Today I had a lesson from Diane Sept. She is a connected riding instructor with a very long history in gaited horses. We are concerned about Pidgeon Fever in our area so I we are leaving horses at home, but someone let me borrow their Tennessee Walker.
Although not everything Diane taught me was new, the way it was put together was entirely new. First, the lesson focused on me, not my horse, which was a NICE change of pace. I have gotten to a point with my riding where I get less and less feedback about my overall riding picture, while we focus on improving the horse. Not to sound snotty, but I am generally the best student in a clinic because I listen and adapt well. So, I can get great results even in an hour lesson.
So I will call the overall picture of what Diane taught me 'rider silence'. Have you heard the term 'radio silence'? That is when there is no sound on the radio. Rider silence is no noise in the rider's body. I have had many instructors that have had me push the horse to move out with my body, Diane asked me to feel the horse move and let THAT move my body. But not my entire body, my hips were connecting with the back feet of the horse, my upper body was reaching up, quieting the movement in my body.
The result? I was able to open up the horse, he was reaching for the contact, stretching through his topline and putting himself together. It was *very* cool.
What was interesting is that I had been pretty quiet with an impulsive horse and busy with a lazy horse, but I learned I could be WITH the horse in rider silence. I went home and rode Tesoro and he was very relaxed although speedy, so I will ask Diane about that! But I have to admit, when I actually got all of Diane's suggestions working in harmony I didn't have rushing problems. *MAYBE* I just answered my own question!
And by the way THUMBS UP for Diane.