A lot of riders struggle with getting a good connection. And sometimes it takes quite some time to improve the contact, requiring a lot of patience from the rider.
However, sometimes, big improvements can be made in a short amount of time.
Keep your horse 'through'..?
I had someone coming over for a lesson and she was struggling with the connection with her 10-year old mare.
She had been given the advice to ride her horse in a round frame and to keep her ‘through’.
Basically, when you do this you’re riding your horse from front to back instead of the other way around. This isn’t beneficial for any horse, but her sensitive horse couldn’t deal with it at all.
As a result, her mare had a very inconsistent contact and wanted to take over the tempo.
My advice instead
I gave her the advice to not ride her horse in a round frame, but to, instead, ride from back to front into the bridle.
I told her not to worry about the head-neck frame and to let her horse find her own, natural balance.
In the beginning, this might feel like you’re giving away control and you might have to go out of your comfort zone.
But very soon, you’ll start to feel the difference.
Sometimes, if a horse is very used to a round frame, you may have to lift your hands for a brief moment to show your horse a different direction.
What’s essential is that you make sure you have enough forwardness and energy coming from behind.
Before and After Video
In the first part of the video below, you see the first time that she came to me for a lesson.
After 50 seconds you see the second time she came for a lesson, only 2 weeks later.
Do you see the big difference?
The connection is already way better and her horse really starts to trusts her hand.
As you can see, sometimes it doesn’t take a long time to make a big improvement.