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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2008

    Cool Light bulb moments?

    Have you had a moment where a training/position/riding/etc problem was fixed by doing one small correction something finally clicked?

    My moment was in a recent dressage lesson. I had always had trouble keeping a passive inside rein and have my horse circling off my outside aids. If I didn't concentrate on it I would take too much contact. Then my instructor gave me this trick to use: She had me hold my inside rein between my thumb and ring finger only. This way it was physically harder to use to much pressure and was a great way to break that habit and close those outside doors.

    ~ Jen

    "To be loved by a horse or any animal, should fill us with awe-for we have not deserved it." -Garretty

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003


    My absolute favorite one while teaching was when my student yelled "OMG! The horse is going forward, so I have to *POST* FORWARD!!! I GET IT!!"

    And she did.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2004


    Mine generally involve photographs/videos. I'd be all excited to see photos of whatever great and mighty thing I was *thinking* I was doing, then see the photos and realize brain and body were not co-coordinating in quite the manner I expected. Live, be photographed and learn.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard Ridge View Post
    Mine generally involve photographs/videos...

    Live, be photographed and learn.

    The majority of my light bulb moments have come from photos.
    My instructor had been mentioning occasionally that I tend to stick my elbows out a bit instead of shortening my reins... I then saw the photos! I swear you could have seen the African continent between my torso and my arms, and ever since then, my elbows have been FIRMLY in! Nothing more fugly looking than elbows hanging out.

    The other light bulb was that by dropping my horses head, he found it much easier to come up into a correct frame, rather than hollowing into a higher frame which is what he had been previously used to doing. I didn't believe my instructor at the time, and then I saw the photos... Also, the feel at the time was just divine, and I thought it was too good to be true!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2003
    northern California


    One of the big lightbulb moments for me was when I switched from jumping to dressage years ago and finally figured out how to let my legs drape down instead of tightening my thighs and leaning forward! Once that dressage seat was there, the lightbulbs were popping like fourth of july!
    Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
    Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    forward is like love - you can never have enough

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005


    The best one was after puzzling of "Riding Logic"by Meusler, and the tipping the chair concept for using the seat. I puzzled and tipped, puzzled and tipped, 'til I got on my horse and realized I'd already been doing it.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003


    Quote Originally Posted by Reiter View Post
    One of the big lightbulb moments for me was when I switched from jumping to dressage years ago and finally figured out how to let my legs drape down instead of tightening my thighs and leaning forward! Once that dressage seat was there, the lightbulbs were popping like fourth of july!
    I agree! I am not 100% there yet, but getting really close. It makes such a huge difference.

    I had a huge moment in my lesson Saturday. I was able to get my mare truly on the bit and engaged AND KEEP HER THERE. In that moment all our problems melted away. She was straight, forward, and the shoulder popping and head tossing was just gone.

    Now I have to learn to actually sit the trot when I get her there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2008


    I have a tendency to lean forward, even when I think I'm not. My trainer has me thinking about kneeling, as if I were kneeling forward onto a low stool. Helps me to keep my leg down and back AND keep my shoulders back, too.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2008


    I was able to really have a breakthrough with the problem Morgan I am working with when I really committed myself to getting him to stop off of my thighs. Previously, he was very hard to stop out of any gait, and getting in his face caused more anxiety. Not to mention he was worried, tense, and often flighty.

    He was starting to "get" the idea of stopping off my body and my leg when one day he spooked very hard and went flying down the ring. I could have A.) Panicked and gotten in his face or B)asked him to stop the way I was teaching him (off the body--little to no hand), even if it took a bit longer for the aid to register. It took some serious faith, but I did B. Once he realized that I was going to stick to ONE AID no matter what the circumstances, it was like a the celestial choir started a' singing. He came right down and seemed relieved that even a spook wasn't going to cause a rip on his face. I think he also appreciated the fact that I trusted him enough to stick with our training plan even when the unexpected arises.
    It did wonders for his trust in me and mine in him.
    2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
    Our training journal.
    1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
    I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2007


    I had one the other day- my horse has always blown through the outside aids going to the left (the right leg and hand) and while I know this is probably me- I didn't know WHAT I was doing wrong. We would literally canter sideways across the ring and everything would fall apart. The other direction? Softness and light and lovely.
    I was riding a 20m circle to the left, and I kept my right leg at the girth, and stepped into my right stirrup more. Ah, bingo. I think if my horse could speak English, he would have said "finally!"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008


    I was struggling with my rehab project - we were constantly locking horns and it occasionally got ugly - when one day, listening to some cd's I'd reviewed 1000x before, "its not a contest" suddenly clicked for me.

    The phrase just jumped out of the speakers and slapped me in the face and it really felt like someone snapped the lights on... I *woke up* realizing to what extent and how deeply all of our *issues* were really my fault, just how wrong a path I'd allowed myself to stray down because I was in a perpetual state of mind of having to *win* .... because my horse was *difficult* or *willful*... I was demanding a partner instead of inviting one to work with me.

    It really was the sensation of having woken up, this sort of wave of realization just completely washed over me.... it was a very peculiar feeling and I remember it disctinctly. Grasping this concept has been one of the greatest things to ever happen to me...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2007


    When I finally thought, "Well, I'M going over there, horse--you can just come along underneath me," and suddenly my body quit twisting and my hands stopped doing weird stuff trying to *make* him do it, and we both just lightly went where I was going.

    I hate airy-fairy sounding stuff like that, but it worked then and still does.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 21, 2007
    SF Bay Area


    oh -- my most recent one was "soft insisting" to get my TB to relax. Happened during clinic on Saturday. The clinician had me softly take the inside rein wide to get him to give, and told me NOT to get impatient, that he was going to give it to me once he figured it out and sure enough, he did go for her program [insert "proud mom" grin].
    "Reite dein Pferd vorwärts und richte es gerade.” Gustav Steinbrecht

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