Better Riding Archive

Live at the Farm: Stability During Turns, Balance Before Pain, etc.

Last week, we held the Balanced Riding Course Live Event at my farm in Honey Brook, Pa. It was an awesome two days and bittersweet to say goodbye to everyone at the end of the last day. During the event, we had demos and speakers on everything from saddle fit to equine massage, anatomy, and

How Your Horse’s Movement Affects His Behavior

The connection between brain and body is an interesting one. Changes in our brain – thoughts, feelings, emotions, will change our body. We look different and move differently when feeling sad, discouraged, or frustrated as opposed to happy, hopeful, or content. However, changes in our body also affect how we feel. If you’re feeling depressed,

What Keeps You Safe Around Horses

Safety is important for every rider. Even the most experienced among us can still have accidents. But there is one factor that is more important than anything else for staying safe around horses. It is more important than following a set of rules and can help you make decisions to stay safe in any situation.

Dynamic Riding Position

What part of our riding “position” is constant, regardless of the tack we’re using or what we are doing with our horse, and what changes? The idea for this video came from a remark one of my students made during a recent riding lesson. She said, “I can’t wait to figure out my position so

Find a Secure Jumping Position

There has been an unfortunate trend lately in jumping to adopt a position of style rather than one of function and stability. I recognized the problem with this in my own riding when I started jumping higher and higher without a solid foundation. As a young teenager, I started having a lot of falls and

The Wheel of Horsemanship

Good horsemanship involves much more than just our skills of riding and training. To have a good ride, we need a horse that is happy, healthy, and sound. Many times the problems we face with our horses aren’t riding issues at all… they are related to another piece of the horsemanship puzzle… We can think

How to Keep Moving Forward with Your Riding Even When You’re Stuck

Learning to ride and work with horses is a lifetime journey. It’s filled with ups and downs as we make progress, get stuck, perhaps take a few steps back, but then forward again. As with any journey or process there are many times we can inevitably feel frustrated. Frustration isn’t a great emotion to feel,

The Key to Solving a Riding Problem… Find an Easier One

One of my favorite quotes for riding and horsemanship comes from someone who was in a field far removed from horses – mathematics. George Poyla was a Hungarian mathematician, but a simple statement he made in regard to solving mathematics equations applies directly to us equestrians. If you can’t solve a problem, then there is

Improve Your Stability in the Saddle by Riding “On Your Thigh”

I’ve made many changes and improvements to my riding over the years, but if I had to choose just one that has had the biggest impact overall, it was understanding the concept of riding “on my thigh”. What I mean is allowing my thigh to bear weight, but without tensing or gripping. This is especially

What To Do When You Aren’t Practicing Your Riding

Most of us don’t have as much time as we’d like to practice our riding. It can be frustrating to return to a lesson week after week and feel as though you don’t make much progress. Or to have an accident and be facing weeks of no riding time as you heal. Today I’ve got