Are you finding no matter what you do, you’re not progressing with your riding?
Your horse is underperforming. Seems agitated. Limited. Confused.
No matter where you are on your riding journey, beginner through expert, there are 3 key factors influencing your horse’s performance:
1. The Horse. 2. Saddle & Pad. 3. The Rider.
While each is extremely important independently, when combined, they are essential for your horse’s soundness, happiness, and progress.
So what do we mean by the horse? Of course we’re not simply acknowledging you have one. 🙂
We mean you have the responsibility to provide what’s necessary to keep your horse in optimal shape and health.
The delicate balance of dental upkeep, hoof care, nutrition, and bodywork all play a role. They ensure your horse CAN, in fact, perform what you are asking. Another important element to note is training. Have you done all the groundwork? Have you developed a communication/language with each other? Is it clear what you’re requesting of your horse??
If all of these things have been addressed, you can tick them off the list!
The Horse is not the problem. So what could it be?
The Saddle & Pad…
Saddle Fit has long been the forgotten ingredient in performance.
Without a saddle allowing for a full range of motion, adaptability, good rider support and balance, you’re basically eliminating the opportunity for your horse to excel. Worse still. You’re likely creating a “disconnect” with your horse that could lead to training difficulties and ongoing communication problems. Mentally and Physically.
Pain is a very good distraction! Your pad is your first link to your horse’s body. Understanding how to customize it can make a huge and positive difference.
Letitia Glenn from Natural Horseman Saddles has spent more than 20 years researching saddles & pads that facilitate the highest standards in equitation. Natural Horseman Saddles create healthier and happier horses through their adjustable saddle system, while also empowering riders to self diagnose and correct saddle fit.
When it comes to saddle fit, Letitia encourages people to consider essentially 6 things.
2 – The balance of the saddle.
3. – The size of the seat.
4 – The underside size, shape, and adjustability.
5 – The uniqueness of every horse.
6. – The long term value of versatile equipment of quality.
“It thrills me EVERY time we have the opportunity to empower riders to feel confident about fitting their own saddles with our interface equipment and methodology. Being certain their beloved horses are comfortable and happy while carrying them is a thrill for them, too, of course. We’ve designed a system simpler than people believe until they try it and find success!”
To get a detailed professional opinion of your saddle setup from Letitia and her team, free of charge, read on!
So your horse is healthy – TICK. The saddle fits – TICK. Now, what happens when the equestrian on top isn’t upholding their end of the deal? We will let Janice Dulak author and creator of Pilates for Dressage take on this important question.
“When was the last time you thought about your fitness? Do you have pain when you ride? Do you have a plan in place to train your body to be the rider your horse wants you to be?
Oftentimes riders get frustrated because they think they have done all they can for their horse and still something isn’t right. As hard as it is, it might be time to look at yourself as a rider.
What have you done to become the best partner you can be? Just working out or stretching won’t cut it. You actually need to look at yourself, examine your posture and your biomechanics to understand what you might need to do to give your horse the rider he is looking for! Harmonious riding takes a rider willing to go out of their comfort zone and to be sure they are not the problem.
It pays to ask yourself some questions about yourself as a rider.”
1. What is your posture on and off the horse?
2. Do you know how to stabilize your spine?
3. Do you know where to sit in the saddle?
4. Are your hips mobile enough to follow the horse’s movement?
5. Are you able to use your body in a proper biomechanical way that creates harmony in movement?
Read on to find out how you can get Janice’s professional help FREE …
So while it may be difficult to take on constructive feedback, diagnosing problems in our own bodies, position and movement can help our horses significantly. Egos aside, our horses will be grateful.
Perhaps a professional eye could pick up some imbalances and issues individuals are facing when mounted in the saddle. Good to know before placing demanding expectations on our horses one would think.
Help is at hand…
Creating exceptional results is somewhat like being a detective. You have to fact find. Eliminate suspects. Do your research. Ask experts. Seek answers.
Here is a toolbox of resources you can utilize FOR FREE to help you crack the case.
At Natural Horseman Saddles, you can take advantage of the FREE Digital Saddle Fit Evaluation. It will provide you with an invaluable assessment of your saddle’s fit, ways to improve its performance or even suggestions on what alternatives may create greater results. It is a no-obligation process that can clear up once and for all whether your saddle is holding you and your horse back from reaching the goals you strive to achieve.
Janice Dulak has a FREE Rider Assessment that you can submit via a simple online form.
This exercise will reveal things you may never have noticed in yourself and provide you with practical tips to improve.
You can’t underestimate the value of having a fresh pair of trained eyes looking at our position and movement.
Better still, knowing how to correct our imperfections as riders give us knowledge and power that we may never knew we needed.
Also, don’t forget to check out Janice’s ‘Ridermanship’ online course, where from your own home you can improve your rider fitness.