After visualizing and practicing in my chair, I tried this new way to use my muscles on my horses and it worked great! I couldn’t get it all the time at first, but with time, it’ll become second nature.
I also read a great tip from Jane Savoie, who talks about the relationship of the reins to the bit and how to establish correct contact. She has us imagine tying a sweatshirt around our pelvis and holding the sleeves in front of us, which is such a great way to think about the rein tension we aim for while keeping our arms positive toward the horse’s mouth. For me, this was a helpful visual.
I’m never completely satisfied with my riding, and feel that to be my best I constantly need to figure out ways to improve both my own style as well as my teaching style. Reading articles and putting them to use helps both me and my students. I’ve been riding a long time, and no one had ever explained things to me in these ways. I’ve learned something new after all this time!
I’m sure my couple days at the USEA Annual Meeting will provide me with more knowledge to pass along. Meanwhile, search for the things that you feel are weak in your riding, read up on ideas to improve them and then go out and practice!