It is the above quotes, from my teacher, Sylvia Loch, that really sums up my aims when teaching the horse and rider. There is nothing more rewarding for me then to see a horse who truly delights in being ridden, sharing an indescribable partnership with their rider. If you have ever watched Sylvia riding her Lusitano stallion, Prazer, you will understand what I mean! This is how riding is meant to be. A love between the rider and their horse.
The teacher too, should also share this love for the horse. The teacher must endeavour to develop the natural abilities of the student as well as their understanding of the horse physically and psychologically. Through the knowledge and guidance of the teacher and the patience and hard work of the student, a quiet, influential seat can be achieved. The student should be encouraged to read to understand the theory that will then be applied to the practical side of riding.
I love to learn. What must be understood when you are a rider and/or a teacher, is that you never stop learning. This is what I love. There is always something to discover and learn for yourself, it is then imparting this knowledge to someone who is as openminded and as eager to learn as yourself. This is what drives me to do what I love, to teach, to ride, to school horses.
With this ideal in mind, as riders we should continually strive towards a balanced, quiet seat. The ability to keep over the horse’s movement with clear communication allowing the horse to move freely forward in a relaxed attitude is the key to riding in harmony with your horse. This will lead to a horse that delights in being ridden!
Riding is based on a feeling communication between two living beings. The rider must learn to ‘listen’ to their horse, becoming aware of the horse’s mental and physical state. The rider needs to develop their awareness, feel, knowledge and have empathy with their horse. We must be aware of our horse’s wellbeing. We must be aware of how he is communicating with us. We must be able to react with compassion, knowledge and insight. I aim to help the rider to gain these qualities, to fee what their horse is communicating.
I am also Sylvia Loch’s only Accredited Weight Aids Instructor. Through working on our own two feet we are better able to understand how we naturally work with gravity, nature’s laws. It soon becomes clear how easily we can hinder the horse through our lack of balance and how subtle we can be to have a positive influence on our horse’s way of going. Just through walking a circle on your own to feet, you begin to understand why your horse may find one way more difficult. More often than not, it is rider related! It can be quite a revelation!