I was taught outside fore, long ago when hunter-jumper was called forward seat.
But I wonder why aren't riders taught feel from the first? If it's all about developing one's seat, why not teach riding from your seat from the first?
I actually was taught from the beginning to feel what the hindquarters were doing. To this day (decades later) I would not be able to figure out where the shoulder of the horse would be for the rise, except by working it through logically based on being in the "sit" phase when the inside hind is on the ground.
UP with the outside leg. I can't feel it unless the horse is really off balance, but when I switch from left to right, I know that I have to sit two beats. I switch automatically right to left, but left to right messes me up. Who knows?
I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry
When the inside hind is forward, you should be up. If you're going down while the inside hind is moving forward you'll be popped back out of the saddle a little bit.
My trainer was a huge advocate of "feel" and believed that "rise and fall with the leg on the wall" caused riders to develop bad habits with looking down. She was right, because I secretly used that method and now I have horrible habits of looking down!
I was taught to watch the outside leg (hunter/jumper barn) and I still double check myself visually within the first few steps but its barely noticeable. I've been on a horse or two where even my trainer couldn't feel the difference so it taught me to always check.
Telling a worrier to relax is counterproductive. Then we worry about relaxing.
I was taught with the outside. BUT the lesson horse I rode had a very long thick mane so when we were going to the left I had a hard time seeing so I checked the inside leg going that direction. Even after I moved on from that horse I always checked the left leg
"Feeling your diagonal is ideal, but I would rather a rider take 5-10 seconds to glance with their eyes and be sure of themself then waste a whole straightaway trying to feel".
That is crazy! 5-10 seconds is a lifetime. I think you mean 5-10 mili- seconds!
I have to disagree with the whole looking down technique though. Once learned that way it is HARD to learn how to feel and not to look down. I tell my riders, you don't have time to look down! As the great Jack LeGoff always said - if you look down, point of reference is lost for track and pace. Who wants that? No high level rider can afford that and low level riders even less so!
Take the time with your students and teach them to learn the feel of what each leg/shoulder is doing at each gait and it will be automatic for life - both diagonals and leads.
Outside leg. I still remember the horse I was riding when I *got* diagonals and could feel them. He was some random Saddlebred-y thing named Two Story (yes, he was tall).
It's interesting, though, I don't remember being overtly taught how to feel them but it came pretty early on to me even when I was a very novice young rider riding camp string horses and horse camp. And since I don't have natural feel (or ability, sadly!) it's funny that I at least picked up diagonals quickly!
I've had one or two horses who, for whatever reason, I've had to check on - mainly tiny strided horses with smooth trots!
When my daughter was little, she'd over hear me saying this to students (along with eyes up, heels down) and we would hear her repeating it in her little 3-4 year old sing-song voice. funny stuff (but probably not unless it's your kid doing it - hahaha)
Outside leg, hunter/jumper barn. I can feel them on most horses but not my own. I feel for the inside hind pushing my seatbone forward......plus I pretty much always pick up the wrong one when I start trotting, so I normally switch on the next stride.
I teach my students to glance down at the outside shoulder but as soon as they're stable enough I have them close their eyes for a few steps. Works like a charm to teach feel.
It does to me too, and I think it's partly because the inside hind is pushing me towards the rail, or rather towards the outside, and that feels more correct. It is easier for me tracking left than tracking right, not sure why.
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