• Rhythm the route to collection 04 February 2019 | View comments

  • https://open.spotify.com/user/hgx8w65fc27qgadkjqzr5mbx0/playlist/5TxSJSxpGCckRVR7c5s3lq?si=RBCPASTbR9anICdLuaoMAA

               Rhythm the route to collection


    Lets blow away the winter blues and spend some special time on moments of mindfulness

    I've added my own image depicting the scales of training, it pleases me to see that rhythm provides the foundation, and today we are going to use music to point us in the right direction to find collection.

    Before we begin let's use the first track on the list to get us in a happy place, It's Brothers under the sun by Brian Adams, and it's the one my horse Eborio and I use. We both hate grey winter weather and this reminds us both summer is on it's way

    It doesn't matter whether you begin your session ridden or in hand, but take some deep breaths and get rid of any negative or un useful thoughts. Our equine partner doesn't need to know you only have 20 minutes to ride or the mortgage is due, so give yourselves a break and leave those thoughts behind.Pay attention to how your horse feels, fresh, lazy, uncomfortable, or happy ? Like saying to a friend 'How are you today?'

    With that done , and now you're in a happy place, lets go to the exercise.

    These exercises can be done in walk trot and canter depending on your horses level of training and fittness. add in halts and transitions too just keep it interesting and varied.

    Start on the 20m square (1) keeping the rhythm exactly the same on the sides as well as the corners.Your horse shouldn't rush and fall onto the forehand,or slow and fall behind your contact . Once you are happy that you have that feeling consistantly take the 20m circle (2)   ( which only touches the square at four points)

    To achieve the circle and maintain the rhythm your horse will naturally have to collect, without too much effort from you, Don't ask for too many circles to start with, maintaining each stride in collection and rhythm takes a lot of physical and mental effort

    .Now move to circle 3

    This inner circle (3) takes most effort to keep rhythm, collection, and cadence so to begin with just two or three circles.

    Begin to spiral back to circle (2) and then the square, alowing your horse to stride out and forwards.You can do this via leg yield too if you're able. 

    Repeat on the opposite rein,also taking the pattern down the school,starting at A , between B and E, then at the C end.

    Remember this is supposed to be fun and feel more like dancing with a friend,, relax and smile feel like you're both swinging along as one.When you're done reward yourselves with a little more mindfulness.

    A lovely walk stretch,thinking over all the positives from the session.Feel free to add your happy tunes to the list, and if you have one that makes the winter days a bit brighter I'd love to hear from you.

    Music is the best sort of magic.

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    Anne Gage Created on 20/02/2019 07:44

    This is a fantastic exercise for so many reasons. And doing it to music is a fabulous idea! Your mind can only focus on one thing at a time. So, when you focus on the rhythm, you can't be holding any negative thoughts. And that's what makes it such a good exercise for riders who want to build more confidence - as well as more connection with their horses.  You are so right ... riding is supposed to be fun and feel like dancing.
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