This page is dedicated to the practical skills your child will be learning. As a parent, even if you don’t ride and you have no intention to learn how to ride, it will be very beneficial to understand a little bit about general aids and riding terminology that your child will be learning so you can help them understand what it means.
So, let me start with the basics:
When your child first gets on the horse, this can be your child’s very first ride or if your child is already riding than this still applies for each time they ride, the beginning of each lesson.
The most important thing for every rider is to remember to breathe.
Ok I might need to explain a bit more. We all breathe, all the time. Obviously.
So, what’s the big deal about breathing?
Breathing can make you tense, and it can help to relax you. Think of yourself for a moment. When you are stressed, your breathing becomes very shallow and shallow breathing is taking a bigger breath in and a shorter breath out. This makes your body tense, in particular your neck, your shoulders, and your arms.
The same things happen to your kids when they ride and they get stressed. This can happen when they are fearful, or when they are nervous of others watching them. It doesn’t have to be a fear related towards the horse, it can be stress related to their thoughts.
Now how do we release stress?
We start by letting go of a sigh. You know the sigh you let go after you have finalised a big project at work, or the sigh when the bills are paid and the worst-case scenario that you’ve imagined didn’t end up happening…that sigh.
After that sigh your body feels like a weight has lifted off your shoulders. Your neck, your shoulders and your arms, all relaxes. You might even feel a softening of your lower back.
So, this is why every rider, no matter how experienced or inexperienced they are should always start every ride with big sigh so that their body is relaxed.
It is the relaxed body that will help a rider to better feel and connect with their horse and it will also help down the track with the correct application of the aids.
And we will get into more details about aids over the next few months.