Obviously I spend a tremendous amount of time riding and watching horses work.I ride at least six to eight horses a day and usually teach two or three people a day.
I am constantly trying to improve my communication skills to the horses and the people I teach.I take lots of lessons myself,I talk to a shrink about sports,the horse business,people,life in general.Having riding lessons to me is a combination of a trip to a spa and a visit to the shrink with a chiropractor thrown in for body realignment.
And lately I have been watching a few new videos thanks to a recent sale at Bit of Britain.Badminton 2009 is an EXCELLENT video.The course was GREAT! The new dressage test this year (the same performed at Rolex) is a WONDERFUL test that really requires riders to ride better and I agree(with Mike Tucker) the movements are so exactly what we need for cross country and show jumping.Oliver townend and William Fox Pitt ride so very well.Oli deserved the win and great to see a new face on the scene.( Not that he hasn't been around for a while slogging away)His horse was perfection over the 4 days. Oli had 3 great rides and I thought his horse such a perfect type.I watch the video over and over and over.Thats the way I want to ride.I think about it all the time.William Fox Pitts show jumping was superb (as was his dressage and cross country).There were also many other greats.Having been to Badminton so many times it is fun to watch the courses,horses and riders change,but great technique never does.
Another great person jumped back into my brain and is off the bookshelf and within my daily grasp.I fiqure if I can just look at her pictures all the time,something may creep into the necessary gaps between my bones.Ginny Leng.She was a MASTER.I had a discussion the other day about the word through and the concept of throughness.I can't wait to see my friend again and show her some really simple phots of Ginnys horses that are so straight.I remember watching her ride a lot and wow was she direct and straight.She had such control and balance it was SCREAMINGLY GOOD!I hate to say was.Anytime you get to watch her you will receive a master class in eventing.I am thinking about this all the time.
Looking for the straight lines,the releases of the muscles and the horses attitudes is what I look for all the time.WhenI can see it in a lesson,video or a book I think it is great.When I can see it,I can feel it.The more you know where you want to go,the easier it is to get there.But you have to look for it All The Time.