is really a matter of balancing how flexors and extensors work in relation to one another."
"If the flexors and extensors are equally engaged, the joint is still and aligned but is less free to move, depending on how active the muscles are. If the flexors and extensors are equally at rest, the joint is at rest and free to align with gravity but ready for motion."
"Obviously, moving by releasing muscles takes less physical effort than moving by contracting them."
"...releasing tension in a joint before setting it in motion will make that motion easier and more fluid."
"Since riding is all about movement, the basis for a good seat in riding is to line up your bones so they are free to move however and whenever thy may need to move."
"Riding is all about using to our advantage the movement of an animal built to shift half a ton with every stride, instead of trying to overcome it, as if that were even possible."
"...much of a rider's movement is not initiated by the rider, but by the horse."
"Riding is all about motion, both how the horse's motion assists us and how we assist the horse's motion."
"Using the swing of a horse's movement is much more fun than getting tossed around every time a horse takes a bigger step than we can overpower."
"If your platform is more mobile and smoothly connected with the horse's motion, you can tell what the horse is doing by how its motion changes your motion..."
"Sitting a horse that has a mobile, supple back is like riding a wave. A horse with a well-developed, active back is a dream to sit even at full extended trot. Supple springiness in all limbs and the horse's back greatly moderates the concussion when the horse's feet return to the ground."
"As the horse gains trust that it will be allowed to move its back without disturbance, its back can start to supple and strengthen, which will make all of its work easier and more athletic."
"We don't want to confuse hastiness with more athletic movement."
"We can also use the horse's motion to tell quite accurately what the horse's hind legs are doing, so we can use the horse's motion to offer us excellent timing for our aids."
"The better we understand the horse's movement, the more easily we can communicate how we want it to change."
"Forelegs can pull the body forward somewhat, especially for climbing, but they basically support the weight pushed there by the hind legs."
"What the forelegs do largely depends on what the hind legs do, rather than the other way around."
"Riding is basically a dance-like, two-sided conversation in body language about movement."
"A horse can activate its legs somewhat without activating its back, but it isn't easy for them and doesn't allow the horse to use its full natural, athletic potential."
"If the horse's movement starts our leg in motion, all we need to do is direct that motion."
"A sure sign that the horse is gaining suppleness and strength in its topline is how elastically the horse's back, neck, and poll can transmit the body's forward motion toward the bit."
"A rigid mouth usually goes along with a rigid neck and back."
"The back is the center of movement of the horse."
"Moving with a secure rhythm causes the back to swing and encourages the horse to seek an even contact with the rider. In this way, the horse has again found his natural, basic balance."
"...when he [the horse] isn't moving at the tempo that matches him, the horse won't find his rhythm."
"In order to find the rhythm of a horse, the rider must find the horse's own frequency and bring him to swinging movements."
"Without being forward and downward the hose cannot develop into a decent back mover."
"Movement disorders can be caused directly by negative tension in the trunk of the horse."
"The back as the center of movement enables the horse to have a spring mechanism through all his joints when he puts the foot of the hind leg on the ground and accepts the weight of the body, and when he lifts the foot up again."