“Just Drop Your Weight”
Today was such a day! Windy, noisy - trees swaying loudly - a rush of air - everywhere. After some work in the school - all rather exciting - we braved the wind and went for a hack. At times like this you keep your wits about you... so many distractions, sounds, wind in the mane and in the ears... and spooks! My boy may be approaching his 19th Birthday... but he is as active and forward as ever - although tires more easily. Out on a long stretch of grassy track, as usual he wanted to fly - fast. First in trot, then in canter. The worse thing with forward-going horses is to pull - they than have something to pull against. No, the best way of containing all that impulsion and power is to sit as central as you can and let your weight DROP. Yes drop. Don't let your own energy get directed back in an already energetic horse, don't grip, don't pull back, don't lean back. Just drop your weight. More into the ball of the foot than the heel. Then, another little trick - push the rein back at him. Towards the base of the neck; even against the neck. If your reins are the correct length this has an immediate calming effect. Try it and see. Gravity is far more powerful than you think and it calms the horse and contains him.