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Started by Elizabeth Starman. Last reply by Jackie Cochran Aug 10, 2011.
You are so right about this Gail. With highly bred horses you just got to let them express themselves some of the time with faster movement. This is where 2-point comes in real handy.
With one really reactive mare I had we came to a compromise, I mostly walked and trotted, but there was one stretch that was not stony and there I would occasionally let her RUN, at least once during a ride. Yes, she did tend to anticipate some, but that gave me a chance to school her to obey my aids, and it ended up that the lighter my retarding hand aids were the more she responded to them. After a few months of riding like this she stopped "looking for trouble" though she never became really quiet to ride.
Hi Jackie! I like the walk also but if you have a horse looking for trouble you often need to move the pace up a bit to get their attention.
Welcome to the group Carol!
I adore the walk, it is so nice and easy on me and the horse.
I think your comments are great. This type of riding is really suiting me after a long break from riding having a bone marrow transplant. I still have cancer which affects the bones - especially spine and ribs and find that walking at different speeds really does help to loosen up the stiffness quite a lot. Anyway, whilst your on a horse you cant thing of much else really so it lifts your spirits too - so its a double winner!
Hello Cindy, welcome!
The first thing to remember is that it IS permissible to just walk. I have MS and have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. My main riding gait is the walk, with some trot. By working hard on my position I am managing to straighten my spine some, though it quickly starts hurting, but it usually hurts less than it did when I got back riding.
GENTLE exercise and not repeating the trauma seems to bring back muscle and bone strength. Walking the horse fulfills both needs. I am not saying that you have to walk forever, but just consider it for say, four to six months.
Walking is also a valid exercise for advancing the training and conditioning of your horse. Even though I am limited to riding a horse thirty minutes once a week, the horses I ride start muscling up even if no one else rides them (turnout 24/7 for two of them.) I work on the three speeds of the walk, turns (at the three speeds), turns of the forehand, turns on the hindquarters, two-tracks, and backing. I do trot, but I am not as ambitious with the walk, due to my MS I get exhausted quickly and the trot tires me.
Following the motion of the horse's back at the walk gently works your spine, helps free up the motion of the pelvis, and helps loosed your hip joints. The two-point position at the walk is also good practice for keeping your balance and building your strength. The horses I ride seem to like my seat bones following their backs closely. I do not use my seat against the motion of the horse's back for aids, the horses I ride seem to consider it rude. I also work hard at keeping my shoulders "open" and my head up with my face vertical. This helps my back to get stronger to counter act my habitual slump.
If your husband just sees you mostly walking your horse he may stop comparing you to Christopher Reeves. After a year you will feel very secure in the saddle and your horse will be fit enough to move on up whatever riding you want to do.
Very few people fall off at the walk.
Hey everyone! Not sure if I have joined the wrong group cause I have never thought of myself as disabled or handicapped, but heres the deal...I bought my first horse tow or 3 yrs ago. A year ago last October, something startled her and she started to run, and I fell off. I actually landed on my feet and then staggered backwards and fell. Well, my husband is always telling me that I am going to wind up like Christopher Reeve, so of course, when I go home, I pretend like nothing happened, just twisted my ankle a bit. (Which I htought was true actually) The following morning, my ankle is in AGONY...so..I hop to the bathroom, long story short, I fall in the bathroom, then decide to go to the hospital. They say my ankle is not broken, but my fifth metatarsal is. and so is my arm, in 2 places from the bathroom fall. Took me pretty much a year to recover, and even though I'm only 44 I htought I should have a bone scan last month, just to see whats up. Turns out I have osteoporosis. So, I can really never fall from a horse again. Now I am looking into body armour!! I want to spend this winter hardening up my bones, and hope to get back on the horse next spring. Anyone else dealing with this type of thing?
Good comment Taylor. My balance is so bad that I can't relax on the trail, but for those with decent balance trail riding can be wonderfully freeing. I am so glad that I did a lot of trail and field riding when I was young!
Enjoy your rides!
I just have to share this!
A week after my highschool graduation earlier this summer, my doctor took bone out of my back in oder to releive pressure on my compressed nerves. After blowing that third disk in my back, I wasnt sure what would happen. But 6 weeks after my surgery, I went on a four day trail ride camping trip with a group of 11-15 year old girls. And WOW! Its the first time in months that I was able to ride my horse with little to no discomfort. My back side and knees were more sore than anything else! It made me wonder if trail riding was ultimately a good alternative to ring riding? Maybe the secret to feeling better is to just set you and your horse free of the ties an arena places on you?
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