However, the ideal learning state is not one of total relaxation.
The best state for training movement and balance – for us or our horses – is a state of athletic relaxation. It is a place of balance with both calmness and engagement. How do we find and recognize this state of athletic relaxation?
This summer I hosted a clinic at my farm with Patrick King, where he coached participants through the exercises of Classical In Hand work. In Hand work is a series of exercises practiced from the ground that encourage the horse to position and move their body to build strength and create suppleness.
One morning, before starting work with the horses, Patrick pulled out a paper and started drawing the yin yang symbol. From here he described what athletic relaxation means and how this is a principle we can take into all our horsemanship.
Watch the video below for Patrick’s explanation.
If you are interested in learning exercises to soften, supple, and strengthen your horse, join us in the Free In Hand Workshop with Patrick King!